Rick Ross defends controversial Trayvon Martin lyric on new album ‘Mastermind’

Rapper says he wants to ensure people 'never forget' teenager's murder

Rick Ross has defended a controversial lyric from his new album ‘Mastermind’, which references the murder of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

As Spin reports, the album – which is released on March 4 – features a track titled ‘Black & White’ which includes the lyric: “Trayvon Martin, I’m never missing my target“. The 17-year-old was killed on February 26, 2012 after he was shot by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, however, was found not guilty of all charges he faced after claiming self-defence, despite Martin being unarmed.

After the lyric received criticism, Ross emailed a statement to Vibe clarifying his intentions. “It’s so important that today, on the two-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, we never forget that tragedy,” he said. “I’m never going to let the world forget that name. In my song ‘Black And White’ off ‘Mastermind’ I say, ‘Trayvon Martin, I’m never missing my target‘. There I’m reminding people that if you’re a black person or a person of any colour for that matter in this country, you have to be accurate, whatever moves you make, stay accurate. Even when you’re walking down the street, playing music from your car, you have to stay on point.”

He added: “Black men are being killed and their killers [are] beating the trial. It hasn’t been this much violence against black men since the ’60s. I am Trayvon Martin, we’re all Trayvon Martin. He was from South Florida. That could have been me or one of my homies. So, stay alert and never miss your target. Whatever that target may be. Getting out the hood, providing from your family. Stay sharp. Stay alive. Trayvon, Rest in Peace.”

It was revealed earlier this month that a planned charity boxing match between Zimmerman and rapper DMX had been cancelled. The bout had been scheduled to go ahead on March 1, but promoter Damon Feldman seemingly changed his mind after deciding that Zimmerman was “the wrong person to put in a the ring and define celebrity boxing”.

In a statement given to NME, meanwhile, a member of DMX’s management team, Domenick Nati of Nati Celebrity Services, said: “Damon Feldman has announced that the George Zimmerman fight is cancelled via his Twitter. As previously stated, DMX never agreed to the fight and we thank you for all of the support from DMX’s fans. This situation will not affect any of DMX’s upcoming concerts in America or around the world.”