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Rick Ross
Rick Ross Mastermind Tour.jpg
Ross performing in 2014
Born
William Leonard Roberts II

(1976-01-28) January 28, 1976 (age 48)
Other names
  • Rozay
  • The Boss
  • Renzel
  • Teflon
Occupation
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record executive
Years active 2000–present
Children 4
Awards Full list
Musical career
Origin Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S.
Genres
Labels
Associated acts
College football career
Position Quarterback/Offensive lineman
Personal information
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Career history
College Albany State Golden Rams (1994)

William Leonard Roberts II (born January 28, 1976), known professionally as Rick Ross, is an American rapper.

Prior to releasing his debut single, "Hustlin'", in 2006, Ross was the subject of a bidding war, receiving offers from Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment and Irv Gotti's Murder Inc., until signing a multimillion-dollar deal with Jay-Z on Def Jam Recordings. Ross released his debut album Port of Miami through the label later that year, debuting at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, with sales of 187,000 units during the first week. Ross released his second studio album, Trilla, in 2008, once again debuting atop the Billboard 200.

Outside of his solo career, Ross was a lead member of the hip hop group Triple C's, alongside fellow Florida rappers Gunplay and Torch, in 2005. Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group in 2009, on which he released his studio albums Deeper Than Rap (2009), Teflon Don (2010), God Forgives, I Don't (2012), Mastermind, Hood Billionaire (2014), Black Market (2015), and Rather You Than Me (2017). His tenth album, Port of Miami 2, was released in August 2019 and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts. Prominent industry acts have also been signed to Rick Ross through the Maybach Music label, including Meek Mill, Wale, and French Montana, among others. In early 2012, MTV named Ross as the Hottest MC in the Game.

Early life

William Leonard Roberts II was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and raised in Carol City, Florida. After graduating from Miami Carol City Senior High School, he attended the historically black college Albany State University on a football scholarship. Roberts worked as a correctional officer for 18 months from December 1995, until his resignation in June 1997.

Career

Career beginnings

In his early years at Suave House Records, Roberts initially made his debut under the pseudonym Teflon Da Don. He made his recording debut on the song "Ain't Shhh to Discuss" on Erick Sermon's lone album for DreamWorks, Def Squad Presents Erick Onasis. In the mid-2000s, he changed his name to Rick Ross.

After being signed to Suave House Records, former label for rap duo 8Ball & MJG, he eventually signed a deal with Slip-n-Slide Records, which has been under the Def Jam label since 2006. While signed to Slip-n-Slide, Roberts toured with fellow rapper Trick Daddy and made guest performances on other Slip-n-Slide albums.

2006–2008: Port of Miami and Trilla

His debut album Port of Miami was released in August 2006 and debuted at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, with sales at 187,000 units during the first week. Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone magazine predicted that it would be "the summer's biggest rap record". The second single was "Push It", which samples "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)", the theme song from the gangster film Scarface. The music video for "Push It" was modeled after the film. During that time, Ross made guest performances on two singles from DJ Khaled's debut Listennn... the Album: "Born-N-Raised" and "Holla at Me". Port of Miami received Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America on November 8, 2006.

In March 2008, his second album Trilla was released and, as its predecessor Port of Miami had, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. Its lead single "Speedin'" featuring R. Kelly peaked at number 21 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles; the next one, "The Boss" featuring T-Pain peaked at number 17 on the Hot 100. The third single "Here I Am" featured Nelly and Avery Storm. MTV News ranked Ross on the fourth spot in its 2008 "Hottest MCs in the Game" list among ten rappers. The fourth single "This Is The Life" featured Trey Songz and was released in July.

2009: Deeper Than Rap

I look at the game and the business and all different aspects, it's a lot of great lyricists on the corner that will never properly understand the business and know how to market themselves and get in a position where they can gain capital. I look at all the strategies people use and what made them successful. What made Birdman just as relevant today after selling 50 million records? That intrigues me. To see the class of Jay-Z, his accomplishments and see how he sits backs and accurately makes his moves.

The cover of the May 2009 issue of XXL magazine, titled "Rick Ross Up in Smoke", featured Ross wearing a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses. After publication, a spokesperson for the luxury-goods maker contacted XXL to inform them that Ross was sporting fake sunglasses in the cover image. It was later revealed that the rapper was wearing authentic Louis Vuitton sunglasses which were altered by Jacob Bernstein. Bernstein defended his customizations despite Louis Vuitton's insistence that such modification and resale of trademarked property is not legal.

