This is an interesting interview, and I’m hanging it up on this subject. Can’t beat a dead horse, and the verdict is still out on the guy’s career, so I won’t kick him when he’s down.
He professes to be “realer than the fake” but after images and documents surfaced on the net confirming his past as a correctional officer, Rick Ross’ authenticity has been challenged. While he’s repeatedly denied ever working as a C.O.; SOHH caught up with a few industry insiders in Ricky’s hometown to get Miami’s take on how the rumors will affect his career and see what his own streets are saying about the buzz. Turns out, the talk is nothing new in the MIA.
“People have been saying he was a C.O. in Miami since he came out,” said Ali Muhammad, the publisher of 21st Century Hustle magazine who also manages DJ ChipMan, a pioneering Miami street DJ. Apparently the pictures weren’t anything new either. “Everyone had knowledge of those pictures here in Miami,” said femcee Jacki-O, who has been accused of leaking the photos, which she vehemently denies. “Everyone knew of his past job or whatever.” Regardless of who knew before, the world knows now. But some don’t think it’ll have any affect on the Trill rapper’s career.
“People forgot about R. Kelly,” Muhammad pointed out. “As long as Ross keeps making hot records that people want to listen to it’s not going to matter. It’s only a core group of people who will be saying he’s not real but most will like him for his music.” Though it will inevitably matter to some, TJ Chapman – a Florida DJ who is not from Miami, but is famous for breaking Southern rap tracks with his TJ’s DJ’s record pool – said he doesn’t see why it should. “It doesn’t change the person he is,” he said. “Whether or not he was a corrections officer from ’95 to ’97 and now it’s 2008. That’s 11 years, man.”
Miami radio personality DJ Irie knows Ross personally and said anyone who does is gonna ride with him. “He shows love to the people who have been supporting him,” Irie said. “He’s not one of these dudes who thinks he’s better than anybody else.” And who’s to say Rick’s raps aren’t real, even if his was a C.O.? “It’s very easy to be a correctional officer, and you in Miami, the cocaine capital of the world and you got all these big drug dealers locked up. They need a middle man,” TJ pointed out. “They still doing business on the streets, how do you know he wasn’t the connect? How do you know he didn’t get the connects from when he was working there to become who he is?” Whether the talk is true or not, everyone SOHH spoke with agreed, the rumors aren’t about to stop Rick. “He’s had an amazing year so far,” Irie said. “As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s gonna continue to rise and be a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.”
I’m pretty sure somebody’s giving that nigga the meeeean side-eye right now. Man watch the company you keep, that’s the lesson whether this real or not. Got to be more careful.
Rob Peter to pay Paul… it is pretty ugly out there. We just gotta focus…
The Obama camp isn’t exactly embracing the profanity laced song that also takes pokes at George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
In past interviews, Obama has stated that he likes Luda’s music.
In the song, posted on youtube.com, Ludacris raps of himself: “You never should have doubted with a slot in the prez’s iPod/I’m one of his favorite rappers.” Later in the two minute song, he adds: “You can’t stop what’s about to happen/The first black president/We going to paint the White House black/The world is ready for change because Obama is here.”
In the rap, the performer who was born Chris Bridges, calls the current president “the worst,” refers to Clinton using a less than genteel definition of a female canine and mocks McCain’s age and suggests he needs a wheelchair.
On The Politico.com, political blogger Ben Smith reports that the Obama camp is condemning the song. The site posted the following quote from Obama spokesperson Bill Burton: “As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to. This song is not only outrageously offensive to Senator Clinton, Reverend Jackson, Senator McCain, and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.”
“Are you serious?!” asked Atlantan DJ Drama when we rang him about the controversy Wednesday. He has included the track on his latest mixtape project, “Gangsta Grillz: The Preview,” a collaboration with Bridges. “Well, this involves two people I highly respect. And from a position of just believing in freedom of speech, I feel [Ludacris] expressed himself in a manner he felt necessary. I also know all eyes are on Barack Obama because of the position he’s in. So before someone like Fox News attaches him to it, [Obama] had to do he what he had to. I understand. I think Luda would understand. And it doesn’t change my opinion on who I’m going to vote for.”
Press reps for Obama did not immediately return our calls Wednesday.
Q100’s Bert Show first played the song for listeners Wednesday morning. Feedback was mixed.
On Wednesday afternoon, V-103 program director Reggie Rouse was just learning about the track and was headed to youtube for a listen.
Of the song’s chances of being added to his rotation, Rouse told the AJC: “I’m going to take a listen. But anything Luda does right now is going to be considered.”
When snatches of the lyrics were read to V103 morning man Frank Ski Wednesday, he laughed and said: “Wow, that would be Luda right there. His oratory skills are out of here. He’s amazing and he gets his point across. He’s speaking his mind and sparking some controversy. But music has always spoken out against politics. Look at what Public Enemy did way back. The difference with Luda is that he’s so crossover everyone hears what he has to say.”
During a recent interview with Rick Ross circulating on the internet, an interviewer inquired about an alleged rift between the former Slip-n-Slide label mates.
During the clip, Ross is “informed” by the interviewer that “Trick Daddy accused [him] of working as a prison guard at one point.“
Despite having seen Ross’s heated response to the question, Trick maintains that there is no bad blood between the frequent collaborators, who spoke as recently as this week.
“I told Ross he needs to have better people around him,” Trick Daddy told AllHipHop.com. “He needs better publicists, so that he can avoid even being asked those type of funny questions. I been in this game for thirteen years, and anybody who’s ever listened to my music knows Trick Daddy is very smart. I know when somebody’s trying to use me and pull me into some s**t. But the people doing this need to understand what their words can do too. When you start talking about beef, and creating [situations] between people from the same hood, you gotta realize that that beef s**t can end with one man in jail and another man gone.”
The topic of Rick Ross’s past career has drawn responses from everyone from rappers Fabolous, Maino and The Clipse, to the real “Freeway” Ricky Ross, with many wondering what effect his denial would have on his career.
While Trick would not directly confirm any knowledge of the Def Jam rapper’s employment as a law enforcement officer, he did address the controversy.
“So what if he [was],” Trick asked. “That just means he avoided something a lot of us in the hood haven’t, including me. I’m not proud of being an ex-con. Now that means I always got one foot in and one foot on a banana peel. I’m not proud of the things I did to land in that position.”
And this about the realest interpretation of what’s going on, just hear him out. We have to keep it real and keep all my folks out of jail, chasing the lies that rappers sell everyday. A nigga is actually lying about having a JOB. Wow, what a fake ass reality we promote.
Not preaching my nigg, just telling it like it is. Watch and enjoy… don’t be afraid, you’re in good company with the rest of us Mentally Endangered.