For years now, Freeway Rick Ross, the real life drug dealer upon whom rapper Rick Ross bases his stage persona and kingpin image, has been trying to nail Ross (the latter) for making millions by selling his music under an appropriated drug lord persona. Last week, a California judge dismissed Freeway Rick’s most recent appeal, citing the rapper’s creation of original works that only used the name as a jumping-off point. Freeway Rick was not amused.
In a statement issued following the judge’s rejection of his appeal, the real Freeway Rick Ross remarked: “There is a teachable moment about the state of our community when a man who has a respectable job as a correctional officer, has to recreate himself in my former image as a large-scale kingpin to gain what he feels is social acceptance as a successful man.” Though Freeway Rick’s indignation does have a point here, he misunderstands Ross’ motivations. Ross was never thinking about perceived social acceptance as a successful man. He was thinking about actual success. And he actually achieved it by making insane amounts of money because he understands the fan inclination to want to believe that artists’ music reflects a truthful depiction of their lives.
Hip-hop culture has always been based on the appropriation and re-interpretation of communal objects from the past. It’s called sampling. And hip-hop artists have been doing it in with their stage personas forever, pretending to be harder and more dangerous than they actually are. So when Ross took on the symbolic identity of a historical drug dealer, he was doing just that: “sampling” someone else’s life and then turning it into something new. And that is exactly why Rick Ross’ recent lawsuit against LMFAO for interpolating the lyric “Every day I’m hustlin” from his 2006 song “Hustlin” is so ironic, because when LMFAO jokingly altered that line, they were doing the exact same thing. Though Ross’ lawsuit states that LMFAO’s similar lyric is “an obvious attempt to capitalize on the fame and success of “Hustlin,” the reality of the situation is a bit more nuanced.
You just can’t have a bit of success anymore without someone suing you. Rick Ross and and Jermaine Jackson have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against LMFAO over similarities between the band’s “Party Rock Anthem” lyrics and Ross’ song, “Everyday I’m Hustling.”
A lawsuit filed in Florida federal court states, “The use of Hustlin’ in ‘Party Rock Anthem’ is readily apparent, despite the slight change from ‘Everyday I’m hustlin’ ¦’ to ‘Everyday I’m shufflin’¦” and constitutes, inter alia, the creation of an unauthorized derivative work.” The lawsuit goes on, “The phrase is so important to the success of ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ that LMFAO launched a highly successful clothing line, Party Rock Clothing, that features the phrase on T-shirts and other clothing items.”
Drake surprised fans and critics worldwide when he released “Hold On We’re Going Home” in the middle of August. The song was the second to surface off his new album Nothing Was The Same, but unlike its predecessor (“Started From The Bottom”) the track featured absolutely no rap. If anything, the song channeled 80s pop and added a twist of modern RnB to spice things up, showcasing a completely different side of the Canadian artist than many heard seen in some time. Fans were reluctant to accept the change at first, but the single has gone on to become a major success, and now one of hip-hop’s finest has delivered a killer remix to keep genre fans happy
There is no equal in hip-hop to Maybach Music Group leader Rick Ross. He’s single-handedly built an empire on top of lies about his past, and in the process helped countless up and comers find careers in music. Now, in the midst of preparing to release his own new album, the king of MMG tackles Drake’s smooth-talking hit with his own take on “Hold On We’re Going Home.” The Florida-based rapper adds to new verses to the track, but thematically keeps things in line with the heartfelt-yet-dirty talk of the original. You can stream the remix below.
Drake’s Nothing Was The Same is available now wherever music is sold. Rick Ross’ new album, Mastermind, is expected to drop before the end of 2013. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on this new remix. (more…)
Hitting the net a week after the Maybach Music Group compilation Self Made Vol 3 arrived in stores, “No Games” starts the push for Ross’ upcoming solo album with style. The clip features Ross performing in a high-rise hotel room in between stylized clips from the classic film Scarface, many of which focus on the protagonist’s demise. You can view the video at the end of this post.
“No Games” originally debuted at the beginning of September, but has remained largely untouched by the MMG marketing department in light of the aforementioned compilation’s impending release. Now that Self Made Vol 3 is in stores, Ross is focusing all his efforts on his album Mastermind, which is currently scheduled to arrive on shelves before the end of 2013. We’ll continue to follow the efforts of Ross in the weeks ahead, updating you as soon as new information becomes available. (more…)
“Trap House 3” pairs Mane with Maybach Music Group mastermind Rick Ross against a bass and snare heavy beat that is low on energy, but bursting with attitude. Gucci approaches his verses in a near-whisper, and whether or not it’s a move that works for his street life insight is anybody’s guess. The real star of the track, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Ross. Coming down from a recent storm of bad publicity over accusations he rapped about taking advantage of girls he drugged with Molly, Ross delivers a ferocious set of cocky lines that touch on everything from drug deals, to guns, money, and refusing to let the police win at any cost. You can view the video below.
Trap House rap isn’t for everyone, and that may go double for the antics of Gucci Mane. If you’re a fan of the gritty side of hip hop, give this a spin. If not, maybe reading another post will result in higher entertainment value. (more…)
Featuring Rick Ross and Aaron Wess, “The Show” is one of the more relaxed tracks off Folarin. The video, which was directed by DRE films, features a combination of performance footage and scenes from a carnival involving the vocalists and beautiful women. You can view the visuals below.
Wale went public yesterday with the news that he will be releasing anew album entitled The Gifted on June 25. Click here to view a trailer for the album.