The Bawse is a former officer with the Florida Department of Corrections.
Of course, though, he usually plays the role of gangsta thug drug dealer who "got a chopper in the car." Hence the professional moniker, Rick Ross, a name lifted from an infamous Cali crack peddler.
But on a new song, "I Wonder Why," the Carol City rapper (born William Leonard Roberts II) casts himself as gunned-down Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin.
Now it could be considered dubious for Ross, a guy who usually espouses the identities of murderous, gun-toting crime kingpins ("I think I'm Big Meech, Larry Hoover"), to appropriate the story of a kid like Trayvon, tragically killed by a man with a Kel-Tec 9.
And it could be considered opportunistic for Ross, a guy with no real penchant (or proven talent) for sociopolitical philosophizing, to toss off a very timely verse about one of the most complex murder cases in recent American history.
And it could be considered inappropriate for Ross, a guy who's just been taken to task for rapping about rape (and then offering several insincere, half-assed apologies), to lay down ethical judgments of any kind.
Still, over a deep, dark, gothic-hood beat, Ross momentarily inhabits a Trayvon-like character, paraphrasing trial witness Rachel Jeantel's account of Martin's description of George Zimmerman, rapping, "Now I'm being followed by some creepy-ass cracker."
Then the Bawse barks "Stand your ground/Stand your ground/You gotta stand your ground" before clumsily reimagining Trayvon Martin as a hard-ass thug who "got on my hoodie and my motherfuckin' Desert Eagle."
What? Is Ross endorsing Stand Your Ground laws? And does he actually think the real tragedy of this case is that Trayvon didn't have his own gun?
Who knows. And there's no point in attempting to parse Ross' argument. It's incoherent.
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Let's just say he has the right to speak his mind. It's just beyond unfortunate that while also talking trash about "selfies" and riffing about "big bidness," he tries so ineptly to tackle the Trayvon Martin story.
Because a "Desert Eagle" probably isn't the answer.