[Miami Gardens, FL] Early yesterday morning, a dead man was discovered outside a home owned by superstar South Florida rapper Rick Ross.
The victim, Gregory Paul Nesbitt, 39, had been shot multiple times. It has been stated by authorities that Ross was not at the home at the time of the shooting. The 3-bedroom house is used by Ross as a recording studio, according to The Miami Herald.
NBC Miami says the house was purchased by Ross in 2010 and is is registered under William L. Roberts II, the rap star’s birth name.
Rick Ross has had a variety of incidents happen to him over the past year which has kept him in the news.
On March 26, 2011, Ross was arrested – along with Jason Peters of the Philadelphia Eagles – at the Hilton in Downtown Shreveport, LA, for possession of marijuana after a strong odor was detected coming from Ross’ hotel room.
On October 14, 2011 Rick Ross suffered two seizures in the same day, the first attack left him unconscious and requiring CPR. He had the second seizure on a plane and was rushed to the emergency room.
And there still is no release date for his oft-delayed new album God Forgives, I Don’t, originally due last year. To tide his fans over until God drops, Ross released the Rich Forever mixtape on Jan. 6 of this year.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Image: Def Jam Recordings
‘Freeway’ Rick Ross Will Take On Rick Ross In Court Again (XXLMAG.COM blog) Infamous drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross has been at odds with rapper Rick Ross for a few years now, over what he feels is the illegal use of his name. Freeway originally took aim at Rozay with a $10 million lawsuit that was dismissed in 2010, …
Video: Jennifer Hudson & Ne-Yo f/ Rick Ross – ‘Think Like a Man’ (Rap-Up.com) The Grammy-winning singer connects with Ne-Yo and Rick Ross in the Chris Robinson-directed clip, which features a cameo from the film’s star Kevin Hart. “The concept is derived from the film and the thought process is that women need to always act like …
2012 album releases range from Minaj to Madonna to Monáe (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) In the months ahead, everyone from Chris Brown to Zac Brown, from The Boss to Rick Ross, from Green Day to Janelle Monáe, should be dropping hot new albums. Here are 40 top titles expected for 2012. Release dates are subject to change.
With A Big Tour, Two New Albums And A High-Profile Effort To Sign DMX To His Label, South Florida’s Hip-Hop Heavyweight Has A Lot On His Plate This Summer
By: Mark Christopher
[Miami, FL] The 6′-2′,’ 300-pound Rick Ross – or, if you are a follower of the game, “The Bawse” – has a busy summer planned. The South Florida-based bombardier of explosive rap anthems is releasing not one, but two new albums this summer along with a major-music tour and an appearance at the BET Awards 2011 on Sunday.
All while trying to lure one of the biggest fish in the sea to his fledgling record label.
Yes, Rick Ross is eager to land a high-profile artist other than Rick Ross for his label. But even if he doesn’t sniff out DMX – yeah, that DMX – he’s covering his bases with a rising-stars compilation worthy of attention. Self Made Vol. 1, released earlier this month, is a collaborative effort from the entire Maybach Music Group roster.
The album – the imprint’s first such comp release – features Maybach signees Wale, Meek Mill, Teedra Moses, Pill, and Stalley along with Torch and Gunplay of Triple C’s.
Self Made may sound a tad bit familiar to hard-core Rossianados, however. One of the album’s tracks, “Play Your Part,” was released earlier on one of Ross’ mixtapes and “Pandemonium” was also previously released along with a music video.
Whatever the case, there was good news in Self‘s sales figures: Vol. 1 debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 58,900 copies in its first week. As of press time, the album has sold 90,000 copies in the States.
That’s great for an album that banks on Ross’ name and notoriety but is basically filled with nobodies. Yet, anyway.
The second big-album release this summer from The Bawse: God Forgives, I Don’t. It will be Ross’ fifth solo full-length and a near certain shoe-in to score the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts (three out of four of his previous efforts have scored the coveted top position).
Ross has described the new record, due in August, as “dark and vivid, like a Scorsese movie.”
Rick Ross and Andy Samberg re-create the famous Jaws poster for the current issue of Complex
And if that isn’t enough, Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, is currently out on the road with Lil Wayne as part of the recently-released rapper’s comeback “I Am Still Music Tour.” By default, it puts Ross in the unenviable position of being partly responsible for keeping Lil Wayne from violating his parole. Meaning, no alcohol or drugs backstage.
