Six-foot-two, 300-pound Rick Ross – a “hip-hop heavyweight,” as described by the New York Times – rose from Miami’s underground rap scene to become 2006’s buzz-worthiest hip-hop artist with Port Of Miami, his Number 1 Pop/Number 1 R&B/Number 1 Rap major label debut album. Its lead single “Hustlin’” became the first mastertone ever certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of 1 million copies before the associated album had even been released. A remix was subsequently issued, featuring Jay-Z and Young Jeezy. Port Of Miami’s second single was “Push It,” which sampled Giorgio Moroder’s “Scarface (Push It To The Limit),” evoking the gritty soul of a city that is always on the edge of exploding.
"I always started off, first and foremost, with my love for music, my passion for music," says Ross. "Not only hip-hop music, but all genres of music, whether it was R&B, rock and roll… I was just a music lover, and I think that's where my love for writing really began to mold, you know, at a young age."
Ross further came into his own on 2008's Trilla, whose second single release, “The Boss,” featuring T-Pain, rose to Number 2 on the Billboard Hot Rap chart, Number 5 on the R&B charts and Top 20 on the Hot 100. The next single, “Here I Am” featuring Nelly and Avery Storm, also hit inside the Top 10 on the Rap and R&B charts. Trilla got off to a fast start with a release week performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. “The Boss” video went into rotation on MTV, MTV2 and MTV hits, along with BET and FUSE.
Deeper Than Rap, which was named the Number 4 top-selling hardcore hip-hop album of 2009 by Interference.com, also got a big jump out the gate with its first single, “Magnificent,” featuring John Legend and produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. The song climbed to the Top 5 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Tracks chart and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Last summer, Ross released Teflon Don on his Boss' Mayback Music label, with the first single "Super High," featuring fellow Def Jam artist Ne-Yo. “Super High” was produced by DJ Clark Kent, who leads a squad of producers, including J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, the Runners, the Inkredibles, (all of whom worked on Deeper Than Rap) and the Olympics. In addition to Ne-Yo, and members of the Miami-based Triple-C (Carol City Cartel), the A-list guests featured on Teflon Don include Jay-Z, Kanye West, Chrisette Michelle, Drake, T.I. and Raphael Sadiq. The album debuted at Number 2 on the Billboard 200 and was later certified gold by the RIAA. Ross is set to release his fifth album, God Forgives, I Don't later this year.
In this clip, Ross talks about his love of 90s-era hip-hop, working with Kanye West, finding inspiration at the Rock Hall of Fame and Museum, listening to Johnny Cash, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, and wanting "the big homey" Michael Jackson's famous Thriller jacket.
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