2010–2013: Prime Rick Ross

Ross had a number of accomplishments in 2010. In May, he released the critically acclaimed Albert Anastasia EP. In addition to that, he released his fourth studio album entitled Teflon Don, on July 20, 2010. The lead single was "Super High" featuring Ne-Yo. Actress Stacey Dash made an appearance in the music video. A second official single was released titled "Live Fast, Die Young" which features and is produced by Kanye West. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 selling 176,000 copies in its first week.

In November 2010, rapper and frequent collaborator, Diddy, who in 2009 signed Ross to a management deal with his Ciroc Entertainment, announced from his YouTube account, that he and Ross are working on an EP together. A single was released for the project, called "Another One". Ross ended 2010 by releasing another mixtape, Ashes To Ashes on Christmas Eve 2010.

Rick Ross in 2011
Rick Ross performing in 2011.

In early 2011, Rick Ross signed Wale and Meek Mill to his Maybach Music Group imprint. The group released their debut compilation album, Self Made Vol. 1 in May. Rick Ross performed at BET Awards 2011, which aired on June 26, 2011. He also received a nomination for Best Male Hip Hop Artist. In early 2012, Ross was named the Hottest MC in the Game.

Big things were happening for Ross's successful career in 2012 as well. He started the year by premiering his Rich Forever mixtape to universal acclaim. Ross's MMG camp released their second compilation, Self Made Vol. 2 in June 2012. Less than a month later, Ross's fifth studio album, God Forgives, I Don't, was released on July 31, 2012, after a few delays. Upon its release, the album charted at number eight on the UK Albums Chart and number two on the UK R&B Albums Chart, making it Ross's highest-charting album and first top 10 album in the United Kingdom. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 218,000 copies. Ross premiered four songs: "So Sophisticated" featuring Meek Mill, "Touch'N You" featuring Usher, "Hold Me Back", and "3 Kings" featuring Dr. Dre and Jay-Z. The album was certified gold in less than two months. To celebrate his accomplishment and promote his upcoming MMG Tour, Ross released a mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah in October. Rick Ross was nominated by The Source as its "Man of the Year".

On January 7, 2013, Ross revealed the title of his sixth album to be Mastermind. The album was set to be released in 2013. The first promotional single from the album would come in the form of "Box Chevy" which was released to iTunes on February 15, 2013. The music video was filmed on April 1, 2013, and features cameos from MMG members Gunplay, Stalley and Rockie Fresh.

During 2008, it was announced that Ross was set to release a collaboration album with his longtime friend Birdman titled The H, but after that, no information on the album was released. On May 16, 2013, Birdman and Rick Ross announced that The H would be released as a mixtape hosted by DJ Khaled on May 23, 2013. The project was recorded during a couple of days in 2008.

On September 5, 2013, Ross premiered the first official single from Mastermind, "No Games" featuring Future produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. The following day, it was released to Urban contemporary radio. It was followed by the singles "The Devil Is A Lie" with Jay-Z and "War Ready" with Jeezy.

2014: Mastermind and Hood Billionaire

Rick Ross released his sixth studio album, Mastermind, in March 2014, the album received generally positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of 179,000 copies. As of April 8, 2014, the album has sold over 290,000 copies in the United States. In June 2014, it was announced that Ross would make a guest appearance on the docu-series Sisterhood of Hip Hop.

In October 2014, Ross announced he would be releasing another album, Hood Billionaire, in order to make up for Meek Mill's Dreams Worth More Than Money album being shelved due to his incarceration. Rick Ross revealed cover art for Hood Billionaire in October 2014 and announced the release date to be set for November 24, 2014. The album received mixed reviews, from fans and critics alike.

2015–present: Renzel and Epic Records

Ross had a mix of both adversity and accomplishments in 2015. Ross was arrested for kidnapping and assault charges and was sentenced to house arrest in his Georgia home. Ross joined the Snapchat platform and began referring to himself as "Renzel", a play on the name of famous actor Denzel Washington. In September, Ross released a mixtape, Black Dollar, his third full-length release since March 2014. He soon announced his eighth studio album, Black Market, for a December 2015 release. To promote his upcoming release, Ross released a remix tape, Renzel Remixes on Thanksgiving 2015. Black Market was released on December 4, 2015, and it served as Ross's final album for his original contract with Def Jam.

In January 2016 after much speculation, Rick Ross signed a solo deal with Epic Records, reuniting him with L.A. Reid, who originally played a major role in signing Ross to Def Jam.

