Rick Ross

Kuwait Times - - L IFEST YLE -

For Rick Ross, it’s been a jug­gling act for the self­pro­claimed “bawse.” The Grammy-nom­i­nated rap­per is set to release his eighth al­bum, “Black Mar­ket,” on Dec 4, but his life is busy with more than just mu­sic. In a wide-rang­ing in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press, 38-year-old Ross touches on sev­eral top­ics, from re­leas­ing mu­sic to his on­go­ing beef with 50 Cent to the is­sues be­tween his signees, Meek Mill and Wale.

AP: You’ve re­leased so much mu­sic in the last two years. What has mo­ti­vated you? Ross: I’m just re­mind­ing the cul­ture, re­mind­ing the streets ex­actly the boss’ po­si­tion, and why I’m the big­gest and will re­main the big­gest.

AP: What do you want lis­ten­ers to take away from ‘Black Mar­ket’? Ross: ‘Black Mar­ket’ is the purest rep­re­sen­ta­tion of me at my most com­fort­able form. The mu­sic is soul­ful and lay­ered. It’s so­phis­ti­cated, but it’s street.

AP: It seems like you’ve found your groove mu­si­cally. Ross: I’m in the most com­fort­able place in the mu­sic that I make. De­pend­ing on the mo­ment, it de­ter­mines the type of mu­sic that I make. This al­bum was much more pre­cise.

AP: You’ve lost nearly 100 pounds. Are you still be­ing healthy? Ross: Yes. I’m at my low­est weight right now as we speak.

AP: How much do you weigh? Ross:

I’m right around 275. AP: You and 50 Cent had an ex­change on so­cial me­dia re­cently. Why do you think he con­tin­ues to at­tack you? Ross: You ever ask your­self that?

Is it beef?

AP: Yes. Peo­ple still look at it as beef. Ross: Are you aware of his cur­rent fi­nan­cial sta­tus?

AP: 50 Cent filed for bank­ruptcy this year. Ross:

And when com­pa­nies and cor­po­ra­tions usu­ally file for bank­ruptcy then, what?

AP: You tell me. Ross:

You do that when it’s over. It’s called ‘when it’s over.’ So rest in peace. R.I.P. Other than that, we are run­ning around New York City (50 Cent’s home­town) as we speak. The ex­cite­ment in th­ese streets for the new al­bum, I’m drop­ping new remixes, I’ve been in the game since ‘06 and no­body has ever stepped on one of my sneak­ers. Not one, ya dig. That speaks for it­self. There’s a lot of talk­ing and tweeting in this in­dus­try, but who really get­ting money? Don’t ever get it twisted. You see Jay Z, you see Puff Daddy, and right around there some­where, you see (Rick Ross) is in the start­ing lineup. We put new chlo­rine in the pool weekly. It’s a lot of dis­trac­tions that’s meant to dis­tract you from stay­ing fo­cused. In the ma­jor­ity of the time, the dis­trac­tions aren’t even worth it, es­pe­cially when you have sin­gle­hand­edly torn some­thing down that you’ve once re­spected and ad­mired to the point where they are noth­ing. I think that’s the tes­ta­ment to the MMG (May­bach Mu­sic Group) brand, as we con­tinue to grow, sign new artists, cre­ate new ven­tures, our net worth has only tripled in the last three years. I think for young en­trepreneurs, that is what’s im­por­tant. Not no floss­ing (stuff), but on some keep­ing your lights on long-term type-of-(stuff ). Let’s re­main cre­ative with no bound­aries. It doesn’t mat­ter which state you are from, what gang you’re in or coun­try you are from. Let’s put some big thinkers to­gether and make some­thing that’ll last a lin­eage. That’s what I’m about. My homies are giv­ing pro­mo­tions, we’re em­pow­er­ing peo­ple. We are not fir­ing and tear­ing down. We’re not chas­ing be­hind ac­tresses. We don’t get our booties licked. We live by prin­ci­ples. It’s a cer­tain code of ethics. As men in our po­si­tion, there will be prob­lems, there will be dis­agree­ments, but as ... kings, it’s cer­tain things we don’t do.

AP: There was some fric­tion be­tween your la­bel mates Meek Mill and Wale. How is their re­la­tion­ship now? Ross: It came and went. When things have po­ten­tial to (be­come) some­thing that’s a prob­lem, then I may get in­volved. ...I know in 10 years, they will be the same ex­ec­u­tives, if they are no longer artists, giv­ing the next gen­er­a­tion the right in­put. ...My job is to make sure they don’t take it (too far) ... which will never hap­pen. I put my life on that.

This is what I’m go­ing to clear up: I’m happy and I’m liv­ing. That’s what it is. Rozay is so happy. That’s what life is about, be­ing happy. — AP

AP: I thought the beef was a done deal, but it keeps com­ing up... Ross: AP: There have been talks of your bro­ken en­gage­ment with Lira Ga­lore. Can you clear that up? Ross: In this file photo, rap­per

Rick Ross per­forms at Power 105 Pow­er­house 2015 at Bar­clays Cen­ter in Brook­lyn, New York.

—AP pho­tos

In this Oct 7, 2015 file photo, Bebe Neuwirth at­tends a spe­cial screen­ing of ‘Truth’ at The Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art in New York. — AP

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