Rick Ross (* January 28, 1976 in Coahoma County, Mississippi; also Rick Ro$$ or Ricky Rozay, actually William Leonard Roberts II) is an American rapper. Together with Trina and Trick Daddy, he forms the rap label Slip’N’Slide. The name Rick Ross is derived from Ricky “Freeway” Ross, a well-known crack dealer who lived in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s.
Rick Ross grew up in Carol City, Florida, where he also attended high school. After successfully graduating in the spring of 1994, a football scholarship allowed him to attend Albany State University in Georgia, where he studied criminal justice. After a year, he dropped out and applied to become a correctional officer. For the next 18 months, until June 1997, he worked as a jailer at the South Florida Reception Center in Miami-Dade County.
In the mid-1990s, Ross formed the rap group Carol City Cartel, which was briefly signed to Suave House Records and eventually Slip ‘N’ Slide. In the early 2000s, he made a name for himself primarily through guest appearances on his labelmates’ releases and as live support for Trick Daddy. It wasn’t until 2006 that he released his own material for the first time, attracting the attention of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ label and Def Jam Recordings, among others. He signed a contract with the latter and released the single Hustlin. This reached platinum status in May 2006. On August 8, 2006, his debut album Port of Miami was released in the U.S., which went straight to number one on the U.S. album charts. The album features Young Jeezy, Akon, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Trick Daddy, among others. Meanwhile, Ross has produced several mixtapes with various well-known DJs and now takes care of the Miami singer Ashley Ross.
In January 2008, he was arrested by police in Florida for concealed carrying of a weapon and possession of a small amount of cannabis.
On March 17, 2017, he released his 9th studio album Rather You Than Me, which rose to No. 3 on the charts in the United States.