In Defense of Rick Ross
Photo by Alex Markow
It's hard being the Bawse. Just ask Rick Ross.
Miami's most famous rapper is no stranger to controversy. Between his 18-month stint as a correctional officer at the South Florida Reception Center and those "U.O.E.N.O." lyrics about a molly sex assault, it's pretty easy to throw hate in Ross' direction.
The original "Freeway" Rick Ross, a reformed drug trafficker, had beef with the rapper for stealing his name. 50 Cent made several diss tracks about Officer Ricky. There was even some rapper named Teflon Don who tried to sue Ross over his album of the same name.
It seems Ricky can't catch a break.
Photo by Alex Markow
We understand why Miami's relationship with Rick Ross might be a little tricky. We've got a bit of a love/hate thing going on. But we also understand Miami has to look out for its own.
And if there's one thing you can't take away from Ross, it's the 305.
Rick Ross' debut album was called Port of Miami. He filmed the music video for his first single, "Hustlin'," in Overtown. Pitbull and Trick Daddy both made cameos. This guy reps his city.
And do you remember when "Hustlin'" dropped back in 2006? Don't try and act like everyone you know wasn't going around rapping, "Who the fuck you think you're fucking with? I'm the fucking boss."
Or what about when "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" came out in 2010. It was everywhere. You couldn't leave your house without hearing, "I think I'm Big Meech! Larry Hoover!"
And don't get us started on "The Devil Is A Lie," which was released less than a year ago. "Two mil on that I-95." The song may be one of Ross' finest yet. Throw in a nasty verse from Jay Z and you've got yourself a classic.
What we mean is, if nothing else, the dude is consistent. Practically every album he's released packed a couple hit singles. And the quality of songs he's been producing since he got in the game has been steady. In fact, we would even argue that he's improved quite a bit from when he first started.
See also: Ten Best Miami Rap Anthems Ever
And who can deny that Rick Ross has his own inimitable style? He's got presence on a beat. His songs are a mix of gangsta rap and club music. And he spins intricate tales of life in the streets, whether fictional or not.
That's why Ross was such a breath of fresh air when he first broke into the mainstream in 2006. He was different from the generic hip-pop bullshit that dominated the airwaves in the early 2000s.
And if nowadays he sounds like the current wave of generic hip-hop bullshit always on the radio, that's only a testament to the level of Ross' influence on rap.
So what if he isn't the most authentic gangsta in the game? Why do rappers have to be real? If they actually did the things they talked about all the time, they'd probably be in prison. No, they'd definitely be in prison.
It isn't as if when Johnny Cash sang, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die," we expected him to have actually done it.
Maybe Rick Ross didn't preside over a drug empire like "Freeway" did. And instead of getting shot nine times like 50 Cent, he worked as a correctional officer. Everybody's got to make their paper some way.
At the end of the day, does an artist's background really matter, as long as you like their music?
Sure, Fiddy came from the streets of New York City, but his hit single "In Da Club" isn't necessarily reflective of that lifestyle. It's reflective of a frat-bro's lifestyle. And that's fine, because it's a good song. That's all we have a right to expect from musicians.
Rick Ross has a bunch of great songs, and he's holding it down internationally for the city of Miami.
So Mr. Teflon Don, Ricky Rozay, Da Bawse himself ... Keep doing what you do. The 305 stands with you.
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