“Before you go into that venue, you have to have your mind right [laughs],” Ross told Rolling Stone of the unusual arrangement. “People may have speculated a certain amount of things would have gone wrong on the tour, but it’s all been very smooth. … We respect his conditions. … You’ve always got before the show and after the show.”
The whole thing has given Rick Ross a new perspective on the functions of both business and pleasure on the road.
“Every other tour I’ve been on, the backstage party was as big as the concert itself, but on this one, due to Wayne’s conditions and restrictions, there’s less traffic backstage and more business being handled,” Ross is quoted as saying. “I’ll take that with me.”
He is also banking on DMX taking notice of his triumphant efforts with the recently paroled.
HOT 97 Summer Jam 2011: Lil Wayne, Drake, DJ Khaled and Rick Ross perform “I’m On One”
During the early years of his rap-biz trajectory (2000-2006), Ross gained respect as Trick Daddy’s side man. And although Ross toured extensively with the platinum rapper and guested on several releases for the Slip-N-Slide family, his solo material wouldn’t make it out of the studio until 2006.
In 2006, Def Jam signed Ross to a multi-million-dollar deal on the heels of a successful run with his debut track “Hustlin’” which went gold and sold over a million ringtone units. That led to his debut Port Of Miami for Slip-N-Side, which quickly established Ross as “The Bawse” and as a legit player on the national scene.
It was the first project under his partnership with Def Jam – it debuted at No. 1, with 187k sales in its first week. One of the album’s singles, “Push It,” did the most to establish Ross’ drug kingpin storyline, as the song samples the theme from Scarface and the track’s video is modeled after the classic Miami gangster film.
(It should be noted that Ross has been romanticizing Miami’s drug-trafficking history since day one, flashing AK-47 tattoos and even stealing his name from famous crack kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross.)
And just like in the blood bath of a movie, the hits just kept on coming for the unabashed lover of the good life. His second long-player, Trilla, was released in 2008 and also went straight to No. 1. Singles included “Speedin’” featuring R. Kelly, “The Boss” featuring T-Pain, “Here I Am” featuring Nelly and Avery Storm and “This Is The Life” featuring Trey Songz.
Early 2009 saw the release of Deeper Than Rap. The stand-out track was “Valley of Death,” although for all the wrong reasons. In the song, Ross talks about life as a corrections officer, something he had been in denial of earlier in his career (more later).
Kept a nice watch, smoking on a hundred sack …
Only lived once and I got two kids/ And for me to feed them, I’ll get two gigs …
I’ll shovel shit, I’ll C.O./ So we can bow our heads and pray over the meatloaf
Unfortunately, Rick Ross claimed that if “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” by 50 Cent sold 10 million copies, then ‘my next record (‘Deeper than Rap’) will sell 12 million.’ He was not even close (less than half a million sold, Rick).
“When I say something like ‘deeper than rap,’ that’s possibly death involved,” Ross explained to The New York Times in 2009. “That’s possibly prison time involved.”
Nonetheless, Adam M. Levin of RapReviews gave the album 8.5/10, describing Deeper Than Rap as “essentially a gangster movie on wax, and Ross is excellent in his role as the boss at the top of the heap with nothing to lose but his cool.” Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote favorably of the album, calling it an improvement over The Bawse’s first outings.
Rick Ross: Teflon Don
In 2010 he dropped Teflon Don, his fourth studio album and third to go gold (Deeper Than Rap has yet to go gold, but it certainly will within a few years). Singles included “Super High” featuring Ne-Yo, “Live Fast, Die Young” featuring Kanye West (who also produced the track), “Aston Martin Music” featuring Drake and Chrisette Michele, “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” featuring Styles P, and “Live Fast Die Young.”
T-Don debuted at No. 2, selling 176,000 copies in its first week. Among its many accolades from the critical media, Rolling Stone declared Teflon Don to be one of the 30 best albums of 2010. Spin described the album’s tracks as “baroquely structured, richly musical creations with humor and emotional depth.”
Besides his collaborations with his label mates on the new Self Made release, Ross has been working with Diddy (or Puff Daddy, if you prefer) on a few projects including The Dream Team (Diddy, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Red Café and Fabulous. Ross has also joined Diddy for the Diddy – Dirty Money project for numerous recordings and live appearances.
Diddy and Ross are also working on an EP together. The yet-to-be-titled studio effort is scheduled to be released in 2011. The first single – “Another One” – has already been let loose.
