Freeway Rick Ross

How Hip-Hop Can Heal: A Message from Freeway Rick Ross on the Rick Ross, Young Jeezy BET Altercation

Originally published at Huffington Post, 10/1/12

“I’ve become a man of peace. My redemption keeps me strong.” -Stanley “Tookie” Williams founder of Crips

This weekend the news that came out of the BET award show about the altercation between the rapper using my name “Rick Ross” and “Young Jeezy” can only be described as disappointing. These are not fighters, they are entertainers, as much as they build their image on criminality – it is still an image. When art comes to imitate life it can become dangerous, because while these young men act out filling the shoes of their infamous heroes, they do so with out having walked in these shoes to prison cells or worse. As such the only winner that comes out of such a failure of celebration is the media that is able to characterize these actions as violent, perpetuating imagery of Hip Hop that has lasted far to long. In a moment of what is suppose to be a BET commemoration of achievement, these wealthy young men have created yet another stain on the American image of Hip Hop, black entertainment and young black men. Young men by the millions tune in to see role models, and receive this message of what to model themselves after for success. While this is not a deathblow to either’s career and through divine intervention no one was hurt, this does call us to come together and evaluate to avoid future incidents.

In the early 80’s as I rose to power one thing I saw was real money caused gang fighting between the Crips and Bloods to simmer down, in exchange for economic opportunity. The courts wanted to relate the drugs to the violence but that wasn’t the case. When we started selling drugs it was the first time you could see a Crip on a Blood’s block and they’re getting along because they’re trying to get money. When you are trying to get money you don’t want any violence. You don’t want violence making the police come around because that interrupts your cash flow. What seems to be happening in Hip Hop is the opposite; in some cases these artist produce violence because it is awarded with exposure, which validates their image of my life, and others like mine. The messages these young men are starting to emit through song, fashion and interviews is one of “get your weight up”, rather than let me help you up.

Rick Ross God Forgives I Don’t – So Sophisticated: “To get a verse from me, you gotta be initiated – To get a purse from me, she gotta be sophisticated – Purchase a whip from me and never miss a single payment -I’m from the city where the Muslims even Christians hate it – Even the black folk hate to see another ni**a made it – Tell all them p*ssies to chill, champagne refrigerated – Just bought a chopper ’cause the last one, got it confiscated – Counting a hundred mill so many times, I contemplated – You wanna be the hottest but that sh*t get complicated -I pull your card, I know you’re p*ssies by your conversation – Show you the safe, you’ll have to kill me for that combination… I’m the hottest and these other n*ggas cooling, ain’t it – I got a b*tch I’m f**ing that you see on BET -My lil’ Haiti shooters will have yo ass on TMZ.”

William Roberts pka “Rick Ross” you accomplished the goal you’re on TMZ, and BET for all the wrong reasons. Inside of these song’s lyrics is the kindling of a brushfire for violence, because the starting point is incorrect. It is a foundation built on low self esteem and selfish statements of I have what you can’t afford -from something as simple as a Passport and its stamps, to some European item that’s hard to pronounce and can even include a man’s mate in some of these songs. Hip-hop has the power to be so much more than that simple. At my height I did not make hundreds of millions to belittle those around me, this is what elitism has driven rap into becoming. A tool to marginalize the have-nots as rappers say what they invented, how they will protect it and how your less than for not being in the same class. The goal cannot be to have large sums of money to marginalize your fans with diamonds they don’t have, clothes they can’t afford or cars they have not seen.

The goal must be to use money to fund our faith centers, educational institutions and shelters for those in need. Black America today in mass is impoverished, some 10 million blacks live below the poverty line making less than $11,000 a year, and another large mass of blacks are classified as “near poor” by new census calculations. Likely making it around 2 in 3 blacks in America that are either poor or the newly classified “near poor”. Our goal in wealth must be to enjoy it, share it in charity, be the vision of our excluded great-grandparents and not allow it to destroy our purpose in achieving the American Dream of success for our community.
BET must also look to itself not only by saying that their failure was how they organized attendees. “Due to some misjudgment of select attendees, it is unfortunate that certain incidents took place. BET Networks does not condone any type of violence.” BET Network Statement. But in addition the network must look harder at its programming and the role it plays in creating an environment where social justice may not be a large enough part of programming goals for the network and the networks input on the artist it supports. A good step in the right direction by BET is the new piece they have airing in October by Marc Levin “Second Coming Election of Barack Obama”.

