“No, Virginia. Rick Ross Ain’t Gangsta”: Rap’s X-mas Reality Check

“In the real world these just people with ideas/They just like me and you when the smoke and camera disappear” – “Hip Hop”, Dead Prez

When Virgina “V-Gangsta” O’Hanlon’s homegirl broke the news to her that Santa Claus was a big fat fake, it didn’t faze her one bit. As long as she still got her Lil’ Wayne CD for Christmas, she was good. But years later, when she found out that her new favorite rapper, Rick Ross, wasn’t the gangster she had grown to know and love, she went into a violent rage, followed by a major depression lasting several days…

Recently, mainstream America got hip to something that “the ‘hood” already knew. Their beloved Grammy-nominated gangsta, William “Rick Ross” Roberts wasn’t a gangster after all. He just played one on TV.

This has sent his suburban fans searching for a “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” type of affirmation. Just like Virginia O’Hanlon, when she wrote the famous letter to the New York Sun back in 1897, asking for reassurance that the Jolly Ol’ Soul was real after her friends told her that Ol’ St. Nick was just a trick, Rick Ross fans are sheddin’ tears in their eggnog, yellin’ “Say it ain’t so!”

Last week, Rick Ross cancelled the remaining dates of his MMG (Maybach Music Group) Tour, reportedly because of YouTube videos posted by members of The Gangster Disciples who threatened to step to Roberts for shoutin’ out their leader’s name on one of his songs, and using their gang symbol on a CD cover without breakin’ them off a little royalty cash.

To make matters worst, the rapper has beef with convicted drug dealer, Freeway Ricky Ross, of the infamous Iran/Contra/Compton cocaine connection that was alleged in the ’90s by the late reporter, Gary Webb. Apparently, Freeway Ricky Ross is miffed that rapper Rick Ross has the nerve to use his popularity of contributing to the genocide of thousands of children in the ‘hood to sell records that glamorize the genocide of thousands of children in the ‘hood.

rick rossNot to mention the die hard Tupac Shakur fans who are hatin’ on him for having the audacity to proclaim himself the reincarnation of the “father of THUG LIFE.”

However, the main people upset by the revoking of Rick Ross’s ghetto pass are members of his Caucasian crossover fan club who, vicariously, live the ghetto life through their favorite rappers from the comfort of their spacious homes in the ‘burbs.

Someone once said, insubstantially, that 80% of the kids who buy Rap music are white. While we are not sure how he, scientifically, arrived at that figure, he’s probably darn close if you look at whose parents have the most disposable income.

During the mid to late ’70s, Hip -Hop started as an obscure form of party music barely known outside of four of the five NYC boroughs. However, with the release of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” Rap music became White America’s long range telescope for viewing urban blight. During the late ’80s, Public Enemy frontman, Chuck D, proclaimed Rap “the CNN of Black America.” Shortly after this pronouncement, NWA brought Gangsta Rap to the forefront and rappers became the epitome of Tall, Dark and Dumb, the dudes that all of the cool, White guys wanted to be like, and the hip, White chicks wanted to be with.

Grandmaster B_Bud BundyThe best example of the origin of this idea would probably be the miraculous transformation of nerdy “Bud Bundy” to “Grandmaster B” from the early ’90s sitcom, “Married With Children.”

So for White kids, “Gangsta rappers” were the perfect Christmas gift, like a life size, thugged out version of a GI Joe with the kung fu grip. Or Shirley Temple’s “Mr. Bojangles” with street swagger, willing to buck dance at the drop of a dollar.

But last week, the charade came to an abrupt ending, when Middle America had to come to grips with the fact that maybe their superheroes of the ‘hood weren’t so super after all.

They finally had to deal with the reality that it was all one big joke, and the joke was on them. Although the music industry marketing gurus could spin the well known fact in Hip-Hop circles that Rick Ross was a former correctional officer, earning him the title a la rapper 50 Cent, “Officer Ricky,” the idea that a feared Gangsta rapper is scared of gangsters is an unforgivable sin in Hip-Hop. He might as well have done a duet with Barry Manilow.

But it’s not just William Roberts who is perpetratin’ a fraud. Many of the fiercest Gangsta rappers and producers in the industry are actually college educated, from Suge Knight to Sean “Puffy” Combs. Even Robert ‘s fellow Grammy nominee Tauheed “2 Chainz” Epps attended college on an athletic scholarship during the mid ’90s, despite his lyrical content that centers around “big booty hoes.”

