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The name Rick Ross has been heard a lot around the hip hop scene and on countless CD’s and in a voluminous amount of music videos. However, the person who has been reaping the most out of the name was in fact not the rightful heir to it and as such the real Freeway Ricky Ross has stepped forward and is actively in the process of regaining what was stolen from him. Hip Hop Enquirer’s Mehka sat down with the former druglord and current entrepreneur to discuss his course of action to reclaim what was rightfully his.
According to court documents and police arrest reports, Ross was alleged to have made well over 600 million dollars in his elaborate criminal enterprise. His riches didn’t come with a price as he was tried and convicted on various federal charges that resulted in him receiving a life sentence which he was ultimately freed after serving 13 years. Ross walked out of prison and never looked back.
Speaking with him you gain a sense that he doesn’t dwell on what he did or what was done to him. He’s more focused on the future and that future looks very bright for him.
He’s now a political activist, a social media entrepreneur, film producer and a business man who takes pride in a name that he built.
With an already busy schedule, Ross found the time on a Saturday morning to discuss his upcoming biopic that is already in pre-production as well as talk about his ongoing legal battle with rapper William Leonard Roberts II aka Ricky Rosay, Universal Records and Reebok Sneakers.
Freeway Ricky Ross: I was excited when Nick Cassavettes approached me. I had just got out of prison. I was still in the halfway house at the time. When I walked into the dorm, it was like a welcome home party. One of the guys walked up to me like, “I have this director who wants to talk to you.” He explained to me who he was and that he did “Blow”, “John Q” and “The Notebook”. I was like ‘this is the guy I’ve been looking for’.
Hiphopenquirer.com: Where are you at right now with the film? Have you started production yet?
Freeway Ricky Ross: We’re in pre-production right now. We do have a documentary coming in February or March called “Cracking the System.” It’s probably going to be as good as the movie. We got some stuff in there that most young people won’t remember. We also have the person who came up with the crack law. He told us in a roundabout way that he’s locked up more Black men than anybody in history. The documentary is going to be exciting because it’s more of my story, just uncut. The movie is going to be Hollywood, so actors are going to be playing the roles. The documentary is all me and it’s going to be sick.
Hiphopenquirer.com: Who do you think should play you in the film?
Freeway Ricky Ross: We talked to Jamie Foxx. I talked to Will (Smith). I talked to Tyrese, Larenz Tate, I spoke with Don Cheadle, I even spoke with Denzel (he laughs). There are not many Black actors, but there are quite a few. All of those guys are so good and talented. Any of them will do a good job.
Hiphopenquirer.com: Explain to us what Freewaysocialmedia.com is and how you started that up.
Freeway Ricky Ross: Absolutely! My goal is to turn freewaysocialmedia into a media hub for Blacks. I don’t feel that there are enough movies coming out of Hollywood that speak to our background. I don’t feel that Tyler Perry is a good representation of the Black community. I want to be the person who comes out with stories that we want to hear and really tell the story from our side. I don’t see the world the way some people see it. I think it’s wrong for having more than 600k Black men in jail for non-violent crimes. I feel like they were committing economic crimes and that’s just how I view it. Those are just my views. I don’t think everybody should see the world how I view it, but I’m not the only one that feels that way.
Hiphopenquirer.com: What made you get into social media though?
Freeway Ricky Ross: When I was in prison, I was studying Facebook and Myspace, and then Google. I used to say that I was going to find a way to carve my niche in this social media market. The Internet is the new property. We’re running out of real estate. You know Google is only about 16, 17 years old. It’s still really still a teenager. I feel like they need new ideas, people begin to lose touch of what people really want.
Hiphopenquirer.com: I know this is something you get asked all the time, but what’s good with you and Rick Ross, the rapper? Are there still legal issues with you two?
Freeway Ricky Ross: (He answers angrily) Absolutely there is still an issue! I feel like the guy has lost touch with reality. I don’t think that he really understands the real world. I go to court on the 5th of next month against Warner Bros, and I’m still appealing against Universal. I feel like they owe me 50 million for using my name. I don’t think any of these companies should’ve gone to him to get permission to use the name, they should’ve gone to me. Even the situation with The GD’s, he did the same thing with these guys. People don’t deal with things the same way, especially street people. I read an article that he’s spending 50k a week on bodyguards. That’s money that they could’ve paid to those guys. There’s nothing wrong with paying when you made a mistake. This guy just doesn’t have the people around him to say that it’s OK when you violate someone to say that it wasn’t intentional or nothing like that.
Hiphopenquirer.com: Looking back on it, do you feel like the Government owes you anything? Especially now that we know the Government and the CIA had their hands in drug trade. Do you feel like they owe you for the time you spent in jail?
Freeway Ricky Ross: It’s funny you asked that because I was just talking about that the other day. One of Oliver North’s guys reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do something with him. He was part of the Contra thing too. He got a book deal, a TV show, a radio show and he ran for Senate. I was there with those guys, even though I didn’t know I was with them because of my ignorance. None of them did prison time, then why did I? Why do we have so many Black men in prison right now? I feel like this country owe’s Black America! I don’t know if you saw the article I did for the Huffington Post? I wrote about how Obama couldn’t have won the Presidency if Blacks didn’t have blind faith in him. If the Black community didn’t say “we’re going to look out for you as long as you look out for us when you get in,” he wouldn’t have been elected. Because if he made promises to Blacks, like he did with Mexicans with Immigration and Jews with Israel, then he couldn’t have won. When you make promises to Blacks, the rest of the people get mad. They think everything that we have we should give away. That’s pretty much how we’ve been living our lives in this country. We gave our labor away when we were slaves and they still want us to give our stuff away. That’s why Universal and companies like that feel like its ok to use my name.
Hiphopenquirer.com: What’s next for Ricky Ross?
Freeway Ricky Ross: Continue to go around and speak my mind to the kids about gangs and drugs and the tricks that are being played on them and the different ways that these labels are using rap and hip-hop. I feel like it’s (hip-hop) gone off its path. Hip Hop at one point was an educational tool to let us know what was happening in other parts of the country.
I’m going to continue to work in the music industry. I have a website now called freewaymixtape.com where you can send me your mixtapes and have them on the site. I’m going to continue to make freewaysocialmedia.com better. I don’t want to be just the best; I want to be the best in the world. I’m out here trying to make the world a better place. There’s really nobody out here helping these kids like they need to be helped, so I want to be one of the front runners on that.
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