Monday, August 23, 2010

Rick Ross' Identity Crisis

When I first heard the track "B.M.F." (Blowin' Money Fast) which I prefer to call the "Larry Hoover" song, I thought to myself, "Who records a single while they're eating/out of breath?" In case you haven't heard the song, (which means you probably also have a flip phone and don't know what "lol" stands for), here's a look at the chorus:
"I think I'm Big Meech, Larry Hoover, whipping work, halleluiah,
One nation under God real n****s getting money from the f**king start."
Upon hearing this, curiosity got the best of me and I just had to figure out who the Hoover character was. A distant relative of Herbert, maybe?

Sigh... turns out...

Larry Hoover is a murderer. And a Gang Leader (of Black Gangster Disciple Nation). As a pseudo community leader, he led riots and drug transactions... from prison. He's there. For life.
Big Meech is a founder of the Black Mafia Family (alternative explanation for BMF title). Another great addition the Black community, Big Meech is also a criminal and former druglord, but he fared better than Larry. He gets out of prison in 2031.

So, I'm thinking, why does Rick Ross, a rapper, think he's a criminal in prison?

Turns out...

Rick Ross isn't even Rick Ross! He's actually William Leonard Roberts. A former corrections officer. The real Rick Ross is Ricky Freeway Ross. (He's been made even more famous by TWO rappers, both Freeway of Philadelphia and the Teflon Don derived their stage names from him.)*
*I know that everyone and their mom knew this about Rick Ross apparently months ago, and I'm late, but I'm proud to admit I didn't become a Rozay aficionado until recently.

William Leonard Roberts aka Rick Ross, aka Rozay... who are you?!?! And why, former student at Albany State University, are you so bent on adopting the names of criminals? All in a recording session that sounds like it was sponsored by KFC.

More importantly, while I'm concerned about your mental health, I'm more concerned about its effect on its youthful audience. A friend of mine, pointed out the "conscious" tracks he has on his album, which I conceded were... borderline inspirational if you ignore all the coarse language, and you focus on the great production and sparse gems of knowledge sprinkled through the tracks. But the majority of folks don't know Tears of Joy. They know Big Meech, Larry Hoover. (By the way... Hoover and hallelujah don't even rhyme!! What's that about?!? Is the hip hop community just gonna let that slide?!?!)

Anyway, I used to teach kids in Watts, South Central (politically correct term - South Los Angeles), Philadelphia, Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago (torn down now), and I mentor a child now in DC. While my job was to teach reading comprehension, or theatre or prealgebra, it turns out... it was also my job to fight against the poison many of them had learned in their homes and neighborhoods. For example, in LA, while accompanying a group of middle school girls on a field trip, the school bus driver, who was extremely Stringer Bell esque, hold the sexy, inspired one of the girls to giggle, "Ooh he walk like he just got out of jail... he fiiiine." What?!!?!?!?!?!!? Now we have a moderately successful rapper saying, "I think I'm a criminal... hallelujah." To add insult to injury, he's talking with food in his mouth. Horrific etiquette. We want our kids to grow up and do better than the generation before, become the next Barack Obama, write books, cure cancer, design the Iphone 87.0, but Lenny (William Leonard Roberts), a former college student is determined to glorify criminals and poor table manners.**
**I also don't like that he punctuates his lines with "ugh". Whose idea was that?
The Many Faces of Rick Ross
Big Meech and Larry Hoover below

Ricky Ross and Leonard Roberts

Of course good ol' Lenny isn't the only person marring hip-hop. He's part of the majority; I just felt like making an example of him. I try to be solution-oriented, and I'm not really sure what I could do to address it, but... Lupe Fiasco did! He released a track, calling Building Minds Faster, with the chorus:

I think I'm Malcolm X... Martin Luther. Add a King, add a Jr
Some Bible verses, a couple sunnas, An AK-47 that's a revolution!!
Think I'm Tupac, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Marcus Garvey.

Enjoy! After you check it out, give me your thoughts. Am I too harsh on Rozay?***

*** The album Teflon Don is actually good, if you just listen to the hooks and the beats. (Erykah Badu, Cee-Lo, NeYo and Chrisette Michelle sound heavenly) Kudos to the Production Team!


