Not everyone is celebrating the success of rapper Rick Ross and is this album God Forgives, I Don’t.
Freeway Ricky Ross has an ongoing legal dispute with rapper Rick Ross, over the usage of his birth name, and Freeway Rick claims is the illegal usage of his image.
Rapper Rick Ross landed a high-profile cover of Rolling Stone this week, just as his album God Forgives, I Don’t hit #1 on the Billboard pop charts.
Freeway Ricky Ross issued a detailed response to AllHipHop.com in response to the Rolling Stone interview:
The answers by Rozay to being a correctional officer in this Rolling Stone article were BS, this is scripted to make it look like he had some struggle. No one tells you to go be a correctional officer before all the other jobs that build our community such as a Carpenter, Mechanic or Preacher.
They especially wont say it when their son just got convicted for a long sentence behind unfair drug laws. They tell you get a job , and don’t do crime. They don’t say “William my son is in jail for 20 years for a nonviolent offense, save yourself and go become his guard be a correctional officer.” William never sold drugs, so the whole idea he had to wash his hands is never cleared up. Why would you wash your hands for somebody else selling drugs, that you happened to know. Rozay needs to read Michelle Alexander’s book New Jim Crow to understand why that’s the case, and his real place in the crack epidemic. He also never tells us a name for this created friend. This is a disrespect to everyone who actually lived the game, people are serving 20 years all because they had to for survival and this guy is using my life and name this way.
Also there’s no record of him playing football at Carol City according to school staff, and he keeps talking about being popular from that as well with Rolling Stone so how can we believe anything in the interview?
News update: We are sending out deposition request early next week for Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Lyor Cohen Vice Chairman and Chairman and CEO of Warner and Todd Moscowitz, CEO Warner Brothers Records.
“The companies cannot wait to develop artist so they try to Fast Forward their talent,” Lyor Cohen said in an interview.
We believe this “fast forward” approach is what happened in the case with my name and William “Rozay” Roberts. There was an understanding of the value of my name, because of multiple millions being pushed globally, by all major news outlets to cover the Iran Contra and Crack epidemic and my involvement as Rick Ross. These music executives recognized it and set up to steal that value, because I had a life sentence and refused to include me in the process. I believe our kids need to see more than the glamor of my life, they need to see the cost too.
This is different from the case of Jay-Z/Jaz-O or 50 Cent/50 Cent for two fundamental reasons.
First – This is my birth name, it is not a nick name. As a result, what Rozay UMG/Warner did was when Rozay came out, they created confusion to the point that people thought I was a rapper giving automatic authenticity to William’s presentation of my life. That is not what happened with 50 cent or Jaz-O. These were understood as nicknames and no one actually thought Curtis was 50 Cent the robber, or Jay-Z was Jaz-O. People thought William was actually me, and his first single only solidified that was his intent by talking about all the pieces in the “Dark Alliance.” Manuel Noriega is a major player in the Iran-Contra Scandal. It’s undisputed, when Rozay said “I know Pablo, Noriega, the real Noriega. He owe me a hundred favors.” That is a direct correlation to my life. In an era where people will search your background, they looked and searched and thought he had lived my life and he gained support. I am 100% confident that if he had started off as a rapper and named himself William Roberts, and rapped about being a correctional officer, he would have never been successful.
Second: My name, unlike many others, is global. It was not just recognized on a normal neighborhood level. For the good and bad of it, I am one of the largest to have been in the drug business. When you look up Drug lord on Wikipedia it goes Manuel Noriega, Pablo Escobar then me Rick Ross. This scale of brand is entirely different than other examples, where the artist such as Sean Carter or Curtis Jackson had to create global consumer recognition. The name Rick Ross already had global recognition, unlike the prior examples. When I got out I met with the top execs in Hollywood within a week of leaving prison because of my story and my life.
I did not need Roberts, UMG or Warner to use my name to get recognized, but he needed my name to be successful to authenticate him telling my story. My story is one of the most powerful stories of the modern black era, and needs to be told not just from the glamorous side, but also the side that deals with with the cost of being the real deal dope man. It’s really hard for someone who never lived it to tell you those cost. You learn them when you lose a close friend to the game, or when you’re in a cell for 20 plus-hours, with a life sentence.