But the question is, now that the jack-in-the-box is out of Santa’s bag, where does Hip-Hop go from here?

The music executives can either allow Hip-Hop to grow up and once again become socially relevant, or they can continue on their fool’s errand of trying to fool all of the people all of the time.

History teaches us that they will probably try to make a feeble attempt at the latter. I mean, if they can turn a C.O. into an O.G., I guess anything is possible. But in reality, the future direction of Hip-Hop depends on the gullibility of the consumer.

Just like the cop-out that a parent gives his child when she finds her toy pony hidden in the garage two days before Christmas:

“Santa exists as long as you believe he does.”

So does Gangsta Rap, Virginia. So does Gangsta Rap.”


TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s website is NoWarningShotsFired.com. He can be reached at info@nowarningshotsfired.com or on Twitter (@truthminista).

  • hoeyuno

    yea!!! grandmaster b!! wheres Kelly??

  • Allessandra

    So I am white and I have known since day one that Ricky Rozay is a big fat phony. I have disliked him ever since he stomped into my homeland (Colombia) and claimed to the jefe … that was his first and biggest mistake. And furthermore where do you get your facts from? This is blatant racism by the way (“the comfort of their spacious home in the burbs” you are joking right?). Is music not for every race? Or is hip-hop only for African Americans?

    • Freebe Jackson

      are you white or are you columbian??? lol

      • Colombian is not a race

      • Freebe Jackson

        So Colombians identify with white more than hispanic

      • Guest

        He said he is white, why relate to hispanic or anyone else?lol

    • timwest1000

      Yes it is just for african americans, thank you. just kidding, you can be entertained by it but why do you always have to put your two cents in? White people mess
      everything up. You guys are so fake and wannebe ish it makes everything corny and generic, be yourselves for once. It is what it is. White people need to invent something of their own sometimes, jus saying. Every music that black americans invented was stolen by white people and exploited until it was killed, JUST SAYING!

      • daveofthematthews

        We did invent something of our own thank you, They were called the Beatles then you (The Americans) went and shot one of them, So yeah thanks for that…..Maybe best we just carry on copying you guy’s! 😉

      • timwest1000

        Personally I dont give a damn what the brits do BUT they even admitted to having stole from the Isley Brothers and Little Richard. Whooo. Check your history before you try that crap.

      • daveofthematthews

        You do realize i was being sarcastic right?

      • n n

        dumb ass the beatles were doing rock and roll music .lol and from england white people do not invent shit but chaos.lol

      • jondoe

        But there style was stolen from blacks such as chuck berry

  • No1rapSinger

    What a bad article. You think these white kids who buy “80%” of rap music wouldn’t have known about the beef between two of raps biggest stars (50 and Ross) and the fact Ross was a correctional officer? I mean really? You say the 80% figure is probably close and you run a rap website but you take this 80% for fools, talk about biting the hand that feeds you, lame.

    • Guest

      Yea they obviously havent noticed yet most rappers name themselves after white mobsters.actual mobsters. Zzz


    Racist af

  • tbologna

    A basic run-down of the article.

    (1) The argument that Rick Ross suddenly became unpopular because people found out he worked as a corrections officer is erroneous. The Smoking Gun published the story in 2008. Rick Ross’s album The Teflon Don went gold in 2010, as did his subsequent album “God Forgives, I don’t.” He contributed to “I’m On One” in 2011 and that topped the music charts. It’s 2012, going on 2013. People have known Rick Ross wasn’t a gangster for years now. The author of this article is too lazy to do basic research.

    (2) I had to laugh at you saying guys like Freeway Rick Ross are responsible for the genocide of children in the ‘hood (presumably black people) while at the same time suggesting that people in the ‘hood don’t have enough disposable income to afford Rick Ross’s music. Who do you think is buying most of the cocaine or drugs generally in this country? Guys that can’t afford a 99 cent song on iTunes and make up a fairly small minority of the population? And who do you think they’re buying from? The guy in a completely unfamiliar, poor, predominantly black, and possibly dangerous neighborhood? What a joke.

