Tuesday, July 22, 2008

THE BOSS & THE BADGE

Well, let’s see—circa ’95, I was working at a Super K-Mart, in case anyone is thinking about blackmailing me.

As revealed in a report at The Smoking Gun, popular Florida-based hip-hop star Rick Ross apparently did an 18-month stint as a correctional officer in the Florida Department of Corrections. So far, Mr. Ross has vehemently denied this, going as far as claiming that a photograph of a younger Ross shaking hands with a D.o.C. official must have been doctored. State of Florida transcripts say otherwise:
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0721081rickross1.html?link=rssfeed

I will stake my own non-profit agency meager salary that there is not a single rapper in the business who comes from a background of selling dope along the lines of a Tony Montana (people know he was fictional, right?), Freeway Ricky Ross (the real guy from L.A.) or Frank Lucas. There is also not a single rapper who came from a gang background who was remotely touching anything that a John Gotti was involved in. All of the neighborhood Bloods, Crips, Disciples, Vice Lords, and Latin Kings combined aren’t touching the real Mob outfits. If heads were in the game that deep, they wouldn’t need to rap to make money, if they were smart enough. Hustlers with the really big dough invest in entertainment companies, construction, sanitation, real estate, etc., they aren’t hawking demo tapes!

I don’t have any of Rick’s albums yet; from the stuff I hear on the radio and video channels, it’s decent and catchy enough for current Dirty-South rap. Still, I have to chuckle when these guys talk about how they were allegedly pushing mad weight back in the days. I don’t see why people have to come up with such elaborate backstories to justify getting into the rap game. Then again, I guess that’s where the business is at now. Who knows if Rick came up with this by himself or if he had help from the A&R folks at Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam.

I guess the question is, now that the truth has been revealed, what will his response be? Own up to having a 9 to 5 job that wasn’t great but paid some bills? Continue to deny the revealed facts as an elaborate hoax? Maybe try to awkwardly spin this into some street credibility (“I was a crooked C.O., handling weight on the low, ya feel me?”)? I can only imagine what his publicist is going to try and say, if anything. More intriguing, is how his fans are going to react, and why. Will they be ‘disappointed’ that he was, for 18 months anyway, pushing steel gates closed instead of pushing narcotics? Is some teenager’s dream crushed because his idol was apparently not the uber-coke merchant referred to in his favorite songs? Will fans who are actively involved in drug & gang activity feel ‘betrayed’ now that ‘one of their own’ used to be on the other side?

Unfortunately, this situation just kind of highlights the silliness that goes on in today’s hip-hop landscape. In the same year that Vanilla Ice rose to stardom, he got lambasted for apparently fabricating parts of his biography (for the curious, it had to do with allegedly being a gangbanger in his Miami high school and being a winner of amateur motocross races). Needless to say, his career was never the same.

Rick, O Voluminous One, whither thine own career?

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