Rick Ross at Mansion

Maybe Mr. Officer Ricky Rozay never flooded the streets with keys. But the facts don't really matter. It's been two years, a couple of months, and a pair of solo albums since the Carol City rapper (real name William Leonard Roberts II) got outed as a former Florida Department of Corrections employee. And still he's running the game.

When the rumors first infected the Internet, you could've bet stacks of cash money that the news would kill Ross's career. Initially, he denied the accusations, claiming that evil Photoshop wizards used digital trickery to superimpose his face onto a corrections officer's body. ("Fake pictures are created by the fake, meant to entertain the fake," he told AllHipHop.com.) Eventually, though, Ross copped.


Rick Ross

11 p.m. Friday, October 8, at Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-8411; mansionmiami.com. Tickets cost $30 in advance via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up.

That should have been the end. But with last year's Deeper Than Rap, the Boss managed to re-up his rep by making the case (on tracks like "Valley of Death") that he'd been pulling double duty — working the clink while selling drugs on the side. It was genius damage control.

Now Ricky Rozay's continuing to spread this reinvented origin myth on his new 11-cut collection, Teflon Don. It's a loose, synth-soaked gangsta millionaire epic that might be his best record ever. But it's also another heaping reminder that mainstream rap's coke-slangin', bitch-slappin', ass-cappin' thug posturing isn't strictly memoir. This shit is show business.


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