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Rick Ross Biography

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Rick Ross In-depth Biography

Tattooed with pictures of AK-47s, Miami's six-foot, 300-pound rap} figure known as Rick Ross} embraced his city's reputation for drug trafficking on his debut single, "Hustlin',"} in 2006. While Atlanta and Houston artists were establishing their cities as Southern strongholds, Ross} aimed at putting Miami back in rap}'s national spotlight. Ross}, real name {%William Roberts}, grew up in Carol City, FL, an impoverished northern suburb of Miami. Influenced by artists like Luther Campbell} and the Notorious B.I.G.}, {%Roberts} formed local rap} group the Carol City Cartel and began rapping in the mid-'90s. (He took his rap} name from Los Angeles drug kingpin {%"Freeway" Rick Ross}, who ran one of the largest crack-cocaine distribution networks in the country during the '80s and early '90s.) Ross} had a brief stint on Suave House Records}, former label of Eightball & MJG}, before he ended up on Miami-based Slip-N-Side Records}, the label home of Trick Daddy} and Trina}. During the early to mid-2000s, he became popular and well known locally through touring with Trick Daddy} and guest-appearing on a few Slip-N-Slide} releases, but didn't release any solo material until 2006. Once "Hustlin'"} caught the ear of a few executives within the national industry, a bidding war ensued that included offers from Bad Boy} CEO Sean "Diddy" Combs} and The Inc.} (formerly Murder Inc.}) president Irv Gotti}. Nonetheless, Def Jam} president and veteran rapper Jay-Z} signed Ross} to a multi-million-dollar deal. The Miami anthem "Hustlin'"} went on to receive gold status from RIAA in May 2006 and sold over a million ringtone units before the physical release of his debut album, Port of Miami}. Released in August 2006, Ross}' debut was Slip-N-Side}'s first project under the Def Jam} partnership. ~ Cyril Cordor, All Music Guide

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