Larger-than-life Miami native Rick Ross's stardom has been a long time coming. Growing up in the rough neighborhood of Carol City, Ross - real name William Roberts - juggled amateur rhyming (inspired chiefly by Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.) and small-time drug dealing with his position as a high-school football star. After briefly attending Auburn University on a football scholarship in the late 1990's, Ross decided to forgo a potential NFL career and return to Miami where he became heavily involved in the cocaine trade under notorious Miami kingpin Boobie Willams. Around this time he began to seriously establish his rap credentials, forming the Carol City Cartel crew and singing a management deal with local powerhouse Poe Boy Entertainment (Flo Rida, Brisco).Rick Ross - who takes his stage name from "Freeway" Rick Ross, an infamous Los Angeles drug dealer from the 1980's - soon became a regular in Miami's underground mixtape circuit, working with the likes of Trick Daddy and Luther Campbell of 2Live Crew. His fame exploded in 2006 with the release of his first hit single, "Hustlin'", put out by Miami's own Slip-N-Slide Records. The runaway success of "Hustlin'" prompted Ross to sign a record deal with Jay-Z's Def Jam Records (Beanie Siegel, Kanye West), who dropped his hotly-anticipated debut album Port of Miami by the end of the year. Though perhaps not as lyrically skilled or as nimble with his delivery as other players in the game, Ross's heavy, hypnotic flow and operatic backing beats carried Port of Miami to the #1 spot on the Billboard 200, moving well over 600,000 copies. Standout tracks like "Push It", "Hustlin'", and "Blow" cultivated Ross's image as a glamorous and rich drug kingpin, standing in contrast to the rags-to-riches tales of street corner hustling told by other southern emcees like T.I. and Young Jeezy. After a number of high-profile collaborations in 2007 with his homies Fat Joe and DJ Khaled, Ross returned to the studio in 2008 to begin recording his second album. His sophomore effort hit stores in early 2008, going by the title Trilla - a portmanteau of "Trill" (a Southern slang combination of true and real) and "Thriller", a homage to Michael Jackson and his hit single of the same name. Trilla proved to audiences that the six foot, three-hundred pound Ross was no flash in the pan, debuting again at #1 on the Billboard 200 and receiving a Gold certification from the RIAA less than two months after its release. Trilla has so far produced three singles: "Speedin", "The Boss", and "Here I Am". Somewhat surprisingly, Ross recently revealed that he plans to release a third full-length album by the end of 2008, hot on the heels of Trilla. Tentatively titled Deeper Than Rap, the album is set to feature appearances by T.I. and Pharrell, though he has revealed little else about the nature of his upcoming project.
Miami based rapper.
William Leonard Roberts II (born January 28, 1976), better known by his stage name Rick Ross, is an American rapper. He derived his stage name from the drug trafficker "Freeway" Ricky Ross. Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group, on which he released his studio albums Deeper Than Rap and Teflon Don. William Leonard Roberts II was born in Coahoma County, Mississippi and raised in Carol City, Florida, near Miami After graduating from Carol City Senior High School, he later attended the historically black college Albany State University in Albany, Georgia.
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William Leonard Roberts II (born January 28, 1976), better known by his stage name Rick Ross, is an American rapper. He derived his stage name from the drug trafficker "Freeway" Ricky Ross, to whom he has no connection (Ross even sued the rapper for $10 Million for using his name; see Legal Issues). Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group, on which he released his studio albums Deeper Than Rap and Teflon Don.