Keeping it real may be cliché in Hip-Hop, but the philosophy behind the statement remains the backbone of many rappers.
Rick Ross, keeping it real was put to the test as the Miami-based
rappers credibility came into question amid allegations concerning his
background. The rapper, who is known for his gritty rhymes about street
life, spoke out in July about pictures that surfaced of him being
depicted as a corrections officer.
life is 100% real, Ross said. These online hackers putting a picture
of my face when I was a teenager in high school on other peoples' body.
If this s**t was real don't you think they would have more specifics,
like dates and everything?... I live by this die by this. Fake pictures
are created by the fake, meant to entertain the fake." Despite
Ross denial, his past employment was confirmed by TheSmokingGun.com as
the site reported that the 32-year-old rapper graduated from the
Florida Department of Corrections training academy. In addition, Ross
social security number matched that of a William Roberts, who was
assigned to the South Florida Reception Center in Dade County. As
it turned out, the entertainer was appointed a prison guard in December
of 1995 when he was 19. Ross worked as a guard before leaving the
position in 1997. Ross once again weighed in on the controversy as he told Phoenix, Arizona radio station Power 98.3
(KKFR-FM) that he was a victim of a massive smear campaign . The rapper
further verified that the content of his raps are real and based on
actual experiences as he revealed to Don Diva magazine that he never attempted to hide his past from anyone. The
remarks came as news of Ross namesake, Freeway Ricky Ross, taking
the rapper to task for stealing his name to create a phony street
persona came to light. Fallout
from the C.O. controversy came to a head in August as gunfire put a stop
to the second annual Rick Ross Be Out Day at Carol City Park. According
to one witness, the event ended with people fleeing the scene for their
lives. Police later confirmed that they had one man in custody related
to the incident. Ross
downplayed the shooting as he revealed that he stayed at the Rick Ross
Charities, Inc.-hosted event to meet with fans and do short performance
in an effort to end things on a positive note.
While he endured the consequences of his past coming to light, Ross still had a worthwhile 2008 with the success of his album Trilla. The release, which spawned the hit singles The Boss and Here I Am, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in March.
may be biggest boss that you seen thus far, but the future has yet to
reveal whether fans will remain loyal to Ross or terminate his status
among the rap elite.