On February 21, 2016, Rick Ross remixed Kanye West's "Famous". Ross was active in 2016, releasing many songs including "Make It Work" off of Self Made Vol. 4, "Purple Lamborghini" of Suicide Squad: The Album, "Supa Cindy", and "Freaky Hoe".

He announced that his ninth studio album, Rather You Than Me, was slated for a March 2017 release. The album debuted and peaked number three on the Billboard 200. On February 2, 2018, Rick Ross released "Florida Boy" with T-Pain and Kodak Black as the first single from the album, which was slated for a 2018 release. On June 22, 2018, Ross released "Green Gucci Suit" with Future as the second single from his tenth studio album Port of Miami 2, released on August 9, 2019. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. The album also included the single "Gold Roses" with Drake, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. On July 19, 2020, Ross teamed up with singer August Alsina for a track titled "Entanglements", a diss track towards Alsina's ex-lover Jada Pinkett Smith. On August 7, 2020, Ross released the single "Pinned to the Cross", featuring Finn Matthews, following his Verzuz battle with 2 Chainz.

2021: Richer Than I Ever Been

On August 26, 2020, during an interview with Hot 97, Rick Ross announced his eleventh album, Richer Than I Ever Been, which was released on December 10, 2021.

On September 7, 2021, Ross' book The Perfect Day to Boss Up debuted at number 5 on The New York Times' weekly bestsellers list.

Personal life

Religion

Rick Ross is a Christian, and in an interview with Corey "Coco Brother" Condrey on Lift Every Voice, he indicated that "I had told myself at one point no matter what I go through, I never question God." In addition, Ross indicated that he prays every time he goes on stage to perform.

Family

Ross has four children: Toie Roberts, born March 2002. William Roberts III, born September 2005. Berkeley Hermès Roberts, born September 2017, Billion Leonard Roberts, born November 2018 and Bliss Roberts, born August 2020.

Ross was briefly engaged to Lira "Galore" Mercer in 2015.

Mayoral campaign

On May 16, 2023, he announced via Instagram that he plans to run for mayor of Fayetteville, Georgia, where he resides, in 2024.

Business ventures

As of 2017, Ross owned several different Wingstop restaurant locations. Wingstop is a fast-food chain specializing in chicken wings. When Don Lemon was fired from CNN in April 2023, Ross offered him a job, saying, "For some reason, I believe you know what you doing with the lemon pepper wings. So man, just send over your résumé."

Discography

Studio albums

  • Port of Miami (2006)
  • Trilla (2008)
  • Deeper Than Rap (2009)
  • Teflon Don (2010)
  • God Forgives, I Don't (2012)
  • Mastermind (2014)
  • Hood Billionaire (2014)
  • Black Market (2015)
  • Rather You Than Me (2017)
  • Port of Miami 2 (2019)
  • Richer Than I Ever Been (2021)

Collaborative albums

  • Custom Cars & Cycles (with Triple C's) (2009)
  • Too Good to Be True (with Meek Mill) (2023)

Filmography

Year Title Type Role Notes
2008 Days of Wrath Film G Dogg
2008–2012 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Television Himself Musical guest
2009 Late Show with David Letterman Television
2009–2010 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Television
2010–2012 Chelsea Lately Television
2010 Freaknik: The Musical Television Big Uzi Voice; TV movie and soundtrack
2013 Magic City Television Butterball Season 2
2016 Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party Television Himself Season 1
2017 Signed Television Himself Season 1
2018 Superfly Film Racks
2019 Step Up: High Water Television Himself Season 2
2021 Coming 2 America Film Himself

Awards and nominations

Bet Awards

Year Nominee/Work Award Result Lost to
2011 Himself Best Male Hip Hop Artist Nominated Kanye West

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Rick Ross has nine nominations

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2012 "I'm on One" (with DJ Khaled, Drake & Lil' Wayne) Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Nominated
2013 God Forgives, I Don't Best Rap Album Nominated
2015 "New Flame" (with Chris Brown & Usher) Best R&B Performance Nominated
Best R&B Song Nominated
2017 "Purple Lamborghini" (with Skrillex) Best Song Written for Visual Media Nominated
2020 "Gold Roses" (with Drake) Best Rap Song Nominated
2023 "God Did" (with DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend & Fridayy) Song of the Year Nominated
Best Rap Performance Nominated
Best Rap Song Nominated

The Source

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2010 Himself Men of the Year Won

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Rick Ross para niños

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