After persistent court battles granted Rick Ross legal rights to the stage name he co-opted from Freeway Rick Ross late last year, the author and former drug dealer recently released a video statement calling on the MMG founder and other Hip Hop artists to tell the truth about the origins of their success.
Deriding a “Hip Hop to prison pipeline” and the ongoing glorification of drug culture in the music industry, Freeway Rick Ross asked to join together with rappers like Rick Ross in a campaign against “thug culture.”
“To William Roberts, a.k.a. Rick Ross, who’s using my name, I’m inviting you in to come with me,” he said. “Let’s fight this culture. Let’s fight this penitentiary culture that Hip Hop’s been spreading. Let’s make a difference. Me and you need to come together and you need to tell them that you didn’t make your money selling drugs and making music is how you became famous. See, it’s nothing wrong with making music just like it’s nothing wrong with being a correctional officer if that’s what you did. But so many of our friends who look up to you and look up to me are out on the streets thinking that they can go out and sell drugs and parlay that into a record career. I don’t know if you know that they’re not gonna make it, but I know that they’re gonna wind up in prison with prison sentences three and four times what they should be because this war on drugs is no joke. I have ten or eleven friends still in prison right now with life sentences including one that even you know, Big Meech. I know how much you respect me and care about me, otherwise you woudln’t have took my name. Take a chance with me now. Let’s make a difference.
“Even if William Roberts, a.k.a. Rick Ross, don’t decide to come with me and join hands, then the rest of the artists out there,” he added. “Let us come together. Professor Griff, KRS-One, and so forth. Let’s join hands. Let’s change this thug culture. Let’s change this Hip Hop to prison pipeline. Let’s make it happen right now, today.”
Touching on similar statements he’s made previously, Freeway Rick Ross continued with a warning that Hip Hop and the entertainment business are the precursors to a life of crime and/or in prison.
“I’m letting you know right now that the establishment is using Hip Hop to prime these kids for a life that’s gonna send them to prison just like they did with me,” he said. “When I was coming up there was Super Fly, Tequila Sunrise, Scarface, all these movies to make you think that you could start with nothing and then you could have the whole world in the palm of your hand.”