William Leonard Roberts II, better known as Rick Ross, is an American rapper and former corrections officer. He considers himself "The Boss".
Growth in Popularity
Ross's first album, Port of Miami, gained some attention by sampling the song "Take it to the Limit", originally used in the soundtrack for the 1980's remake of Scarface, in his song "Push It". Ross improved his momentum with the release of his album Trilla, which included the extremely popular "Hustlin'", which serves as an excellent marriage of Dirty South and Texas Chopped and Screwed, while maintaining a distinct Miami sound. The release of the album Deeper than Rap showed a continued growth towards a "mafia boss" persona. His collaborations with Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nas, and John Legend cemented his position among the Hip-Hop A-list during the late '00s.
Teflon Don's 2010 release served as a continuation of his Mafia persona. During this time, he also continued to establish close ties with the YMBCMB organization, and grew his own Maybach Music label. Collaborations with popular rappers such as Drake and Lil Wayne, and DJ Khaled on songs such as "I'm So Hood" and "I'm on One" maintained his industry presence while he worked on his record label. After releasing Self-Made with Maybach Music collaborators, he focused his attention on releasing the album, "God Forgives, I Don't". A seizure scare during a flight to a performance in Memphis caused Ross to miss his initial deadline on releasing this album. In the meantime, he released a mix-tape entitled "Rich Forever", which received critical acclaim and significant social media attention.
Employment as a Corrections Officer
Ross's original persona as a cocaine kingpin fell under significant scrutiny when it was revealed that he originally worked as a corrections officer at the South Florida Receptions Center. He maintains that despite his former position, he is still, as the song suggests, "Rich off Cocaine".
Beef with 50 Cent
Ross released a diss against 50 cent in the album Mafia music, claiming he was "sponsoring" the mother of one of 50's children:
"I love to pay her bills/can’t wait to pay her rent/Curtis Jackson baby mama/I ain't askin for a cent/Burn the house down/gotta buy another/don’t forget the gas can/jealous, stupid muthafucka"
50 responded with a diss track entitled "Officer Ricky", playing on Ross's former career in law enforcement.
XL Magazine Louis Vuitton Shades
Rick Ross wore a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses on the cover of XL Magazine. He was shortly thereafter called out for wearing knock-off shades, since they did not match any of the Louis Vuitton product offerings. After the backlash, it was revealed that the pair had been customized by a popular designer well known in the trade as the "Sunglasses Pimp".
Ricky "Freeway" Ross
Early in his career, Roberts was taken to court by Ricky "Freeway" Ross, the cocaine trafficker whose nickname Roberts assumed for his rapper persona. While the original Ross was unsuccessful in his suite, Roberts has begun to move away from a straight "Rick Ross" persona, and has adopted a number of additional personas reflecting his present status as a hip hop mogul and high-class jet-setter.
List of Monikers
- Ricky Rozay
- The Boss
- The Teflon Don
List of Solo Studio Albums
- Port of Miami (2006)
- Trilla (2008)
- Deeper than Rap (2009)
- Teflon Don (2010)
- God Forgives, I Don't (2012, expected)