A blown-up poster of the Port of Miami album cover was wedged in the corner of Komodo’s top floor. Rick Ross, at our request, took a moment to glance back at it and reflect.
There he was: somber, looking down at a shiny medallion with the words "Carol City Cartel" carved into the edges.
What was going through his head? “I was at peace right then,” Ross says, ignoring the dessert that’s just been laid in front of him. He was only 30 at the time, unknowingly on the eve of an album that would start a decade-long career. “What I knew was: I was gonna go harder than a motherfucker.”
Yesterday, August 8, 2016, marked exactly ten years since Rick Ross’ debut album, Port of
Yesterday, Ross also announced he will celebrate Port of Miami’s anniversary with a concert at the actual Port of Miami, a place not known as a music venue — at all.
“This will be my biggest performance ever,” Ross tells New Times. “For one, I’m at home. I’m outdoors. The fucking ocean and the breeze
Ross says the concert was his idea, but details about the performance thus far are being kept quiet — logistics like capacity and transportation have yet to be revealed. Most of those details will fall on the shoulder of Jay Z’s streaming service, Tidal, the concert’s sponsor.
"If there’s anybody who can pull it off, it’s Tidal,” Ross says.
Port of Miami launched Ross' meteor of a career and solidified a new era in modern rap, one heavy on hype and bravado that fused luxury and gangster together as one. The album, along with the breakout single "Hustlin'," quickly earned Ross the title of Miami’s most successful rapper pretty much ever.
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About 50 people attended the dinner at Komodo. Timbaland was the most recognizable face in attendance, though the guest list was a reunion of sorts for Ross, who hosted old associates and friends, some of whom he hadn't seen since Port of Miami's release.
If Ross could go back ten years and say something to himself then, his message would be simple. “Pray, man," he'd tell himself. "I’d say, pray. Be patient.”
His advice to other Miami kids out there who, one day, hope to find themselves rapping on a shipping container too is similarly uplifting.
“I want you to know that you can do it. I want you to know that it’s inside of you. Be patient. Remain loyal. Empower those around you.”