As an artist and entrepreneur, Rick Ross has always fashioned himself a self-made man, willing to take on the odds in order to achieve success. His Carol City neighborhood in Miami helped breed his gritty nature and it’s that same community that keeps him rooted. “I’m one of the few artists that could claim to be self-made. Meaning nothing was given to me.”
Music, football and friendship were all that mattered to Ross growing up. We know where his connection to music led him but it’s coming-of-age in Miami that keeps his life pointed in the right direction. Growing up, he spent time on the football field with friends, working the local car wash and hanging with his buddies at neighborhood spots like Checkers.
Twenty years later, he’s still connected to those childhood friends and the community through ways he probably only imagined as a kid. Through hard work, he’s created his own destiny and experienced all the highs life has to offer. After having seen and done it all, he wanted to go back to that same neighborhood and buy his favorite Checkers.
Ross understands what him being visible in Carol City means to the people who live there, especially the kids. “Coming from the inner city,” he says, “You always felt like somewhat of an underdog. Let’s make that a good thing.” Part of changing that perception includes him going back to the same street he grew up on and purchasing the Checkers where he spent so much time. In the process, he’s investing in the community, providing jobs and staying in touch with the place where he’s from.
By coming back home, he becomes a beacon of hope for Carol City kids trying to make their way in the world. “I became the Boss through my dedication,” he says. “My love for what I do. My passion. My hard work. Never taking no for an answer.” They don’t have to follow the exact path the rapper did. They just need to know paths like his do exist, if they exercise that same commitment and tenacity he once did and still does. And it all begins right there in the heart of the neighborhood at Rick Ross’ Checkers.