| February 5, 2013 | 8:00am
Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.
Dear Rick Ross:
As someone who survived several rap beefs, I'm going to give you some advice. You need to seriously address the threats and attempts on your life. You have worked hard to become a big name in hip-hop. You've paid your dues and you've grown lyrically since the release of your debut album, Port of Miami, in 2006. You've arrived, buddy.
But all this gangster bullshit is jeopardizing your career. No club or arena is going to risk people getting shot. You can forget about doing any tours or CD signings. And if you can't make money, watch how fast Warner Bros. Records turns on you. I know from experience how venues and the music industry would like to black ball you.
You have the Gangster Disciples breathing down your neck because you've named-dropped Larry Hoover, the gang's founder, in your music. Unlike the record and book publishing industries, these bad dudes don't understand the concept of public domain. They see you getting rich forever by rapping about their leader, and they don't like it. That's why they're on YouTube talking about how you need to go see them and cut a check.
It's a shame you can't enjoy life without spending part of your earnings on heavy security or risking your freedom by purchasing an arsenal. Remember, that's what landed T.I. and Lil Wayne in prison. You don't want that to happen to you. However, those are the consequences of rapping about being something you're not.
Hip-hop has a rich history of college guys who never committed a crime rapping about moving kilos of cocaine and taking out snitches. Every gangster rapper takes on the role of a real hood legend to build up street cred. But I don't want you to fall into the trap of believing you are really a gangster.
Trust me, you don't want to go out like Biggie Smalls or Tupac. It's time you squash your beefs.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.