Produced on January 28, 1976, in Coahoma County, Mississippi, Rick Ross was determined by rappers like Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. The appeal of the tune powered his 2006 debut record Port of Miami, which started at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Albums Chart. Ross went to release three more records in the very top of the charts, throughout a career peppered with controversy and problems using regulations.
Although he attended Georgia’s Albany State University on a football scholarship to get a year, Ross began composing rap lyrics romanticizing the cash obtained from dealing drugs, an act which he found as a youngster.
Paradoxically, Ross worked as a corrections officer in Florida for nearly two years, but the bait of hip-hop music as well as the lavish lifestyle of the drug dealers he saw throughout his youth directed him in another course. He was finally signed to some southern independent rap label, Suave House Records, which likewise released music by popular underground rap duet 8Ball & MJG. Ross after signed a contract with Miami-based record label Slip N Slide, which released music by hip hop favorites like Trick Daddy—whom Ross would later tour with—and female rapper Trina.
The first single from Ross, “Hustlin’,” became a smash hit, because of the hypnotic line “Every day I am hustling” repeated throughout the tune. The single was eventually certified gold, an impressive accomplishment to get a fresh recording artist. The song started a bidding war between multiple rap labels looking for their next star. Def Jam Records, headed by executive Jay Z, won the conflict, signing Ross to an extremely publicized record deal.
Ross debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Albums Chart with his premier record, Port of Miami, in 2006. His sophomore record, Trilla (2008)—named as a homage to his idol Michael Jackson’s popular record Thriller (1982)—also debuted at No. 1. Along with his success, Ross became more of a presence on the tour circuit as well as in the press. He started to compose, perform and collaborate using an extensive variety of popular acts including Jay Z, R. Kelly, Florida, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and several others.
As Ross grew in popularity and notoriety from his music laced with lyrics encouraging illegal actions, his previous career in law enforcement started to get the people’s interest at the same time. Although his street credibility was challenged, Ross continued to tour and release music. He created his own record label, Maybach Music Group (broadcast by Def Jam) and was later signed as the very first musician to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs Ciroc Amusement direction firm.
Having grown up in Miami, Ross is believed to be greatly affected by the ’80s television show Miami Vice (1984-89). Two of his hallmarks are the big, dark shades and his slow, raspy voice, which marked his distinctive rapping style.