"I'm Ike Turner, turn up / Baby know I don't play / Now eat the cake, Anna Mae," crooned Jay-Z during last Sunday's Grammys performance.
For those not well-versed in abuse-glorifying lingo, Ike Turner, the subject of this approving reference, beat his world-famous wife Tina so much and so often that she needed rhinoplasty to fix the damage.
This weekend, Jay-Z, along with two other singers who sometimes sing about rape, Grammy-nominated Robin Thicke and Bruno Mars, will head to the Super Bowl to entertain fans.
Others will be sent to the New York area against their will.
In 2010, the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children reported that 10,000 women were sold for sex at the Miami Super Bowl.
This year, in anticipation of Sunday's game between the superstar Broncos and Seahawks, it's being reported that prostitution ads have already jumped in nearby New York City by 50% and are expected to triple by the weekend.
Advocacy groups are saying that the Super Bowl is the biggest sex trafficking event of the year. Children are inevitably swept up in this horror: the State Department has said that in the U.S., over 100,000 children are victims of sex trafficking.
Delta Airlines, the official airline sponsor the Seahawks, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week that they had trained almost all their 8,000 NYC staff to recognize sex trafficking.
Chris Smith, co-chair of the House Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee has expressed with particular urgency that “in less than a week, New Jersey will be hosting the Super Bowl, and along with welcoming enthusiastic fans, the state also is preparing for a likely influx of both domestic and international traffickers."
He continues, "We know from the past, any sports venue — especially the Super Bowl — acts as a sex-trafficking magnet.”
While some Super Bowl sponsors, advocacy groups, and a congressman have spoken out, the silence from the entertainment world is deafening.
More than deafening, many in the entertainment world are complicit.
Your pre-game event options in the New York area include performances by Grammy-nominated singer Robin Thicke and Grammy-winner Jay-Z.
Yes, that's the Robin Thicke, who joins Jay-Z in making themes of violence and rape into catchy tunes. Thicke has been under fire recently for his own "rapey" lyrics from hit song "Blurred Lines," singing, "I hate these blurred lines" and "I know you want it." Critics complain that in the song, Thicke's fictional female sex target is being told she wants hair-pulling, spanking, and anal sex – though she never consents to it. Recently, a group of sexual assault survivors at Project Unbreakable came out with an online photo essay exhibit, demonstrating that Thicke's lyrics Thicke's chosen lyrics are hauntingly the same words used by their rapists.
And at the famed halftime show, while Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman (and over 80,000 of their rival fans) are thawing before the final half, Bruno Mars will take the stage.
He has his own "rape" song he's become famous for: "Gorilla," a man singing about rough sex with a woman who he claims, like Thicke, "wants it." Mars adds in, "She can't run."
How many women and children will be the victims of their pimps and Super Bowl customers while Thicke, Jay-Z, and Mars glide over their spotlighted stages, singing their rape and abuse lyrics? How many of these trafficked victims "want it"? How many "can't run"?
The callous treatment of rape and abuse themes and overt sexual objectification of women by some of today's top performing artists strikes a particularly disturbing cord as untold numbers of women and children in New York City and New Jersey will endure abuse this week.
Somewhere, maybe even within earshot of the cheers, there's a human being experiencing the pain, humiliation and vicious cycle of abuse these singers help glamorize.
Someone should sing about that.