In the rap and R&B communities, William Leonard Roberts II is better known by his stage name Rick Ross. He also runs a successful record company. Along with other founding members including Wale, Meek Mill, and French Montana, he founded the renowned Maybach Music Group and has so far successfully released six studio albums.
Ross developed a passion for street music at a very young age as a result of growing up in a deprived neighborhood in Miami’s north. He left school to pursue his dream of becoming a well-known rap musician, but because of the type of culture he was raised in, he also became engaged in the drug trade.
Ross worked as a correctional officer for a while before inking his first record deal; because of his prior drug dealing, the media frequently made fun of him for this. His first commercially successful track, “Hustlin,” made him a star as it was certified gold.
It was also thanks to this success that he was given the chance to sign a record deal with Jay-Def Z’s Records. In his career, he has collaborated with numerous different rap and R&B musicians, including Ne-Yo, R Kelly, Flo-Rida, Diddy, and others.
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On January 28, 1976, in Coahoma County, Mississippi, William Leonard Roberts II was born. Ross was drawn to the music of street-oriented rappers like Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Luther Campbell, and Ice Cube because he was raised in the underprivileged district of Carol City, Florida, to the north of Miami.
Despite spending a year at Albany State University in Georgia on a football scholarship, Ross began penning rap songs that idealized the act of drug peddling that he had witnessed when he was younger. He got the idea for his stage name from tales he had heard about a cocaine dealer by the name of “Freeway” Rick Ross.
Ross served as a correctional officer for over two years in Florida: something he initially disputed when it was disclosed but subsequently confirmed, but the allure of hip-hop music and the rich lifestyle of the drug dealers he witnessed in his youth drove him to a different way.
He first appeared as Tephlon on the single “Ain’t Shhh to Discuss” on Erick Sermon’s 2000 compilation Def Squad Presents Erick Sermon before changing his name to Rick Ross. Eventually, he was signed to Suave House Records, an independent Southern rap company that also included the well-known underground pair 8Ball & MJG.
Later, Ross relocated to the Miami-based record company Slip-N-Slide, which featured popular hip-hop artists like Trick Daddy (with whom Ross would later tour) and Trina.
The promo-only song “Just Chillin'” from 2003 was his sole solo release, despite his cameo appearances on multiple labelmates’ albums. Ted Lucas, the head of Slip-N-Slide, later praised Ross’ solo success, which came after he left the label, saying, “I never doubted him musically or lyrically. Ross is a fantastic rapper.
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Rick Ross’s Career
Ross first had the chance to sign a contract with Suave House Records, but he ultimately chose to sign a recording contract with Slip-n-Slide Records. This gave him the chance to travel with Trick Daddy and appear on their albums.
Ross’ first number-one single, “Hustin,” which featured the fascinatingly repeated lyric “Everyday I’m Hustling” throughout the song, became a big hit and was certified gold, solidifying Ross’ status as the hottest new rap artist.
Due to his success, there was a bidding war among other recording artists. Ross was given a well-known record deal at the time by Def Records, which was run by the legendary rap musician Jay-Z.
Ross’s debut album, “Port of Miami,” peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 in 2006. The Recording Industry Association of America awarded it gold certification, and it featured singles like “Push It,” “Holla at Me,” and others.
In 2008, he released his second album, “Trilla,” as a follow-up. Ross gave it to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album in honor of his idol. Additionally, the album reached the top spot on the US Billboard Charts.
With his newfound success, Ross began to tour more frequently and appeared in front of the public. He began working with other rap performers, writing and performing rap with Jay-Z, R Kelly, Flo-Rida, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and others.
His third studio album, “Deeper Than Rap,” was released in 2009 on his own label, Maybach Music Group, however, Def Recordings handled the distribution. In just the first week in the US, it sold 158,000 copies.
The next year, he released his fourth album, “Teflon Don,” which had big singles like “Super High” and “Live Fast, Die Young” and featured collaborations with musicians like Ne-Yo, Kanye West, etc. The song’s chart high point was No. 2.
In the same year, he worked on an EP with Diddy, with whom he had just signed a management agreement through his company Ciroc Entertainment. From the EP “Another One,” they released a single.
Ross’s album “God Forgives, I Don’t” was published in 2012 and included the hits “You the Boss” and “I Love My Bitches.” His highest charting album, it debuted at No. 2 on the UK R&B Album Chart and No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
By first releasing the song “No Games” with artist Future, Ross launched his sixth studio album, “Mastermind,” in 2013. It includes tracks like “War Ready,” “The Devil Is A Lie,” and others.
With the release of Hurricanes: A Memoir in September 2019, the Grammy-nominated rapper became a published author after ten studio albums. The book covered Ross’ background, career on both sides of the law, and newsworthy events including the seizures that almost killed him in 2011 and the drive-by shooting attempt on his life in 2013.