My partner Antonio Moore is a former prosecutor from years ago, and we speak often coming from entirely different sides of this thing called justice on what needs to occur, and undoubtedly it ends with maturation, responsibility and a call to social justice.

Look at the power of Jay-Z’s lyrics about my life story:

“Can’t you tell that I came from the dope game, Blame Reagan for makin’ me into a monster,…Blame Oliver North and Iran-contra/ I ran contraband that they sponsored.” Jay Z – Blue Magic

The power that can be wielded by our entertainers reaches so much further than those of the 60’s due to the globalization of their image. It is time to call on Hip Hop to be more and grow up and mature. As I attend the Emmys in New York this week for VH1 Planet Rock History of Crack and Hip Hop, I realize that Hip Hop can be a vehicle to explain how we survived a economic downturn. Even in my current battle with the rapper Rick Ross my end goal is not to destroy his career, but rather part of my goal for any resolution is to have him become part of the Freeway Literacy Foundation and teach positive messages to our youth across the nation. For that to happen Hip Hop must change its focus and its artist must become more oriented on the success of more than themselves (Ex:Dr. Dre Donates to Freeway Rick Ross Benefit Event by BET). Rap must heal itself by becoming a vanguard for social justice and causes that give purpose to idle resource.


My call today is for their to be peace and healing of longstanding wounds, for that to happen we must begin to be honest about why those wounds exist. Then truly come to the table to discuss how to help them heal for all of our sake.

Freeway Rick Ross
Coauthored Antonio Moore, Esq.

Follow Freeway Rick Ross on Twitter: www.twitter.com/FreewayRicky

  • double R doing articles for ahh dope … def we gotta do better … but lets not totally remove the battle element of hip hop …. but you know words end up turning into flying fist soooooooooooooooooooooooo #damn it goes back to when will we learn violence doesnt solve anything … if anything it subtracts things ie #druggame … if newport & marlboro started killing each other over market share the tobacco industry would be severly hurt altho thats legal it still holds the same weight … hip hop is legal …. altho its still mainstream and vibrant as a whole as far as financial and impact as far as viewership its on a serious downclimb … altho many blame the quality of music ……. i actually blame it on the quality business being handled in hip hop … too much dirty business going on ………………. mofos backbiting each other on twitter …. folks fighting @ formal events … mofos dieing over words … parties and shows getting turned out …. etc……..

  • TALK_BOSS

    It’s waaaay too late smh……Besides, not enuff people care…..

  • shaka

    i understand what you are saying sir, Mr. Ross, but the seeds we drop in soil of the universe grow and mature out of the very and many “things” we have done. I’m sure there are crack addict uncles and sons and other family members that feel the same way about you and what you have done prior to your new found enlightenment in prison, so dont attack an artist lyrics (that wasn’t that bad. i mean i can name countless other little corny sounding motherfuckers that sound way worst that what you have in quotations. ) all rappers at some point rap about shit they ant or have or done have–its hip hop, unruly, wild, innovative and responsive to the whims of society.
    so i think its tough to ask more of “Ricky Rozay” for doing what hip hop does to survive–which is sample shit, glorify it, get better at it and then make money off it, good or bad, happy or sad. The issue is not with the flashy jewels and personification, it is with the “funder” of such products that kill us, the lack of education we receive, and the simple fact that black America is at war and doesn’t know it or care to see it that way. so, the name of the game then becomes and is : be a fighter or a trader and in the realm of making money, we exist in between this game dying for a cause or dying because motherfuckers is being encouraged to kill one another. at least rick ross is not as “real” as Waka flocka claims to be. i think the music we respond shouldn’t be full of fantasies either but we all want to be something, its just that everything is setup for us to be against the “black self” or ” anti holistic black success” and it has been setup like that for years, whether its dope, dope dealers, dope musicians and dope music. you cant fault something you create or assisted in the creation of (he is paying homage to you…think about that for a second…he is worshipping what Rick Ross embodies…like scareface…) so the most you can do is teach your creation how to be a stronger sun, or do you and never forget the seeds you sow has to grow. its tough now after the fact, lesson learned. peace brother.

    • true but thats the past right now homey is trying to correct that … u gotta give him props for that … dont knock him down when hes on a positive climb …. i never got that … but we salute & support all of those who are on a negative climb ……….????????

