Rick Ross will not confirm or deny anything about his alleged past as a prison guard. He says it's too ridiculous to worry about. And the Boss laughs off all the jokes and supposedly Photoshopped images of him that have circulated the Internet. He's having the time of his life.
"Anytime a rumor comes up like, 'Is Ross is getting married?' I don't address it, because that's my life," he said Thursday in Atlanta. "At the same time, if it's some haterism going on, I'm most definitely not gonna entertain it, because it's not trill. I define trill as being successful, doing you, being creative, living your life. My music is very sincere to me."
Besides being one of the nicest MCs with the wordplay right now, Ross owes part of his strong appeal to his rep on the street. As he records his third LP, Deeper Than Rap, he promises that everything he's rapped regarding his street hustling is real.
"It's very authentic," he said. "I feel that no other artist could have endured this," he added of the recent controversy.
"If you think I didn't get no money, God bless your heart," he continued about his time on the streets. "I had the P. Diddy watch at 19. I saw what they wanted, and I had it. I don't get on the airwaves and tell people I'm out on bond now facing prison time right now and have been for the past year and a half. That's not what I glorify. That's not what I want my daughter to read about or my son to read about. You ever notice in all the rumors that they never bring up my record? They don't want you to know the boy really does his thing. But I'm not finin' to go and say, 'Hey, [the online Department of Corrections documents are] inaccurate.' ... But that's entertainment. I'm the best. You see me on the cover of XXL magazine with no shirt on. I'm living my dream."
Ross' Deeper Than Rap is coming at the top of 2009 on his own Maybach Music by way of Def Jam (though he's still handling some business to get out of his Slip-N-Slide contract). It's looking like the album will feature production (yes, production, as in beats) by T.I., Kanye West and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, among others. He just dropped a mixtape, Still the Trillest, with DJ Infamous and continues to keep a myriad of concert performances on his schedule. His popularity has not suffered from any of the rumors still dogging him. When you talk to Ross, grimaces are hard to find, and smiles come in abundance. He feels he's at the most creative and competitive period in his career, and he certainly has more money than ever.
"When people write something, if it's something that's not authentic, they don't know what I've lived," he said. "They don't know what I did; they'll never know. If you think [what I talk about] is fake, don't get yourself hurt out here. Don't get it twisted. All you rappers trying to come up ... don't do that. You'll learn the hard way. I don't do no threatening; I keep it 100. When you see me, keep it 100. Say what you feel. That's what I do, that's what I always do. What I come from and what I represent, you can never disrespect it."