Miami native Rick Ross spent years and years grinding on the underground hip-hop scene trying to get his voice heard. It was only a few years ago, however, that he hit the big time with his mega-hit, “Hustlin’”.
As a part of the most historic label in hip-hop history, Def Jam, Ross delivered his first number one album Port of Miami to rave reviews. Ross brought that hustler rap music back to the forefront. With the success of his first album, his hit singles, and his numerous amount of guest appearances, it was about time for Ross to release his second album.
With the pressure on, as CD sales are down across the board and the industry down 35% overall, Rick Ross did the unimaginable and opened at number one with his second release Trilla, with 198,000 copies sold, beating out veteran acts Snoop Dogg and Fat Joe. Sixshot.com caught up with Rick Ross to discuss his massive success, his plans for the future, and when he’ll know he’s finally made it.
Sup Ross, what’s good?
I’m good man, I’m good.
You just scored the number one album in the country man, how does it feel?
It feels good man, it feels good my brother, you know what I mean? Trilla, if you ain’t got it already then go Your browser does not support inline frames or is currently configured not to display inline frames. pick it up. It’s in stores right now and it’s the trillest album of the year, you know? You know, that’s what I set out to make man and you know I’m just happy to see the people and the streets appreciate my music and go out and cop it.
You charted number one and there was a lot of competition from established, veteran artists like Fat Joe and Snoop, how does that feel?
I’m gonna keep it real; I don’t really consider it that I beat them. Those dudes are blessed to have what we call careers and that’s what I’m trying to establish. I got two number one albums back to back but that’s what I’m looking to establish is a Snoop Dogg longevity or a Fat Joe longevity. I gotta commend both of those dudes for that, you know? But you know, I’m the biggest boss in the business.
You got the M-I-Yayo movie coming out too, what can we expect from that?
Yeah, it’ll be out this Tuesday. You can expect a history lesson on M-I-Yayo, where it comes from and what it is.
I know you were grinding hard on the hip-hop scene for along time, did you ever think that Miami was gonna blow up the way it did?
I mean, of course I saw what it did in the Luke Skywalker days so you saw the potential most definitely but it was just bridging from the club music to the street music so I think dudes like JT Money, Poison Clan, and Trick Daddy made that possible for me to come with the music I make, you know what I’m saying?
'Hustlin’' was your first nationwide hit and it was all over the place, when it hit like that, was it crazy for you?
Yeah, you know what I’m saying, I was still in the streets so you know, that’s why it was a sincere song to me and that’s why I think it had staying power because I was really in the trenches when I wrote that.
Was the transition hard going from living the street life to having a number one record?
I’ma be honest, I don’t even know if I made the transition yet. It is what it is; you know what I’m saying? One or two years of being successful can’t wipe away twenty-nine years of your lifestyle; you know what I’m saying? It is what it is.
When you were making Trilla, what was your goal, what did you wanna do with this album?
I wanted to come back in a bigger and better way and just shut down motherfuckers who ain’t really understand, like you know, a lot of time people be asking me questions like they don’t understand what my job is here. I’m a hundred percent street hustler, a boss that came in this game playing my position. I came in the only door I saw that was open and now they just see me on the elevator going to the top and it’s like, that’s the plan, you know what I’m saying? That’s been the plan. I been on top of the game with my own labels and all that but none of that shit entertains me because I had paper before I felt like I got big with a label. Me being on what label never mattered to me. It was just about the team and having that support system and those people around me that could do what I couldn’t do.
Personally, I feel like you’re the strongest artist to every come out of Miami, would you agree?
You know, to me, when I look at the best, I look at the best from a boss point of view made of paper, you feel me? That’s why I don’t consider myself beating, that’s going back to Snoop Dogg and Fat Joe those dudes money is real long, you feel me? That’s what I respect as a boss. Of course, as an artist, those little accolades are cool but you know what means the most to me and my team and my family and my niggas is being around forever and touching that hundred million dollar mark, that’s my goal. Once I reach my goal then I could say what I did and what I didn’t do.
Did Jay-Z leaving Def Jam affect you at all?
Yeah it affected me, it effected me in a great way. It let me know that my mentality and the way that I see things is right on time, you know what I mean? I love to see Jay go on to new, bigger and better things. He became a president of the biggest label in the business. He showed he was successful, he signed me and I got two number ones back to back. Now, he’s going to do bigger and better things and that’s more important to all the black kids in the ghetto, the Marcy projects or the projects where I’m from. It just lets us know that the sky is the limit, real talk.
So Rick, what’s good with your label and Carol City Cartel?
Yeah, Maybach Music Group, look for that this summer, its finna go down, you know what I’m saying. Triple C’s.
Being around dudes like Jay-Z, did you pick up any business tactics?
Of course, that’s what you pick up, you pick up business savvy. That’s why you see two weeks after I debut with a number one album you see the documentary in stores right behind it, that’s all strategic. That’s the plan and that’s what it is.
Rick, as an artist who sells a lot of records, what do you think when people say the game is going digital?
I sold a hundred and eighty something last time and a hundred and ninety-eight thousand this time with the industry down thirty-five percent so you gotta embrace that. Being a hustler, that’s like when there’s a drought and there’s no dope. You gotta find a way to stay alive, you feel me?
You might sell cars, you might do some other things and that’s what being a hustler is about. When one thing sets itself down you open the door to something else. As long as you got hot music, you gonna stay on tours, stay doing more features, and you just gotta stay busy, you gotta make a way.
How do you feel about all the dudes that aren’t from Miami heading down there?
It’s all good, as long as they bringing good business, I’m with it.
Has Miami changed a lot from when you were coming up?
Definitely man, South Beach and all that shit has become more popular but as far as the inner city streets it’s still the same. We still got them candy paints, them 24’s, and them grills.
Aight Rick, what do you have coming up that we can check for?
Go get Trilla if you ain’t got it, number one album in the country. M-I-Yayo, Carol City Cartel, Flo-Rida in stores, that’s the team and we stay grindin’, you know what I'm saying?
Anything you want to say to the fans out there?
Thanks for supporting the boy and keep that album at number one because I’m gonna keep it realer than a motherfucker.
MTS Centre, Winnipeg - May 26, 2008
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