    (3) Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, etc. aren’t popular because white people think those guys are gangsters. They’re popular because clubbers like their music and the songs are played a lot in clubs. The most popular/best-selling rap songs are the ones that work best in clubs/dancing.

    (4) Finally,being black and poor doesn’t make a person a gangster any more than being middle class and white bars a person from blue collar criminality. In conclusion, you’re lazy, short-sighted, racist, and based on your genocide comment, ironically ignorant about the very topics (in that case – drug-dealing) you purport to be knowledgeable about. Congrats.

    • leftlanekb

      Co sign
      50 been told you about Ross so that cat been out the bag
      Its just music, Beats and Lyrics
      Only these other fake gangstas (or wanna-be) take this rap shit serious ITS JUST ENTERTAINMENT

  • WillVetterGoodin

    With Suge, anything’s possible! Expect Mr. Highly obese Jewish correctional officer to change his name… either to rozay……or yes i’d like cheese on that…and can you super size it?

  • This has got to be one of the worst articles I have read on this site…I have been an avid hiphop head since the early 90’s and to say that a group of people has been bamboozled is crazy…for the true hip hop heads we know real…i never listened to gangster rap to be cool or like someone else, i listened to it to hear the story and pain from another human being and the frustrations suffered from a government that forgot them

    • timwest1000

      you sound retarded and white

  • Another AHH article that reeled me in with an interesting title only to mentioned what we already knew. Being white, I was a little offended by this. This makes the asumption that all white rap fans only listen to rap so we can live vicariously through the rappers stories. That was probably true when i was 15 years old, but at 27 years old I could care less about who is a gangster and who isnt. I have actually grown away from the “shoot’em up” stuff and moved more towards intelligent lyricism. (mostly because I cant relate to shooting people) Dont get me wrong, I still like 50 Cent and Officer Ricky is a decent lyricist, but its only entertainment. Hearing Rick Ross is not a gangster was about as revealing as hearing Sylvester Stalone really didnt box in Philly. BTW…No one ever thought Puffy was a gangster. “Dont worry if I write rhymes, I write checks…”

    • MiiUziWeighsATon


    • Troll_E_G

      U said it was true u lived threw rappers at 15 but not at 2 so that means u were fake then n fake now

  • timwest1000

    Outside of myself, all the haters of this article are the angry white boys that is referenced in the article. Lay the trap, the fake gangsters eat the cheese. You dirty rats! LMAO Great article yo. Truth hurts and takes a while to sink in.

  • Nolo

    Americans are funny, Hip hop is just music. A person should be judged from the music he makes, whats in between is stories that they relate to the world through their gift. To break it down:

    Ross has been making some great music through the years, the fact that he is not a gangster or lives the life he raps about is irrelevant, I mean you have to be a dumm A$$ Monkey to believe these raps instead of enjoys the poetry and flow.

    And labels didn’t kill Hiphop dumm A$$ hip hop fans did, that’s why artists feel as if they need to rap about this stupid gangster life and big booty hoes to sell records. no one appreciates good poetry, story telling and word play. I mean how are people proud of killing each other and then idolize Tupac when you clearly don’t understand what the man stood for????? he said shoot the oppressor/aggressor (this is not just the “white man”, but drugs, gang violence, the abuse of women and children, killing innocent people).

    All I’m saying is wake the F**k up America.

    • bigdoe6

      Wrong, Hip Hop is not just music. Hip Hop is a culture gone global. Music is a form of art within the culture just like graffitti, photography, and even fashion. Creativity is built around Hip Hop. It’s so many elements. Some creative African American kids created and developed Hip Hop in Bronx NY. Corporate america decided to cash in on the culture and capitalize from it.

      • Exactly.

      • leftlanekb

        KRS-one was trying to get it doctrine as a religion if not already done so you are right. But i must say the only way Corporate america can cash in on is by us (people) buying it.

