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"FREEWAY" RICKY ROSS (February 2009) | Interview By: Nima Etminan
Ricky Donnell Ross, better known as "Freeway" Ricky Ross, is known for the "drug empire that he presided over in Los Angeles in the early and mid-1980s. He's been behind bars since 1996 and is getting released within the next 50 days.
Today, many people associate the name Rick Ross with the Miami rapper who adopted his name from "Freeway" Ricky Ross. Not only his name, but the rapper Ross, a former correctional officer, took on his whole life story from the former drug kingpin, including the infamous beard.
Dubcnn took the time to talk to the original, "Freeway" Ricky Ross, about his plans after his release, how he is going to be involved in the music game and what he listens to himself. Of course, we talk about the Rick Ross situation, how he feels about the rapper and the fact that he chooses to ignore the man who inspired him.
As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: email@example.com
Dubcnn: First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to dubcnn. You are weeks away of your release from prison, what's the first thing you're going to do when you're out?
No problem. I am weeks away. Well I have to report to a halfway house upon my release. Once I see my family, my first business moves is to visit our juvenile detention centers. I can't wait to share with the kids. The forgotten ones that nobody cares about.
Dubcnn: How different is the man that's writing me right now from the man who got locked up years ago?
Oh man. It's a world of difference. Alot of people may feel I have been in prison for 14 years but I feel I have made some sacrifices. Not only have I travelled the world, but I have also sit down and talk to some of the most brilliant people living or have lived. Well years ago I thought I was sharp. And in some aspects I was. But right now I have read over 200 books, countless magazines, newspapers so my entire horizon has changed. I look at the world a lot different. Take for instant I have been on a no tv diet for almost 3 years. To most people that is unheard of.
Dubcnn: You inspired rapper Rick Ross to name himself after you, how did you feel about that when you first heard about it?
That is a mixed emotion. For someone to name themselves after you is a sign of recognition that is hard to compare with. So when I heard he named himself after me I was real flatter and disappointed. I was disappointed that he was trying to deceive the world into believing he was me. I was flatter that I had build my brand up so well known that someone would steal it. See when I was coming up, I always wanted to be someone special.
Dubcnn: In an interview, Rick Ross was asked about taking your name and he said "It wasn't about that, it was about what I was going to do with it. So shout out to dude, whatever he doing, but I don't know him." Why do you think he chooses to ignore your existence like that?
I never saw the interview that he did, and I never knew he gave me a shout out. But he knows me we have spoke on the phone several times. Well I felt he chose to ignore me for the fact that being me gave him street credibility. My reputation to build person to person. The name is known all across the country before I made it to tv or newspaper. I admire his marketing skills. But he made a key mistake which a lot of people do. I had some marketing plans for the both of us that we could do together. Had he listen to me he wouldn't be in all the messes that he is into now. I tried to get him to come to the light. But he wanted to stay in the darkness. He didn't know what was in the dark would surely come to light.
Dubcnn: Have you ever had a conversation with Rick Ross?
Yes we have had numerous conversation 2 to 3 each lasting about 8 minutes. Also spoke to his manager a couple of times. I purposely keep the conversation short, because I was really hoping we could bond and we had a really busy schedule.
Dubcnn: What's your take on him being a former C.O., portraying a life in his music that is false?
Really crazy. But I knew he was and impostor all the time. Well I can give you a tip about street dudes. A street dude would never take another street dudes name and claim it as his own. You go in the streets to claim a name for yourself. So I told guys from jump that he had never sold drugs or been in the streets.
Dubcnn: What plans do you have as far as your life is concerned after your release?
Yes I have alot of plans right now. My life never stop even behind bars. I have been making moves that people just don't know about. Right now my number 1 pet peve is www.freewayenterprise.com. This is a soical network. It will be built around helping people with there careers. Music, clothes, models, movies, video games, finding jobs, educating and mentoring to name a few. I will also be having give aways like nobody else. My movie is in the works. We already have a budget. I will be giving away a role to my movie on the site.
I also have a record label that is looking for new artist. Starting a book publishing company. My first novel should be release in the next couple of weeks. "BlackScarface". My autobiography is in the works and coming alone well. And the guy that done American Gangster for BET, we are negotiating my Reality Show. We are going to show what it is like for a guy that is getting out of prison for so long has to go through. And to see if I can make it on the streets. There are people that say I want. Please check out my website. Oh yea I will be hosting a mix cd for Young Buck and Bigga Rankin in a couple of weeks. And I am getting love from all the producers from Cali including Dr. Dre and King Tee to name a few. The homies say they got me. So if there are any rappers singers or producers that want to be on the team just get at me this thing is going to be big. Obama has raised the bar.
Dubcnn: Do you personally listen to Hip-Hop music?
I haven't listen to hip hop or any music in order 3 years. Right now I have been totally focused on getting my life straight. And the only way to do that is to be totally focus. And I plan on doing that to stay out. It is amazing cause I feel institutionalized. Every since they have told me I was going home, I have been feeling a little jitters and uncertainty.
Dubcnn: We thank you for your time and wish you the best for your future endeavours.
I appreciate you doing the interview an look forward to breaking bread with you in the near future.
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