      • Stop It 5

        No. You don’t get props for trying to extort Rozay through a letter. Be smarter than that homie. This dude may sound like he changed his stripes but he still a zebra to me.

      • YaheardSyndicate

        extortion? the dude stole his name, his beard, and raps about his life. You call the rapper “Rozay” like you know him or something. You need to come out of denial that your favorite rapper is a fraud, and a coon basically.

    • darmonidangz

      if william real goal is to pay homage to the real rick ross then cut that check so that he can continue to farm and plant seeds that will eventually grow and harvest a new way of thinking and understanding so to heal what has been damaged thats paying homage not only to the real rick ross but to your people as a whole

  • jpulliam

    Wow, a powerful message from someone who has lived the life that these clown azz rappers lie about. Jeezy, Rosay, 50, and a ton of other money making losers need to die off so that hip hop can live. BET, Jew media, and all the Jewish owners of hiphop will profit from this. At the same time they will continue to trash black culture. Anyone with a brain could have predicted violence at the BET show. That’s what monkeys do. Hip hop has turn into the worst aspect of black culture that exists. It no more than a spectacle or side show. These Jewish puppeteers got these niggaz trained. Act foolish, kill and fight, rap about it, and we’ll make you rich. Black dummies!

    • Stop It 5

      You may think Jews give a damn, but they don’t. They will get paid with or without Hip-Hop homie. Leave the Anti-Semitism for Farrakhan and those type folks. We can win even as they cheat the whole game.

      • jpulliam

        If I’m anti Semitic for calling out the jewish media and record company monopolies, then so are you for making the statement that they will get paid with or without hip hop. A positive stereo type is still a stereo type u f*kn clown azz chump. Its funny how you stand up for jews but didn’t mention one thing about me calling blacks monkeys. I see who you ridin wit playa. Ignant azz clown

      • jpulliam

        I see you have a man crush on Jay z. You probably live your life imitating these rap clowns that get the airtime. That dude aint on no throne. He just a disposable black rapper that’ll be replaced when he forgets his place. remember that homie!!! You all up his crotch right about now. You mention his circle as if you know who’s in it. F*#k you Pu$$y

    • Mskhill

      not sure as to why you included 50 in your statement. His music especially of late has never indulged in the subject of pushing dope. Violence I can give you that. but his actions outside of the booth are to the extreme left of the violence he talks about which he doesn’t hide from. At this point its entertainment, and his actions back that up. Rozay is trying to be and project that image of “Boss”. The ultimate fat, lazy, trick his money on a physically bad bitch who I’m sure doesn’t know how to use a broom or boil water. Jeezy has somewhat strayed from his nonsense … He rarely talks that cocaine rap now which is cool.. The violence in music doesn’t bother me because as long as it isn’t being lived in reality by that artist its just entertainment just like 90% of movies that are and will be made contain some form of violence be there blood or no blood. Jay z use to get pretty grimy on tracks and will still go there every now and then but again for him and fif its just entertainment.. Peace

      • Real talk

        Shut up bitch this ain’t no diva shit !!

      • Mskhill

        You obviously have no ability to read intently… If you read the words my words aren’t thoughts of a woman.. I just commented using my girl profile.. Learn how to read.. Sentence structure and word usage usually reveals from what gender words are written. Real talk your words imply your another pseudo tough internet thug. Real easy to act tough typing on a screen. you get to be someone your not in reality. The psychology is that very few people can be themselves but on the internet who they wanna be and who they are normally do not correlate.. much like a graphed tangent line. I know this may be a lil too deep for you. Its ok.. ..Remember people who have something to fight for are more dangerous than those who are just ignorant. Don’t bark up the wrong tree “dog”… Easy

      • Celz

        50 has slightly cleaned up his act. He is still serving his ego he will do anything to bring the next man down and did some very outlandish almost illegal things to Rozay in an attempt to ridicule him. Good for 50 for not mentioning crack lately (I really couldn’t tell you I don’t listen to him) but emulating his actions will leave you dead or in jail. Hopefully Lil Jojo and Rosemo weren’t emulating 50 by embarrassing rivals on social media.. Because 72 inches into the earth is where that got them.

        Edit: Specifically if you send goons to photograph a real gangsters mother you will either die, have to move, have to kill someone, or go to jail. And a Junior D.A. looking to earn stripes should easily be able to get you to plea on a terrorist threat charge w/ community service and probation unless you have a lawyer on retainer.