      • Nolo

        see I agree with your last line, people need to stop supporting music that perpetuates violence and gangsterism. Only then will artists focus on giving us their talent on an entire album and one 3 our of 15 tracks

    • daveofthematthews

      I agree with some of what you say some Hip Hop fans are gullible and very Fickle But the Artist you chose to defend in this context i don’t agree with, Ross is not the one making dope music it’s the producers he works with that make him sound better than he is. IMO

      • Nolo

        Dude come on now Producers? so you are suggesting that all the artists that worked with DRE were only good because he made them sound good? No matter what people out of all your new school cats from Wayne to Montana to 2 chains, Rick Ross has put out some decent music with Lyrical content. I mean just the line ….”Baby mothers I hate them, they just want you to pay, I’m in love with my babies” How many brothers/Men can relate to that. My daughters mom wanted 18k a month at one point for a 5 month old child. Now that real, I connected with him on that song and actual most of the album.

    • Q.

      LOL. If the “poetry” is irrelevant, then let’s just make raps about raping nuns, baking Jews, stomping pregant women, and setting handicapped kids on fire. Does that sound OK? Oh! I didn’t think so.

      This is our culture. Everything has meaning. And we’re tired of these corporate-sponsored buffoons poisoning our kids’ minds. And unless you’re Amish, just about everyone is subject to mental attack by this mass media fukcery, music purchases aside.

      • Nolo

        “baking Jews, Stomping pregnant women…..” buddy you need to find Jesus or Mohammed real quick.

      • Q.

        So, you got my point.

  • lol @ irate white folks on a Hip-Hop site mad at their “misrepresentation.” AHH staff, ya’ll killed your own build. Back in the day, the core builders would have ran these coons off the site. And by coons, I’m speaking of ya’ll loggin in, feeling misrepresented as white. That’s funny.

  • baller187

    irrelevant ross is a multi milionaire, so what so stupid ass GD cut a few shows, dont mean nothin he makes good music and will continue on

  • Adrian Barron

    article was IFFY but that picture of BUD from MARRIED WITH CHILDREN was entertaining – i remember that episode too

  • CanYouAllHearMe

    I remember back when he first came out my boy was like yo you heard that hustlin joint and the next day i see the video and was like is this guy 4real ? you can tell his a fraud without knowing he was a co or went to university to study criminal justice and shot a inmate and all the rest because his act is way over the top its just not believable and i have never understood how people can say it doesnt matter the music is good lol

  • SEEDS INT HE GAME, The Next Generation (mixtape) hosted by Azie Faison and Freeway Rick Ross, feat. knowns and soon-to-be knowns—> Coming atcha SOON!!

  • Reblogged this on The Music Business Revisionist.

  • Brendizzle

    Hey white kids, stop crying racism you sensitive little pricks.

    Roughly 80% of all popular music is bought by middle class white kids. Before the internet I was a poor white kid and I used to borrow my middle class friend’s CDs and tape that shit. People with nice comfortable lives love a little taste of the other side. It happened with rock n roll and punk before hip hop existed. It will happen again with the next form of popular rebellion.

    Second, a little artistic license should be allowed in any art form. Ice Cube didn’t kill anybody, Bob Marley didn’t shoot the sheriff and David Bowie never went to space (I don’t think). The problem with Rick Ross, Akon and rappers like them is they keep claiming that life when the leave the booth/stage instead of admitting it’s mostly entertainment. The real gangsters in the game keep that shit out of interviews etc. Nothing stupider than snitching on yourself

  • MiiUziWeighsATon

    What’s with this racist shyt….do you mafukkaz even remember when we couldnt get a grammy nod….remember when you had to stay up til 3am to catch hip hop on the radio…outside of a block party you never saw a MC in front of a dj spitting cuz our brandvof music was deemed unworthy of a show/concert….LOOK AT WHERE HIP HOP IS AND ITS BECAUSE IT OUTGREW THE HOOD AND TRAVELED INTO BEVERLY HILLS….Japan still has battles of the dj shere cutting and scratching is alive….white niggaz are tagging and bombing on MOUNTAINS…some village in the deepest darkest regions of Africa where there is no electricity there is a mural of Big an Pac…some of the meanest battle MCs are white…my point is this, hip hop needed to be accepted by whitey, cuz every other race follows what is accepted by whitey andbthis is truth…every race hates blacks because whites hate blacks…true shyt…white people love hip hop, created a great white hope in Eminem, conned niggaz into calling him the GOAT and in a climate where albums sales are almost null and void, Em will go diamond without trying hard…but without this love whitey has for hip hop, hip hop goes back to the basement, back to the block, back into oblivion…you cant be mad at whitey for picking up on this shyt and running to the bank wit it, whitey a natural born hustler but he doesnt get to pick an choose what wevwill and will not tolerate….had niggaz from NYC not fell for that NWA sound of hard, profane, and violent lyrics there would be no gangsta rap except at the block parties in the nigga parts of LA….MOS DEF would top dog…Jean Grey would have blown up…Eminem woulda got boo’d and sent back to the mile…Tupac wouldnt be dead and ThugLife wouldn’t have been needed…Big woulda still been in an out of jail and woulda just been known as that fat nigga from BedSty who could spit while on Rikers…Big L still woulda got killed cuz he died for shyt his gangsta ass brother did but maybe the world woulda got a whiff of him before his demise

