One of my favorite rappers ever! I was in 8th grade when I first heard Rick Ross. It was the “Just A Memory” freestyle; he was kicking game like the World Cup. “A big blunt fulla Kush/Obama heroin tucked in the bush/ i’ont give a fuck I send a nigga like Bush/You standing at the top I’ll give yo ass a slight push.”
Mannnnnnn I thought dude was fresh but let us backtrack to the very beginning. Before the name Rick Ross, William Roberts was known as Teflon The Don. He was putting out mixtapes and doing shows in Miami. Unsatisfied with his progress, Teflon signed to the legendary Suave House records, home of acts such as 8Ball & MJG. He recorded an albums worth of material but the label owner, Tony Draper, got into some legal issues and released Teflon from his contract. However, Draper looked out by introducing Teflon to Slip and Slide records where his new stage name became Rick Ross. A young Ross appeared on Trick Daddy’s Thug Holiday album, Trina’s single Told Yall (from the All About The Benjamin’s Soundtrack) as well as culture icon Erick Sermons Erick Onasis album. I will be honest Ross was not that interesting. He had flow but nothing was special about his content. Then Everyday I’m Hustling hit and Ross blew the game up. One thing I will always say about the song is that Ross exercised the Jeezy flow but with a Miami swag, of course. Two years went by, two Gold and Platinum albums, a ton of features and mixtapes made Ross a household name. However, in 2009 something happened. I remember coming home from school, going on YouTube and seeing his new song titled Mafia Music (50 cent diss), a 4-minute long freestyle over dark sinister production by the Inkredibles. The Bawse lyrically painted a masterpiece with a sharp jab at his new nemesis 50 cent. I won’t get into that beef; do your research. Everyone thought Ross’ career was done but he did not stop. After his Deeper Than Rap album, the Maybach Boss dropped a duffle bag of music including the Triple Cs album Custom Cars and Cycles. As we remember, in 2010 he took the game by storm with BMF and the Teflon Don album. I’m sure we all witnessed his reign with MMG from 2011 -2014. If you have been under a rock, just go on YouTube.
Ever since Rozay caught his case in late 2015, his content has significantly improved. He sounds focused and determined on the Black Market album, channeling a Me Against The World Tupac vibe that fits his situation at hand. Black Market was his last album on Def Jam before going on to sign with Epic records (check my article about Epic as well). He released the single Same Hoes, which is slated to show up on the MMG compilation Self Made 4. I’m not sure what is next for the Bawse. The case hasn’t gone to trial yet but his spirit is high as always.
What I love most about the Rick Ross brand is his consistency, production choice, and vision. Within 10 years, he has released 8 Albums and contributed to 30+. Whether you like his music or not, work is work. Of course, every successful artist has a decline as far as public interest, it is what it is. Get money B. You have to love his choice of production as well. His second album Trilla was the first album to explore the rich luxurious sound that eventually became the “Maybach Sound”. I will post some of these examples below. Furthermore, Rozay’s business mind has put him on platforms that you don’t see many artists on. By the year 2014, Rozay’s least lucrative venture was music. The few we know about are the wing stop franchises, the Ciroc endorsement, Bel Air Rose’, Bello Cigars and now Checkers. That must have contributed to those 40+ cars and 4 mansions, including the 110 room mansion that once belonged to Evander Holyfield. I guess everyday Rozay was hustling.
Karl Keels DBA Karlito Freeze