NAME: Rick Ross
FULL NAME: William Leonard Roberts II
OCCUPATION: Rapper, Enterpreneur
BIRTH DATE: January 28, 1976 (age 42)
EDUCATION: Albany State University, Miami Carol City Senior High School
PLACE OF BIRTH: Coahoma Country, Mississippi
FULL NAME: William Leonard Roberts II
ZODIAC SIGN: Aquarius
Rick Ross who was born William Leonard Roberts II in Coahoma County, Mississippi, on the 28th of January, 1976 and brought up in Carol City, Florida is a rapper, businessman and CEO of Maybach Music Group that was the first artist signed to P. Diddy’s Ciroc Entertainment.
Ross who grew up listening to the music of street-oriented rappers like Tupac Shakur, Notorious BIG, Luther Campbell and Ice Cube in Florida, an impoverished area of north of Miami, attended Georgia’s Albany State University on a football scholarship for a year, during which he began composing rap lyrics that circled around drug dealing that he grew up with.
Notwithstanding all his legal issues and infamous rivalry with rapper 50 Cent, Rick Ross is a respected and prolific artist both as a solo performer and as a guest artiste the music industry, that has signed lucrative deals with P. Diddy while earning accolades from Pharrell. His famous record label company, Maybach Music Group has released albums of top artists like Wale, Meek Mill, French Montana and Teedra Moses.
The very controversial rapper who got his stage name from stories he heard of a drug trafficker named “Freeway” Rick Ross, coincidentally, worked as a corrections officer in Florida for about two years though he initially denied this when it was revealed, but later confirmed it was influenced by the hip-hop music and luxury lifestyle of the drug dealers he grew up with.
Rick Ross who made his debut on former EPMD member Erick Sermon’s 2000 compilation Def Squad Presents Erick Sermon, appeared as Tephlon on a track called “Ain’t Shhh to Discuss.” After which he got signed to an independent Southern rap label, Suave House Records, whose artist also included the popular underground duo 8Ball & MJG.
Ross who later switched to the Miami-based record label Slip-N-Slide, that released music by hip-hop favorites like Trick Daddy whom he would later tour with and female rapper Trina, appeared as a guest artist on several label mates’ projects, and his only solo release was the promo-only single “Just Chillin'” in 2003.
His first real single titled “Hustlin’,” that became a smash hit, because of it’s hypnotic line, “every day I’m hustling,” reprised throughout was eventually certified gold, that was an impressive feat for a brand-new recording artist. The success later generated a bidding war with Def Jam Records, headed by Jay Z, winning the battle and signing Ross to a highly publicized record deal. The song’s official remix had verses from Young Jeezy and Jay Z, while an unofficial version also included Lil Wayne, TI and Busta Rhymes. Ross later debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with his 2006 debut, Port of Miami. While is sophomore album in 2008, Trilla, named after Michael Jackson’s Thriller, combined with the Southern slang term “trill”, also debuted at No. 1.
Following his continuous music success, he started touring extensively while also collaborating with other popular music superstars including R. Kelly, Flo-Rida, Nelly, T-Pain among others. Ross third album, Deeper Than Rap released in 2009, reinforced his success, with The New York Times praising it as “unexpectedly fantastic, by far his best.
Ross launched his record label company Maybach Music Group (MMG) that has achieved great success, releasing albums by rappers including Meek Mill, Wale and Omarion, with appearances by Ross and his signings on other artists’ tracks would almost always be accompanied by a “Maybach Music” drop a vocal tagline by the supermodel Jessica Gomes. Ross whose managing a record label didn’t seem to slow him down’s album Teflon Don released in 2010 was followed by the MMG compilation Self Made Vol. 1 after a year, then the God Forgives, I Don’t in 2012, during which time he worked with Kanye West, Gucci Mane, CeeLo Green, Drake, Dr. Dre and Andre 3000.
The album ‘God Forgives’ later was nominated for the best-album Grammy in 2013, and he followed with Mastermind and Hood Billionaire, both in 2014, but reviews were mixed and sales only modest, probably indicated that he was releasing too many music too quickly and diluting the quality. His album No. 8, Black Market, was released at the end of 2015, while his ninth album titled, ‘Rather You Than Me’, got released in 2017.
Rick Ross’ whose notoriety continued to grow perhaps due to his rap lyrics usually on drug dealings and hustling’s past career in law enforcement that was revealed became a subject that interested the public, after it was reported in 2008, by a website known as ‘The Smoking Gun’ that exposed him as having previously worked as a corrections officer in South Florida, though this raised many doubts about his street credibility.
Ross who has also had several other issues to deal with, including facing charges for weapons, drugs, kidnapping and assault, also spent a large part of his 2015 under house arrest, while the original “Freeway” Ricky Ross also tried to sue him for using his name in 2010, but the lawsuit was dismissed by the court.
Rick Ross whose feud with fellow rapper 50 Cent, started in 2008 was addressed as “Officer Ricky” by 50 Cent who continued to diss him while he returned the favor in series of records. The beef progressed and became uglier when 50 Cent went ahead to release a sex tape featuring Lastonia Leviston, the mother of one of Rick Ross’ children. This later ended up as a court case Leviston won that was partially responsible for 50 Cent’s bankruptcy.
Ross who grew up in Miami and said to be a fan of the 1980s TV cop show Miami Vice’s large, dark sunglasses and slow, raspy vocal delivery have bee attributed to the influence of the TV show. The father of three children, who suffered a health scare in 2011 when he had multiple seizures on two separate flights on the same day earlier this month was reported to have been hospitalized and hooked up to life support after being found unresponsive at his home by TMZ, though his family members debunked the report disputed while stressing that his condition was not that terrible as earlier reported.