Rick Ross Biography & Facts
William Leonard Roberts II (born January 28, 1976), known professionally as Rick Ross, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record executive.Prior to releasing his debut single, "Hustlin'", in 2006, Ross was the subject of a bidding war, receiving offers from Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment and Irv Gotti's Murder Inc., until signing a multimillion-dollar deal with Jay-Z's Def Jam Recordings. Ross released his debut album Port of Miami through the label later that year, debuting at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, with sales of 187,000 units during the first week. Ross released his second studio album, Trilla in 2008, once again debuting atop the Billboard 200.Outside of his solo career, Ross was a lead member of the hip hop group Triple C's, alongside fellow Florida rappers Gunplay and Torch in 2005. Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group in 2009, on which he released his studio albums Deeper Than Rap (2009), Teflon Don (2010), God Forgives, I Don't (2012), Mastermind, Hood Billionaire (2014), Black Market (2015), and Rather You Than Me (2017). His tenth album, Port of Miami 2 was released in August 2019 and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts. Ross's label has also launched the careers of many artists, including Meek Mill, Wale, and French Montana, among others. In early 2012, MTV named Ross as the Hottest MC in the Game.
Life and career
1976–2006: Early life and career beginnings
William Leonard Roberts II was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and raised in Carol City, Florida. After graduating from Miami Carol City Senior High School, he attended the historically black college Albany State University on a football scholarship. Roberts worked as a correctional officer for 18 months from December 1995, until his resignation in June 1997.
In his early years at Suave House Records, Roberts initially made his debut under the pseudonym Teflon Da Don. He made his recording debut on the song "Ain't Shhh to Discuss" on Erick Sermon's lone album for DreamWorks, Def Squad Presents Erick Onasis. In the mid-2000s, he changed his name to Rick Ross. He derived his stage name from the former drug kingpin "Freeway" Rick Ross, to whom he has no connection.After being signed to Suave House Records, former label for rap duo 8Ball & MJG, he eventually signed a deal with Slip-n-Slide Records, which has been under the Def Jam label since 2006. While signed to Slip-n-Slide, Roberts toured with fellow rapper Trick Daddy and made guest performances on other Slip-n-Slide albums.
2006–2008: Port of Miami and Trilla
His debut album Port of Miami was released in August 2006 and debuted at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, with sales at 187,000 units during the first week. Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone magazine predicted that it would be "the summer's biggest rap record". The second single was "Push It", which samples "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)", the theme song from the gangster film Scarface. The music video for "Push It" was modeled after the film. During that time, Ross made guest performances on two singles from DJ Khaled's debut Listennn... the Album: "Born-N-Raised" and "Holla at Me". Port of Miami received Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America on November 8, 2006.
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 number 21 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles; the next one, "The Boss" featuring T-Pain peaked at number 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.
2009: Deeper Than Rap
I look at the game and the business and all different aspects, it's a lot of great lyricists on the corner that will never properly understand the business and know how to market themselves and get in a position where they can gain capital. I look at all the strategies people use and what made them successful. What made Birdman just as relevant today after selling 50 million records? That intrigues me. To see the class of Jay-Z, his accomplishments and see how he sits backs and accurately makes his moves.
A track from the album called "Valley of Death" was what stood out to MTV reporters. In the song, Ross speaks briefly on his controversial stint as a prison guard. "Keep it trilla, nigga, never had a gun and badge," which he stresses, leaving the word that he was indeed an officer of the law. "Kept a nice watch, smoking on a hundred sack/ Back in the day I sold crack for some nice kicks/ Skippin' school, I saw my friend stabbed with an ice pick/ Can't criticize niggas trying to get jobs/ Better get smart, young brother, live yours." Later, he implies that while he was working as a corrections officer, he was on the streets. "Only lived once and I got two kids/ And for me to feed them, I'll get two gigs," he raps. "I'll shovel shit, I'll C.O./ So we can bow our heads and pray over the meatloaf." He still provided no explanation for lying about being a C.O. to begin with, nor did he explain why he failed to pay child support for his children.The cover of the May 2009 issue of XXL magazine, titled "Rick Ross Up in Smoke", featured Ross wearing a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses. After publication, a spokesperson for the luxury-goods maker contacted XXL to inform them that Ross was sporting fake sunglasses in the cover image. It was later revealed that the rapper was wearing authentic Louis Vuitton sunglasses which were altered by Jacob Bernstein, known as "The Sunglass Pimp". Bernstein defended his customizations despite Louis Vuitton's insistence that such modification and resale of trademarked property is not legal.
2010–2013: Prime Rick Ross
Ross had a number of accomplishments in 2010. In May, he released the critically acclaimed Albert Anastasia EP. In addition to that, he released his fourth studio album entitled Teflon Don, on July 20, 2010. The lead single was "Super High" featuring Ne-Yo. Actress Stacey Dash made an appearance in the music video. A second official single was released titled "Live Fast, Die Young" which features and is produced by Kanye West. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 selling 176,000 copies in its first week.
In November 2010, rapper and frequent collaborator, Diddy, who in 2009 signed Ross to a management deal with his Ciroc Entertainment, announced from his YouTube account, that he and Ross are working on an EP together. A single was released for the project, called "Another One". Ross ended 2010 by releasing another mixtape, Ashes To Ashes on Christmas Eve 2010.
In early 2011, Rick Ross signed Wale and Meek Mill to his Maybach Music Group imprint. The group released t.... Discover the Rick Ross popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Rick Ross books.