  • Terrance Goodman

    This fat lard ass does not know what a damn thug stands for as most
    Do not know

  • jondoe

    I knew rick ross was suspect ever since he said ” I know pablo..noreaga, the real noreaga he owe me 100 favors”. & yes we all know rick’s & alot of rappers fabricate there stories but atleast when you know they experience some of what they’re saying then you feel it more. Its nothing like hearing Jay-z tell a story about how he shot his brother or Biggie telling stories about how he used to sell drugs because you know its partially true. Tupac said “Everything i rap about, if i didnt experience it myself, I witnessed someone close to me go through it” so he can rap about it if he seen it, but you can’t take ross seriously when you know he’s blatantly lying

    • Tupac was a balerina. He could only lie so much.just sayin.

      • jondoe

        Tupac was gangsta I don’t care what nobody say that nigga was not no hoe

    • donsan

      al yo fake ass nigga dissin ross r just fake pple, its all about rap music, we all love him here in nigeria, lagos. u niggas cant hold him back

      • jondoe

        yall like everybody, ja rule can sell out a fuckin show over there

  • ATGreat

    people should not judge, he still can bust your ass!!

  • Shaun

    Did this dude who wrote this article really just consider P.Diddy as a Gangsta rapper? That’s ridiculous.

  • Q.

    At this point, the true stars of RAP music are the producers. If it wasn’t for these talented beatmakers, most of these rap dufuses wouldn’t get a second listen. Why? Because their bars sound like they ate paint chips as a kid.

    Radio’s better off just playing the instrumentals. It’s all stripper music anyway, right? Isn’t it?

  • Pingback: “No, Virginia. Rick Ross Ain’t Gangsta”: Rap’s X-mas Reality Check – AllHipHop :: Rap Video Beat()

  • this was a great post, someone needed to speak on this bullshit on a site like this…

  • jatinder

    there slaying free way rick he grown up in the ghettos how many black youths end up drug dealers who was his source that he dint know about where the drugs was coming from CIA he’s doing alot of good for society now …

  • Guest

    Who wrote this crap? Rappers have been writting n selling their delisional lives since the begining of rap music.its what rap music is.now count me how many of em have gotti,gambino, cappo etc in their names? Sorry to wake u up bitch,but those real gangstas were white.
    Promoters did cancel,cuz theyre not gonna take a risk of havin the club shut up by drunk idiots who we all know cant aim.
    Or as ur ghettoass calls it “gangsta”.
    Go to school,ho.its free for u anyway

  • Looking at all these comments….”NoWarningShotsFired” ((((POW)))
    Has Stimulated UR MINDS AGAIN !!!!! #SALUTE

  • ccwaterbound32

    i concur with this post but to an extent because you have several white people who have an appreciation for real authentic hip hop and who actually feel these records because they themselves are going through certain situations that some of these records touch on… however there is an overwhelming majority of them who love to listen to the self destructive boastful arrogant and often times ignorant “rap” that doesn’t reflect the full spectrum of the black/latino community we have to keep in mind that as long as mainstream thrives real hip hop dies,,, if the underground is well nourished then the entire culture will flourish… (kinda tight huh?)

  • messias3

    So Hip – Hop is a culture?!? … Rap … Break dancing … Graffiti .. are all elements of Hip-Hip?!? And “Gangsta Rap” is killing Hip-Hop because it sells?!? Well … ummm … do/can any of the other element of Hip-Hop bring in enough profit to feed and family? Like how many Break Dancers are seen out your window?…. I have grown up with Hip-Hop … but Love the Rap part a little more … and will live and die 4da love of Hip-Hop … Jinxxx De’Messias 420