      • Def can’t include 50 in that statement…

  • Guest

    its funny how both rick ross’s also have the same look with the shaved head and beard and both used to be huge coke dealers lol

    • jpulliam

      One was not a huge coke dealer, hope you were being sarcastic. If not, you’re gullible as a little child.

      • TonyMon

        LOL! i hope there aren’t people out there that believe Robert Willams.

      • some people think he knows noreaga. the real noreaga and he owes him 500 favors

  • he jus a cry baby

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  • maybe Rick Ross should thank the rapper “Rick Ross” for making him relevant today.

    • he was always relevant. why do you think wr3 used his name?

  • Stop It 5

    I got to laugh when I read this. First of all, Ricky Ross is doing an about face and judging young men on how to circumvent the same problem you exploited nearly an entire generation and their children? Are you serious? Freeway can pretend to be a peace advocate if he wishes, but I see through the co-authored decree of hyprocrisy. You have a conflict of interest just by publishing this since you have failed to settle your issue with Rozay. Keep it 100 and stop trying to extort folks because you missed your boat, trying to skim millions underground. Your actions lead to someone’s family hurting. Strung out. Dying. Abusing the weight that you ran and profited from. You’re attempt to swashbuckle and whitewash your former life by playing the opposite side now is bold, but I see the wolf through what sheep call a powerful message. It’s actually embarassing, like the game’s best lacking discipline in they camps. Either play the devil turned angel or fade out altogether. This is situation is about economic opportunity, Jeezy and Rozay think will progress their careers forward. It may, but it will also get a Gunplay or Bleu Da Vinci put in a box. We knockdown Jay and guys like 50’s triumphs and headway they made with dumb shit like this over jealous quips sounding like tough talk and petty hallway bullshit. Knock it off. Get money. Give some back to those you “motivate” that support you. They look for you to lead, it’s time you give them a real reason to continue following for more than your Soundscan numbers. That’s the answer.

    • Your bugging!

      Almost sounds like you cosigning Officer Ricky stealing his name!

    • YaheardSyndicate

      You know nothing. The man paid his debt to society. You are riding the rapper Rick Ross’ dick so hard, you are in denial when someone speaks the truth. Only a dumb ass like you knocks positivity.

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  • Southcidal

    A “real” O.G.

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  • dominicancoke

    To mr freeway rick ross how dare you even judge these men? F#cking hypocrit while you were balling on dope money countless south los angeles kids suffered and whent hungry because they moms was sucking the glass pipe in some alley.you broke thousands of homes up due to your greed you created future criminals due to their broken homes caused by your enterprize. People are laying in coffins cause of you. You single
    handedly did more detrimental incedious things to your own people than any politician im not saying you havent changed but look at your comeback suing officer ricky you a publicity whore for that you notorious for poisoning your own kind. If you wanna do good than just do it on the low and keep it moving

    • Andrea Hosea

      lol @ “rick ross”

    • YaheardSyndicate

      he admits all of this that he was illiterate uneducated, poor and made all of the wrong choices. He spent enough time in jail to turn his life around, the whole point of jail. Would you rather he be cooning like your favorite rappers? Its like people cant accept that your favorite rappers are faking like they are him. Even in the Jay Z lyric he quotes, thats jay z rapping about his life. So he doesnt have the right to criticize that? your user name is Dominican Coke, so in a sense youre faking like your Rick Ross as well.

  • RUNNINGKC

    William Roberts fake wannabe ass needs to pay Rick Freeway Ross!!!

  • tellyourstoryfast

    interesting article. Most artist nowadays have to do what that label says or no pay just like a day job, right?I can say underground artist make the best music, independent, but there is some garbage, but most of good underground music last long, and is worth while. Most artist came from the ghetto, not having much. So when they do get the millions, they may still have that street mentality, of selfishness. Many have it, rich or poor. They take care of friends and people that really don’t benefit them, and they over look the orphan, widow(er), poor. PASSING OUT CHRISTMAS GIFTS REALLY MAKES A SCENE, AND GIVING OUT TURKEYS, AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES. IT SEEMS LIKE A FRONT,WITH NO SUBSTANCE.

