Freeway Ricky Ross continues his battle against rapper Rick Ross, in regards to usage of the name “Rick Ross.” The pair have been at odd’s since Rick Ross released his debut album, Port of Miami, in 2006.
The issue has gone through the legal system, with the rap star coming out the victor on two separate occasions. But Freeway Ricky received a lifeline in the case last week, when a judge ruled that he could pursue a lawsuit against Warner Music, the label that released the album.
Rapper Rick Ross, born William Leonard Roberts II, hosted an interview with Funkmaster Flex last week, where he replied to a number of allegations surrounding the legal beef. This is Freeway Ricky’s full response, in the battle over his own name.
This is Freeway Rick Ross, I’m writing this to reply to William “Rozay” Robert’s interview with Funkmaster Flex addressing my lawsuit. In the streets a name is everything, in Hip Hop it is a career maker. William claims that we are both street dudes and could’ve talked; he and his music label had that chance and thought they could ignore me because I had a life sentence. In prison when you have a federal life sentence you’re considered the walking dead, it is exactly for this reason that they dodged me when I sent multiple requests from prison to sit down about the use of my name and image. When I finally chased William down through my guys on the street, we talked via phone, he gave me a number, and said he would come down to the prison to “chop it up”. He never came, then changed the phone number.
On the street when you take someone’s name and image the first step is to properly approach them, then you can be the lil homie, if they accept. But because he thought I was the walking dead he just stole my name and image. I’m a street dude from LA, it’s documented. William is not a street dude. He is a guy from a good background that had to pass background tests to become an Officer. There’s nothing wrong with being an Officer, just don’t use my name if you were one to gain traction in rap, especially without asking me. I didn’t get treated well by police, they planted drugs and physically beat me, so to have an officer use my name to get into rap is disrespectful.
William said to Big Boy on Power 106 it’s something “sinister” about it regarding being a CO, there ain’t nothing sinister about a CO. It’s a stand up job for a straight guy. I told Gary Webb in interviews for Dark Alliance “Everyday I hustled” then the guy came out with his single “Hustlin.” Well before music labels profiteered on my name and image “RICK ROSS” it had reached everywhere from Time Magazine, CSPAN Congressional Hearings and Newspapers globally, causing global awareness of my image as “RICK ROSS.” I believe the guy studied me, watched TV, read all the press, talked to people that were around me then tricked people when they searched the internet and thought he was me. I had a Louis Vuitton room in my hotel at the Freeway Inn, everybody knew that who were “street dudes.” I turn around and all this guy talks about is Louis Vuitton. In the new “Three Kings” song with Dr. Dre & Jay Z he talks about Crips, the guy knew about me and Crips by his own admission, that’s who I was associated with because of where I grew up. Also everybody knew I took care of my guys like equals, and was known as the Boss. This guy walks around with my whole image, he has mimicked all of my persona as Rick Ross.
Check out the KDAY LA interview where William explains how he got the name Rick Ross. Under oath he claimed he came up with the name playing football as an All American out the air in 1996. In 1996 I was everywhere on every news channel, newspaper and Gary Webb even did a book “Dark Alliance” on me and the cocaine epidemic. There’s no way someone in love with gang lore like William graduating HS in 96 came up with my name out of thin air. Somewhere between all the lyrics of my image as RICK ROSS moving bricks of cocaine, causing violence/mayhem and being a boss kingpin lost is how my image and right to rehabilitate it has been stolen and licensed. Then I contact Carol City HS just to see if he was All American, and they have no record of a William Roberts playing football in the 90′s. C’mon Man!!!
To have a man tattoo my name on his hands, and then not acknowledge why he did it is a disrespect to me, all my cell mates in for unfairly long crack sentences and the black community that was affected by the cocaine epidemic and Iran Contra Scandal. To have music labels profiteer by pushing the image of the dangerous black criminal is irresponsible. My recent article on Loop 21 and Toure’ article on the Washington Post are a must read to understand. Also you can see the Emmy nominated VH1 Documentary Planet Rock “History of Crack and Hip Hop” to see why my name made William Robert’s career. Telling young people with no hope because of poverty that you can sell drugs and parlay it into a record career is selling false hope.
TELL THE PEOPLE THE TRUTH, THEY GAVE YOU THE MONEY AND YOU HAVE NEVER SOLD A DRUG. IT’S OK TO BE WILLIAM ROBERTS II, rather than the second Rick Ross.