Florida rapper Rick Ross and Freeway Ricky Ross have been engaged in an ongoing dispute over rights to the name. This week, a federal judge ruled that Freeway Rick Ross could continue his case in court against Warner Brothers, home of rapper Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, rejecting the label’s motion to dismiss the case.
Freeway Ricky Ross was given 10 days to amend his lawsuit, a suit that can claim unfair business practice, false advertising and unjust enrichment against Warner Brothers.
This ongoing dispute began in 2010 as Freeway Ricky Ross felt the rapper Ross was using his birth name to sell records. On top of this, Freeway Ross felt the rapper was using his status as a former drug dealer to gain noteriety as well.
In 2011, Freeway Ricky Ross told HipHopDX’s Paul W. Arnold what his case was all about.
“See, if I can show that there’s a likeness in what he’s saying and with my actual story, then that’s where the conflict comes in at. If a guy has worked all of his life at Burger King, and then he comes and says, Well, the guy is using my likeness. And the guy is rappin’ about selling drugs, then they would say, Oh, well you never sold drugs, you worked at Burger King. But in my situation, by me actually living that lifestyle everybody knows that I lived that lifestyle, knows that that was me. Now say for instance if he actually sold drugs – which he wouldn’t of named himself after somebody else, ‘cause drug dealers don’t name themselves after other drug dealers. It’s usually a competition thing with other drug dealers, so they would never degrade themselves to [take their name from] another drug dealer. ‘Cause that would be like saying that he was better than me, or he was bigger than me. And that just doesn’t happen in the street. But if it happened, then he would have an argument to say this was really me. [Laughs] So that’s pretty much where that [stands].”
Freeway Rick Ross has not been successful in his disputes in the past. However, in the aforementioned 2011 interview, he expressed that he would continue to fight this.
“I was willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court when I fought it the first time. I’m not afraid of courts. I fought ‘em from a jail cell, when you have to sleep on the floor and they wake you up at three in the morning, [where] you sleep on a concrete floor, next to a steel toilet with piss on it… So if I can do that, now I can walk inside the courtroom, and sit on a cushioned bench. They dealing with a different animal. I’m a different animal than most of the people walking the street now.”