  • MiiUziWeighsATon

    U just gotta applaud this son of a bytch for his powerful words….real talk from a real OG….damn that American Gangster cd was a monster…

  • MiiUziWeighsATon

    Its funny….Niggaz here are ripping Freeway a new asshole for his past indiscretions but will say Tookie is a martyr who died trying to give back without ever acknowledging that he along with Raymond Washington are responsible for every Crip that died flying the color blue…and for every crip set that branched off with a different color like purple or orange that lostyoung black men…smh…and just about everybody screamed Free Tookie

  • Carlos

    i love how he always finds a way to trow in there that he made millions of crack. And re: BET, they know what they are doing. They put them in the same place and same time on purpose.

    • Celz

      I hope he is using it to help validate his view instead of serving his ego. I’ve seen him in L.A. a few times at different events and he seems pretty humble but I never had a personal convo with him so who knows.

  • Mugshot_McGruff

    Smh at you dumb lil invalid niggrums.
    Freeway said what needed to be said and all you can do is whine about what he has done in the past put wont hold Chief Deputy William Roberts to any of the standards you have set from Freeway.

  • It’s unfortunate that people sit home behind a computer and automatically assume that they know for certain what these rappers do in their personal lives. I put nothing past anybody. Given the right situation, anybody can turn violent. Officer or no officer, who knows what the rapper Rick Ross does in his personal life? Who knows what Jeezy does? Most of you on this blog are twitter gangsters and facebook bullies. You would NEVER say it to their faces. On another note, it’s unfortunate that we as a hip hop community have to result to these extremes to prove a point. How many more Tupacs’, Biggies’, and Big L’s will there be?

  • PanAfrikan

    This man is on the positive side because he got caught and spent years in prison. If this idiot could find an opportunity to deal and not get caught, he would do it again. This petty old man tried to sue Rozay for using his name? If he thinks the name is what made Rozay big, let him drop an album produced by Dr. Dre as I can see there are friends. Any dumb person that deals cos of listening to ‘BMF’ is an idiot

  • ladynamor

    I am almost tired of waiting for this day to come. I have ALREADY given up on rappers. It may be too late to heal it, in my opinion. It is what they call “ruined”, “old news” doing more and more desperate things to get the shine back on it, but it is too dull to polish. Hate me for saying it but rap ruined its chance. Its over dawg. The people have grown more than the industry. Ironically, the “haves” are sheltered by the industry, and they haven’t grown outside of their bubble. The world has surpassed the entertainers in common sense, values, virtues and honesty. Souls have been sold and they are not willing to reflect on what they have done. They self medicate and feed their egos to suppress the pain of selling out a WHOLE CULTURE, for what? The same thing that made people push crack in the eighties, heroine in the sixties, liquor in the twenties, snake oil in the 1800’s, slaves in the 1700’s all the way back to the beginning of time, Money. It all comes down to the evils of money. The non-satisfaction of just living a basic life. Everyone has been programmed that success means having more than the next guy, then when they have it taken from them (jail or illness) they call on God and pray for life and freedom. “Just let me live Lord, that’s all I want, forget everything else”. I hear it ALL THE TIME. Spirit has a way of getting EVERYONE’S attention. Things happen to people along the way that leads them ALL right back to the basics of mere existence being most important. Every dog has it’s day.

    • Glasscut

      Ladynamor those are some solid words.. I almost want to include that in my tell all book.. I am writing about myself.. seriously there is nothing wrong with a simple life.. being peaceful and walking with peace.. seriously when you die your possesions will not go anywhere with you.. Just live life and respect one another.. when there is drama talk it out.. Kingdom of Nri

  • memphdiddy

    So..Rick Ross the rapper worked as a correctional officer and makes money lying. Rick Ross the bringer of crack lol worked for the CIA and made money lying. I think the name is appropriate. The whole game is smoke n mirrors and we have never..I repeat NEVER been in control…merely scapegoats. KNOW THE LEDGE because all of yall have fallen off.

  • WillVetterGoodin

    That, my friends is the REAL Freeway Ricky Ross if you have been misinformed by that lame highly obese Jewish correctional officer.

    • Glasscut

      Lol Rick false is not jewish.. Thats just for marketing pathetic.. as it is but true.

  • Kimberly Reese

    We know who is the real Ricky Ross, Maxine Walters stood by Freeway and thank god he is out of jail and he is doing great things in his life

  • Guest

    Good story.. my only point of contention is the claim “because while these young men act out filling the shoes of their infamous heroes, they do so with out having walked in these shoes to prison cells or worse.” Although I’m not a fan, I’m quite sure Gucci Mane has been in a prison cell a few times.