William Leonard Roberts II
(born January 28, 1976), better known by his stage name Rick Ross
(seen on album covers as Rick Ro$$
), is an African American rapper. His stage name is derived from the name of drug trafficker Freeway Ricky Ross
, to whom he has no connection. Ross is signed with Slip-n-Slide Records
, which as of 2008 is distributed under Def Jam Recordings
Rick Ross was born in Coahoma County
and raised in Carol City, Florida
, a lower-class neighborhood of Miami
. After graduating from Carol City Senior High School, he later attended the historically black Albany State University
in Albany, Georgia
on a football scholarship.
Rick Ross joined Suave House Records, former label for rap duo 8Ball & MJG. He eventually signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Slip-n-Slide Records, which has been under the Def Jam umbrella since 2006. While signed to Slip-n-Slide, Ross toured with fellow rapper Trick Daddy and made guest performances on other Slip-n-Slide rap albums.
Despite Ross' denials, he indeed was a corrections officer from 1995 - 1997, as proven by a statement released from the prison.
Port of Miami (2006)
His debut album Port of Miami
, was released in August 2006 and debuted at the top spot on the Billboard 200
album chart with sales at 187,000 units its first week out. The second single was "Push It", which samples "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)
", the theme song off the gangster film Scarface
. The music video for "Push It" was also modeled after the film.
In March 2008, his second album Trilla
was released and, as its predecessor Port of Miami
had, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. Its lead single "Speedin'" featuring R. Kelly
peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100; the next one, "The Boss
" featuring T-Pain
peaked at #17 on the Hot 100. The third single "Here I Am" featured Nelly
and Avery Storm
. MTV News
ranked Ross on the fourth spot in its 2008 "Hottest MCs In The Game" List among ten rappers. The fourth Single "This Is The Life" featured Trey Songz
and was released in July. His next album is to be titled Deeper Than Rap
2008 arrest and controversy
Ross was arrested by Miami police in January 2008 and charged with a felony for carrying a concealed weapon and with a misdemeanor drug possession charge.
In late June 2008, rumors that Ross was engaged with rapper Foxy Brown began to circulate; a photo of Foxy Brown and Ross together is on the cover of a June 2008 issue of Hip Hop Weekly magazine. Ross responded that he was currently not engaged to anyone.
The Smoking Gun, in July 2008, produced details linking Ross' social security number to a two-year stint as a correctional officer in a Florida prison facility, along with a photograph purporting to be Ross in his correctional officer uniform. Ross stated that the photograph was not of him.
In August of 2008, YouTube entertainer DJ Vlad filed a 4 million dollar lawsuit against Rick Ross for assault. Vlad claimed Ross organized an ambush on Vlad at the 2008 Ozone Awards in Houston, Texas that left Vlad with multiple scrapes and a bruised knee. Footage of the attack was caught by bystanders and audience members at the Award show which has surfaced on the internet.
- 2008: M.I. Yayo - M.I. Yayo is described as "A groundbreaking documentary about the real Miami" and "Is told in a manner stylistically similar to televisions Gangland and the film Cocaine Cowboys".
- BET Awards
- 2008, Best Collaboration ("I'm So Hood [Remix]") with DJ Khaled, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, & Birdman [Nominated]
- BET Hip-Hop Awards
- 2008, Best Hip-Hop Video ("I'm So Hood [Remix]") with DJ Khaled, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, & Birdman [Nominated]
- 2008, Best Hip-Hop Collabo ("I'm So Hood [Remix]") with DJ Khaled, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, & Birdman [Nominated]
- 2008, People's Champ Award ("Here I Am") with Nelly & Avery Storm [Nominated]
- 2007, People's Choice Award ("We Takin' Over") with DJ Khaled, Akon, T.I., Fat Joe, Birdman, & Lil Wayne [Nominated]
- 2007, Best Hip-Hop Collabo ("We Takin' Over") with DJ Khaled, Akon, T.I., Fat Joe, Birdman, & Lil Wayne [Nominated]
- 2006, Viewer's Choice Award ("Hustlin'") [Nominated]
- 2006, Rookie of the Year [Nominated]
- Ozone Awards
- 2008, Best Rap Album (Trilla) [Won]
- 2008, Best Rap Artist [Nominated]