The real Ricky Ross to sue the rapper Rick Ross over name rights
By Alex Alonso
STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
June 11, 2010 | 6:22 p.m.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Freeway Rick Ross wants to reclaim his name from rapper Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II), who has created a rap persona based on the real life drug dealing past of one of the most prolific drug dealers in American history.
In 2006, the rapper released his debut album entitled Port of Miami, which is a reference to the City being the gateway for South American imported cocaine during the 1970s. The album included singles “Husltin” and “Push It” which glorified the lifestyle of a fictional character that was based a real person, Ricky Donnell Ross, who had been sentenced to life in prison in 1996. Ross was able to get his sentenced appealed and was released from Federal Correctional Institution at Texerkana, Texas in May of 2009 after his sentence was reduced to 20 years.
Ross told Streetgangs.com, “[the rapper] saw a way that he could brand himself immediately for free and he took advantage of that.” Roberts certainly cashed in on Ross’ reputation as a drug dealer who became the focus of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) biggest scandal, with his single Husltin off his debut album reaching platinum status in August 2006 and then his single “The Boss” off his sophmore effort was certified platinum in December of 2009.
When Ross was still in prison he sent a cease-and-desist letter to Def Jam Records demanding that Roberts stop using his name, but those requests were ignored. Ross claims that the Miami rapper has earned several million dollars stemming from his 2006 deal with Def Jam based on his image and likeness as a drug dealer. Expect a lawsuit to follow against Def Jam Records, Universal and Roberts.
Tags: cocaine, def jam, drug, freeway ricky ross, Jay Z, Law Suit, miami, name, rapper, rick ross, ricky ross, sues, suing, universal, william roberts