Rick Ross’ current Top Ten chart success comes via DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One,” which features guest spots from Ross along with Drake and Lil Wayne.
Representing Carol City
William Leonard Roberts II was born in Coahoma County, Mississippi, and raised in Carol City, Florida, where he graduated from the local high school. He later attended Albany State University on a football scholarship.
Ross has fond memories of his Florida summers growing up. “Chillin’ with the homeys, going to the public pool and paying 15 cents to get in,” Ross told Rolling Stone in a recent interview.
“You couldn’t wear no nice sneakers, because when you came back to get ‘em they’d be gone. That’s how you knew if people were from out of town — they’d bring their nice Nikes and British Knights. They didn’t know no better.”
Those that do know The Bawse better than most, call him “Rozay,” thanks to his unabashed love of the pink bubbly champagne, and no doubt the lifestyle it represents. Some even think he’s sexy, apparently …
Rick Ross “graces” the cover of Vibe magazine’s May edition
Corrections Officer Correction
Rick Ross’ street cred was questioned in 2008 when The Smoking Gun produced evidence that Ross was a corrections officer in a Florida prison. After a long public denial – even as a picture of Ross in a C.O. uniform made the rounds – the big boy later admitted that he did indeed work as a corrections officer in Florida during the early 90′s.
Department of Corrections (DoC) records show that Ross, whose raps detail the Miami gangster lifestyle and his supposed days trafficking cocaine, did, in fact, work as a correctional officer for 18 months. Ross (real name: William Leonard Roberts) was appointed a prison guard in December 1995 at a salary of $22,913.54, according to the below personnel record, which was provided to TSG by Jo Ellyn Rackleff, a DoC spokesperson. The rapper’s social security number is identical to that of the jail guard. According to the official document, Ross was earning $25,794.34 when he left the department in June 1997.
And then there’s the “real” Rick Ross – you know, “Freeway” Ricky Ross, the man whose identity was hijacked by ex-DoC worker William Leonard Roberts. The actual thug took great offense at the music-man Ross using his name, even taking him to court to exact financial revenge.
The notorious Los Angeles-based drug kingpin ran one of the largest crack networks in the country during the eighties and part of the nineties. In 2010, Freeway sued to stop the release of Rick Ross’ Teflon Don album, claiming that the Miamian stole his name and profited handsomely from it.
The case was thrown out, commerce commenced. The Don carried on, undaunted.
In 2008, Rick Ross was stopped and charged with carrying a gun and possessing weed by a Miami Beach cop. The weed charge was quickly dropped after people started poking around, but the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney is still pursuing the gun thing, according to available sources. Read the official doc here.
Ross’ 2008 Mug Shot (via The Smoking Gun)
The fall-out from this arrest further highlighted the fabricated nature of Ross’ drug-dealer persona, as testimony and evidence showed the rapper to have a clean sheet and no known gang affiliations. This is in direct contradiction to parts of his now-understood-to-be made-up personal story of involvement with criminal activity, including boasts of running a large-scale cocaine distribution network (a la Freeway).
The street cred’s gone, but the jams are still hot, right? Yes, but Ross still raging battles in court.
In August 2008, YouTube entertainer DJ Vlad filed a $4 million suit against Ross for orchestrating a “brutal attack” on him at the 2008 Ozone Awards. Vlad’s attorney Brian Caplan stated at the time that, “Rick Ross orchestrated a brutal attack upon DJ Vlad, carried out at his direction by his accomplices, in retribution for media coverage of Rick Ross’ prior life as a correctional officer.”
In the attack, Vlad suffered “a cut that required seven stitches below one of his eyes, three facial fractures, a corneal abrasion and possible permanent nerve damage,” according to sources. The suit, bolstered by ample evidence including a video, sought $2 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.
Vlad didn’t quite get the 2 mil – last year, a Manhattan federal jury found Ross liable, awarding Lyubovny $50,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages – but he did score a moral (and legal) victory over Rick Ross for the beat down.
50 Cent Worth Of Controversy
Then there’s Ross’ ongoing verbal dust-up, this time with icon-mogul-actor-rapper 50 Cent, who’s hobby seems to be starting feuds with just about anybody with a mic in front of them. It all got started when Ross launched venom at 50 for looking at him the wrong way at the 2009 BET Awards.
It escalated quickly from there, with Ross releasing “Mafia Music,” containing apparent jabs at 50 Cent.
