Certain interviews should be published with video or at least audio included, just so we, as the audience, can hear the tone in which the interviewee’s words are delivered. If not every single artist interview, we’d gain so much from hearing Rolling Stone’s Rick Ross profile where the big guy sort of admits to his past life as a correctional officer.
For the first time, Ross talks about his past life as a corrections officer – an opportunity, he says, to “wash my hands” after his best friend was sentenced to 10 years for trafficking cocaine and heroin:
“This was my best friend, who I ate peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches with, and pork and beans with, my buddy, my partner, my number-one dude. Suddenly I’m talking to him over federal phone calls. Hearing the way it was building, I knew I couldn’t take nothing for granted,” says Ross. “My homey’s father was a huge influence on my life, too . . . He was the one who was like, ‘Yo, go get a job somewhere, man. Go be a fireman. Or go be a fucking corrections officer. Just go sit down somewhere.” [RS]
A few quick thoughts:
1. Rick Ross never breaks character. Ever. In fact, he appears to be trapped in an identity crisis. I’ll always point back to his GQ profile but that’s when I realized that “this guy really thinks he’s the character Rick Ross.” A few weeks ago, the real Rick Ross pointed out not only the name and illegal activities fake Ross has taken on, but he’s also adopted the beard and baldhead look.
We don’t have anything more than the printed words from Rolling Stone, but reading the quotes, it almost reads like William Leonard Roberts II almost betrayed Rick Ross for a second. Here, Roberts – and not Ross – remembers a friend, conversations and details that led him to take on his previous occupation before rap and the fantasies convoluted his mind.
2. At times, Ross reminds me of when Pac became Bishop, the gun-toting antagonist with swollen ego, after his performance in Juice. Except, Tupac gave up a lot of Bishop over the years (and morphed into other personas I suppose). Ross has only gone deeper and deeper into his kingpin drug dealer character. Deeper than rap in fact, almost seeming to forget that he wasn’t ever the guy who held dominion over city blocks. He’s a guy who raps about a guy who did those things.
3. As a true foodie, Ross identified the significance of his friendship with the guy by the food they ate together. David D. told me that’s some real fat man shit right there.
I think we’ve all come to terms with Ross’ past and how we think of it as it relates to his music. We either choose to see past it or decide that we can’t, which Andres’ nailed in his piece “Hip-Hop Forgives Rick Ross, I Don’t.” Where we stand boils down to the individual and their thoughts on his music. What we can all agree is that he was once a correctional officer.
Everybody seems aware of that, except Rick Ross.