Artist Spotlight: Rick Ross

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William Leonard Roberts II was born January 28, 1976 in Clarksdale, Mississippi to Tommie Roberts and Sonny Ross. At an early age he moved to Miami’s Carol City area. Roberts II grew up during the height of the drug era in Miami. In high school he was a star on the football team and even received a scholarship to Albany State University. While he was in college he also began rapping and after doing a year in school he decided that college wasn’t for him and he dropped out to pursue his passion of music.

When he first began rapping he used the name Teflon Don but he changed it to Rick Ross after the stories he heard from the famous drug trafficker Freeway Rick Ross. His first single “Hustlin’” shook the rap industry in 2006. The line “Everyday I’m hustlin’,hustlin'” stuck with people and it became everyone’s anthem. “Hustlin'” was certified gold. It was the spark Ross needed to begin his rap career.  Soon after he released “Hustlin’” Ross was signed to Def Jam Records.

He debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with his 2006 debut, ‘Port of Miami’. His sophomore album in 2008, ‘Trilla’  named after Michael Jackson’s Thriller,  also debuted at No. 1. Following his success, Ross began to tour and collaborate with popular acts including R. Kelly, Flo Rida, Nelly and T-Pain. In 2009 he released his third album, ‘Deeper Than Rap’.  The same year, Ross launched Maybach Music Group. The label would achieve great success, releasing albums by Meek Mill, Wale and Omarion.

Running a label didn’t slow down Ross. He released ‘Teflon Don’ in 2010 followed by the MMG compilation ‘Self Made Vol. 1’ a year later, and then he released ‘God Forgives, I Don’t’ in 2012. During this time he worked with Kanye West, Gucci Mane, CeeLo Green, Drake, Dr. Dre and Andre 3000.

‘God Forgives, I Don’t’ was nominated for a Best Album Grammy in 2013, and he followed with ‘Mastermind’ and ‘Hood Billionaire’, both in 2014. Album No. 8, ‘Black Market’, came out at the close of 2015. His ninth album release, ‘Rather You Than Me’, dropped in 2017.

Ross began talking about the works of ‘Port of Miami 2’ in 2017 which was supposed to be released in 2018 but due to a health scare the album wasn’t finished until this year. Ross suffered from a seizure that nearly killed him. After he recovered, he began focusing on the multiple franchises of Wingstops and Checkers that he owned. He also began living a healthier lifestyle.

On August 9th, Ross released his 10th studio album, ‘Port of Miami 2’, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. He also published a book entitled Hurricanes, soon after the album released.

Trevin Day is a Graduating Senior Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Lafayette, Louisiana. He will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2019-2020 academic year.

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