50 soon struck back with “Officer Ricky (Go Head, Try Me),” a pointed lyrical attack on Ross for his stint as a Florida corrections officer (and subsequent attempt to cover it up).
William Roberts before he hits a phone booth and changes into Rick “The Bawse” Ross (via TSG)
Of course, it didn’t end there. 50 Cent went on an all-out blitz against Ross, firing off a “Warning Shot” video wherein he stated: “Rick Ross – I’mma fuck up your life for fun” and releasing a series of “Officer Ricky” cartoons. All in an attempt to further disparage the Miami anthem king.
And that wasn’t enough still, as 50 uploaded a video to YouTube which includes an interview with the mother of one of Ross’ children. In the vid, she “verifies” that Ross was indeed a prison worker and that his drug thug persona is fake.
Rapper Game even sided with his old nemesis 50 Cent when he said that things are not looking good for Ross. He did offer help: “Rick Ross, holla at your boy, man .. 50 eating you.”
Eating him indeed. Yet Ross continues to swing.
In Ross’ 2009 video for “In Cold Blood,” there is a mock funeral for 50 Cent. Ross also announced the end of 50 Cent’s career at this time while simultaneously releasing “Push ‘Em Over The Edge,” a new “diss” track aimed at, you guessed it, 50 Cent.
“That’s what I love about the hip-hop game: It’s competitive,” Ross told MTV. “I love when you stack the chips against me, ’cause when I hit those numbers, those odds are gonna be in my favor, so we gotta triple up.”
Not to be out done – ever – 50 Cent unleashed “A Psychic Told Me,” dissing Rick Ross’ boy DJ Khaled, and another baby-mama jam, “Tia Told Me.”
Possibly the final straw was when 50 Cent said Ross is “Albert From CB4,” referencing the Chris Rock send-up of hip-hop. “You ever seen the movie? He’s Albert. … It never gets worse than this. You get a guy that was a correctional officer come out and base his entire career on writing material from a drug dealer’s perspective.”
With all of this swirling controversy and beef stewing, it is no wonder that two of Ross’ biggest heroes are Luther Campbell (of 2 Live Crew fame) and the Notorious B.I.G.?
The DMX Files
Jailed hip-hop star DMX has let it be known that Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group approached him regarding signing with the label after his release from an Arizona jail July 1. The platinum superstar is seriously considering it.
Possibly helping Ross and Maybach’s case is that Rick and his entourage has spent a considerable amount of time out on the road with Lil Wayne. Not only has Ross had to keep his nose clean in the backstage areas, he has had to help a just-sprung Wayne stay on his strict social diet, as prescribed by the terms of his release.
DMX seems to have taken notice. He told Vibe about a letter from Maybach promising the inmate that, “We got a home for you. We’ll pick you up in a limo. … Just come to Miami. Just come, we got you.’”
DMX talked up Ross some more, saying, “I have respect for him and he expressed interest that he wanted to work with me while I was out. So I definitely want do a song with him, but I don’t know about the record label thing.”
“I would have to see what his camp is like and feel people out. I’m not the average artist.”
Ross’ recent signee Wale gives the big man – and his camp – high marks for making an artist feel comfortable, at home when creating or performing.
“The energy is so good with Ross … and everybody at Maybach … I’m in my environment now,” said Wale on MTV. “I go to Overtown with Ross; I go to King of Diamonds with Ross. … The vibe now is a little bit more natural and it’s a lot more fun for me. And I’m really in a groove where I can make the type of music I like.”
Surely, Rick Ross’ much-publicized failure in landing rap wunderkind Wiz Khalifa weighs heavy on the heavyweight’s mind. This time out, it’s dark, and hell is hot. This time out, it is DMX: The man, the myth, the huge headache of an artist, by anyone’s measure.
That’s all right, anything to keep Rick Ross from thinking about 50 Cent.
Rick Ross performs July 1 at King Of Diamonds in Miami, and will open for Lil Wayne on Aug. 2 at Cruzan Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, and again, on Aug. 3 at 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre at Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
all images via Rick Ross/Def Jam unless otherwise noted
Rick Ross, who *, has fond memories of his Florida summers growing up. “Chillin’ with the homeys, going to the public pool and paying 15 cents to get in,” Ross told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “You couldn’t wear no nice sneakers, because when you came back to get ‘em they’d be gone. That’s how you knew if people were from out of town — they’d bring their nice Nikes and British Knights. They didn’t know no better.