He declared that Rather You Than Me, his eighth studio album, would be released in March 2017. On the Billboard 200, the album debuted at number three and peaked there. The album’s lead song, “Florida Boy,” which features T-Pain and Kodak Black, was set for release in 2018, and it was made available on February 2nd.
Ross and Future released “Green Gucci Suit” on June 22, 2018, as the second single off his tenth studio album, Port of Miami 2, which was made available on August 9, 2019. On the Billboard 200, the album debuted at number two.
The album also featured Drake’s collaboration on the song “Gold Roses,” which was nominated for Best Rap Song at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Ross and singer August Alsina collaborated on the song “Entanglements” on July 19, 2020.
The song is a jab at Alsina’s ex-girlfriend Jada Pinkett Smith. Following his Verzuz battle with 2 Chainz, Ross dropped the song “Pinned to the Cross” on August 7, 2020, starring Finn Matthews.
Rick Ross revealed the title of his eleventh album, Richer Than I Ever Been, in an interview with Hot 97 on August 26, 2020. It was released on December 10, 2021. The Perfect Day to Boss Up by Ross had its official release on September 7, 2021, at position number five on The New York Times’s weekly bestsellers list.
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Rick Ross’s Personal Life
Ross is rumored to be a fan of the 1980s television police drama Miami Vice because he grew up in Miami. His huge, dark sunglasses and slow, raspy vocal delivery are two of his distinguishing characteristics that are frequently credited to the show’s impact.
Ross experienced two seizures on October 14, 2011, one in the morning and one in the early evening. He had a morning seizure, and CPR was given while he was unconscious. Ross was admitted to a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama after having his second seizure, where medical professionals performed a number of tests. They said he was fine. Ross blames the episodes on the preceding week’s lack of sleep.
Later, Ross made reference to the occurrence in the song’s remix by Meek Mill “Had a couple seizures, call it minor setbacks, everybody praying for me, I respect that,” from the song “Ima Boss.” “Woke up in the hospital, where my checks at? / Then I put 8 chains where my neck’s at.”
Rick Ross and his fiancée were the victims of a drive-by shooting on January 27, 2013, when Rick Ross was celebrating his 37th birthday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rick Ross and his girlfriend managed to escape the shooting without getting harmed, but they did so by driving their car into an apartment.
Rick Ross was discovered unconscious and possibly having a heart attack on March 2, 2018, at his Miami, Florida, home. He was taken to the hospital. Rick Ross was being kept alive. Only a few days after being hospitalized, he was discharged.
Rick Ross is not married. He once got Lira Galore Mercer engaged in 2015. The couple never made it to the altar, however, as the engagement was brief. Rick Ross has fathered four kids despite not being married: Toie Roberts, William Roberts III, Berkeley Hemes Roberts, and Billion Leonard Roberts.
The Miami Beach Police Department once detained him in January 2008 on suspicion of drug and marijuana use. A YouTube Content Creator sued Rick Ross for beating him at the Ozone Awards in Houston, Texas, in August of the same year. On March 2, 2018, Rick Ross had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. At his Miami residence, he had been discovered to be unresponsive and unconscious. In 2015, Rick Ross and Lira Galore became engaged.
In the past, he has dated Liz Hagelthorn (2017), Chandra Davis (2016), India Westbrook (2016–2017), Briana Camille (2016–2019), Briteady (2016), Skrawberry (2015), Ming Lee (2014–2015), Paige Imani (2014), Keyshia Dior (2013), Christelle Blanche (2011), Elise Neal (2010), Shateria Moragne (2009–2013), Foxy Brown (2008), Tia Kemp (2003–2015), Lastonia Leviston (2000-2002).
Past of a Corrections Officer Revealed, 50 Cent Feud
Due to his lyrics about hustling and drug dealing, Rick Ross became more well-known, and this sparked interest in the public in regard to his prior work as a law enforcement officer. When The Smoking Gun revealed that Ross had previously worked as a correctional officer in South Florida, it was an intriguing contrast that first came to light in 2008. Ross’ street cred was called into question, but the rapper dismissed the concerns.
He also had to deal with charges against him for assault, kidnapping, drug possession, and firearms possession. He was placed under house arrest for the majority of 2015. In 2010, the genuine “Freeway” Rick Ross tried to sue Ross for appropriating his name, but the case was dismissed.
Then, in 2008, there was a conflict with fellow rapper 50 Cent. By the following year, 50 Cent had started referring to Ross as “Officer Ricky” as the two rappers traded barbs on a number of songs. 50 Cent’s publication of a sex tape with Lastonia Leviston, the mother of one of Rick Ross’ children, made the feud even ugly. The ultimate legal dispute, which Leviston would win, would be a contributing factor in 50 Cent’s bankruptcy.
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Rick Ross’s Net Worth
The owner of Maybach Music gets a sizable income from royalties, concerts, and running his record company. It is estimated that Rick Ross has a net worth of between $40 million and $50 million dollars.