It’s been a frustrating few years for OG Freeway Rick Ross (whose namesake gave birth to both rappers Freeway and Rick Ross). Back in 2010, Freeway (born Ricky Donnell Ross) filed suit against one William Leonard Roberts II on grounds of copyright infringement, seeking $10 million in compensation. After a bunch of back-and-forth fuckery, including a dismissal due to Freeway not having “a valid trademark for his name” and his alias being associated with illegal activity, a California judge ruled on Monday, Dec. 30 that Rozay had the “first amendment right to use the name “Rick Ross” for his stage persona.”
Freeway Rick Ross issued the following statement through AllHipHop:
I respect Hip Hop as an art form and consider many of its artists some of my close friends. But I believe the art form owes an obligation of authenticity. You cannot go out and say you sold cocaine at Kilo to Metric ton scale and be so detached from the experience. If you do, you have an obligation to the youth to tell them the truth and not lie about the facts of your circumstance to try to further validate the mistruth.
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. I along with many others would have given it all up for stability and opportunity, when Reagan came into office with Trickle down gutting assistance programs, and privatization of public sector jobs ripped through our cities it strip-mined those types of stable jobs in a very short period from Black America.
I will continue to go around the country and speak at schools, speaking to the need for the youth to avoid getting caught up in the dope game. Also I will be going city to city giving artists that don’t get looks by labels Mixtape exposure. I look forward to the release of my autobiographical book due out in February, and film in development to help tell the truth about how Black American Cities developed and turned to drugs, the dope game and its consequences.
The irony in all this is Rick Ross filing a lawsuit against LMFAO for copyright infringement. I understand it’s not the exact same situation, but still. At the least, Rozay could acknowledge the O.G. What are your thoughts on this matter? Sound off below.