  1. Rapping with his food in his mouth??? it!!!

  2. I love his album, but sadly, it's true...he raps with a Double Down in his mouth! SMH

  3. Im not gonna get to deep on this because im too cool to comment on blogs (but i love u so i will), regardless of where he went to school or where he worked, dude did alot here in miami. nothing worth my time or attn but stuff like drugs and the like. created somewhat of a mafia life here so it comes through in his music when he names ganglords and other mafia figures. jut tryna explain y he names certain folks. the eating and out of breath stuff i cant explain but he is fat so... ima just assume thats why. however an old friend told me once that "ur arent making any money if u aint eatin." which is probably why im skinny...

  4. oh and that lupe thing has a good message i guess but hes not my type of rapper. i like to live vicariously thru ppl like rozaayy babbby lol

  5. @Aubrey (AJ!!) - Thanks for the comment. So what exactly did he do in Miami? I really want to know! And is it something to glorify?! And as a 3L in law school... you're not living vicariously through Rozaaaay, sir. Sorry. So... next year... after a few checks roll in, you gonna be fat? Just let me know so I can be prepared.

  6. carol city cartel. enough said. and i do live thru them. my street side lol. i wont be fat next year but ill be eating real good. steaks and skrimps and stuff.

  7. From Carmie Elmore: Im Lovin the blog...Rick Ross is about as Gangsta as GUMBY!! He's a fake, phony, imposter, fraud, trickster...he has clearly scribled in his note pad & created his life...At most he's a fat boy who likes chicken!!!
    From Ryan L: Nice blog. Its no secret that I hate Rick Ross with all my heart and soul, mainly for the reasons you explained. And because he sucks as a rapper. I disagree that Rick Ross represents the majority of hip-hop. There are many artists who would take exception to that. Jay Elec, Lupe, J. Cole, Wale to name a few. These artists are lyrically talented, clever and speak on a variety of subjects. Rick Ross' success is more a commentary on what is considered "popular" hip-hop...but that's waning. There has been a ground swell of support for talented artists...especially in the past two to three years. As far as Rick Ross goes...he's a fake and untalented. He has a voice that can deliver a line but his lyrical content is amateur at best. He's capable of picking nice beats but so am I. I'm not even a huge fan of Teflon Don... I think Maybach Music is an incredible record but only because of Justice League's beat, T.I., Jadakiss, and Erykah Badu...I cut the record off by the time Ricky's verse comes on.

  8. Also to add to your post, Ross' mixtape title, "Albert Anastasia", is another account of him living out another crime boss persona. Lol. The write up was a good read!!

  9. I read your blog last night and I really like it, esp. your analysis of Rick Ross' multiple personalities. Keep up the insightful writing!!! :-)

  10. I love Lupe's version...#ridin

  11. love it! Very informative. Hip Hop fans seem to only listen to a dope beat and a catchy hook but neglect to really listen to the lyrics. If it gets the party jumpin'..that's all they care about. Which is sad but true... All in a recording session that sounds like it was sponsored by KFC.".......LOL dead

  12. so u folks do know, this dudes life isnt fake.

  13. love it! Very informative. Hip Hop fans seem to only listen to a dope beat and a catchy hook but neglect to really listen to the lyrics. If it gets the party jumpin'..that's all they care about. Which is sad but true...

    "All in a recording session that sounds like it was sponsored by KFC.".......LOL dead

  14. I like this post. I know artist are nothing but entertainers so they can create their lives or more appropriately act out roles much like a movie star, but I really can't get with that. I was raised in some adverse conditions, but I would never put it in a rhyme because as much as rappers try to deny it, they are glorifying their actions. I really think it comes down to the executives who force these artist to maintain these images for their benefit. These executives know there are a whole lot of people out there like Aubrey (no disrespect) who live vicariously through these artist. Consequently, I can't put out this mixtape because nobody wants to hear people like myself or Lupe Fiasco who keep it straight hip hop without posing.

    Sorry for the research paper sized response lol

  15. @jlburgess: Thanks for the response, keep them coming! I want to hear your mixtape... and I really appreciate your words! They're needed. :) I agree; several folks play a role in our communities hearing crappy lyrics, but we all collectively are responsible. I will say though, that, unless WE decide to do something about it, it will never change. These execs don't care!

  16. You know you did your thang here.
    Interesting. You are like the academe perspective in me but better. You go!


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