The New Yorker Labels Rick Ross A Con Man Who Might Have Put The Last Nail In The Coffin For Rappers Who "Keep It Real"

 

Rapper Rick Ross' career has been fueled by the cocaine dealing he often refers to in his lyrics. In his song "Hustlin'" off of his debut album Port of Miami he rapped that he knew former Panamanian dictator/drug kingpin Manuel Noriega.

 

"I know Pablo, Noriega.The real Noriega, he owe me a hundred favors," he rapped.

 

In a subsequent interview with AllHipHop, Ross admitted he didn't actually know Noriega.

 

AllHipHop.com: What did you mean when you said “Noriega owes me favors”? [Manuel "Manolo" Noriega, the Panamanian military leader who was tried and convicted for drug trafficking. He resides in a Miami federal prison]? What does that mean?

 

Rick Ross: Noriega owe a hundred favors, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s just like, you know, I kick it with [Pablo] Escobar nephew. He live down here. That’s my n*ggas, you know what I’m sayin’? So I just meant like, you know, real ties with real n*ggas. That’s what that meant. I don’t know Noriega personally, but I know n*ggas who have met Noriega. I know n*ggas who was in federal prison two, three cells down from Noriega. You know what I’m sayin’? And when I talk to them, I let ‘em know you know that’s something I meant to ‘em in the movies. I’m into sh*t like that. So I’m gonna stand to that. That’s all that means.


So began the rapper's mantra of fake it until you make it that has worked for him thus far.

 

In a just published article titled 'The Sound Of Success: Rick Ross’ Confidence Game,' writer Sasha Frere-Jones of the New Yorker places the blame on the Miami rapper's shoulders for making it acceptable for rappers to embellish what they say in their lyrics to the point that the motto "keeping it real" has all but left the genre.

 

Check out an excerpt from the article below.

 

A central motif in contemporary hip-hop is rapping about drug dealing by artists who may not actually sell narcotics. Among others, Jay-Z, Clipse, and Young Jeezy have rhymed about a past or present involvement in the trade on the street. It’s typically impossible to determine whether they are telling the truth about themselves or simply the truth about their environment, and it’s never been clear whether listeners care. The Miami rapper Rick Ross, who is both physically and culturally very large, talks endlessly about extensive work in the cocaine trade. His involvement with drugs remains a mystery, but, in 2008, the Smoking Gun published documents revealing that Ross—who named himself after the Los Angeles drug dealer Freeway Ricky Ross—was once a Florida corrections officer with a perfect attendance record. He has become more popular, critically and commercially, since the revelation, and has modified his stories of drug selling only slightly. So rap fans must be either very poor listeners or fairly sophisticated ones—much more likely the latter.

 

Ross’ success in mimicking drug lords has brought him the ability to live like one of them. Profiles have documented his large homes, his fleet of cars, his shopping sprees at watch stores, his solicitous entourage and flexible schedule. Ross may represent the final abandonment of hip-hop’s mandate to “keep it real,” a concept that goes by different names now but has not gone away. Perhaps listeners know that this is a version of “Miami Vice,” a show that Ross claims to have been inspired by. The appeal is less some kind of documentary thrill than Ross’ ability to transmit the confidence that comes from blithely running up roaming fees while driving a Rolls-Royce through Samoa.


Frere-Jones's article reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently who asked me if I watched reality tv. (I do not). He explained that even though people know shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" are totally scripted and anything but "real" some people can't stop watching them.

 

Has rap become the new reality tv? And if so is Ross it's leading actor?


To read all of Sasha Frere-Jones' article head over to the New Yorker.


Originally spotted at HipHopWired

 

 

 

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Tags: A, Coffin, Con, For, Have, In, Keep It Real, Labels, Last, Man, More…Might, Nail, New, Put, Rappers, Rick, Ross, The, Who, Yorker

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Comment by Joseph Fugate on February 6, 2012 at 11:35pm
& Corey, then this article is about you...but I agree that the consumers are at fault!
Comment by 1THUG aka Ya INNERNET TUFF GUY!! on February 6, 2012 at 11:31pm
Iss not hatin on ross success...cos his music is fire. But i caint harley remember a rapper who was 180 degrees tha opposite of who they claim. Some rappers exaggerate sayin they sold keys of that white when they only sold nicks of that green. You caint claim you sellin that boy when you workin for tha man lockin neggaz up that you claim to be like. Iss like a child molester runnin a childrens foundation...theres a greater level of wickedness there.
Comment by The last of a dying breed!! on February 6, 2012 at 11:28pm
MAN I HAVE SAID THIS SAME THING FOR YEARS THAT THIS CLOWN GETTING A PASS DOES NOTHING BUT HURT THE FUTURE OF RAP, IT'S NOW OKAY TO LIE ABOUT WHERE YOU CAME FROM, WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, AND WHO YOU REALLY ARE..ANYBODY WHO CLAIMS TO BE A REAL MUTHAF*** AND YOU LISTEN TO THIS DUDE YOU GOT IT TWISTED 4 REAL, HOW CAN YOU BE A REAL DUDE AND KNOWINGLY LISTEN TO SOMEBODY THAT YOU KNOW IS LYING ABOUT EVERYTHING HE'S SAYING!! I'M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE FU** DO YOU ACCEPT A MUTHAFU** FOR BEING PHONY SMDH!! BELIEVE ME IT WONT STOP WITH OFFICER RICKY AND THE P.M.G.(police music group) IN THE FUTURE IT WILL BE THINGS ACCEPTED THAT WE NEVER THOUGHT WAS POSSIBLE!! IT'S SAD BUT THAT'S JUST THE REALITY OF IT!!
Comment by 1THUG aka Ya INNERNET TUFF GUY!! on February 6, 2012 at 11:23pm
Now my fam and i really know noriega cos my gran pops was a gubbament official and worked for him. William L Robets tha third is a fraud.
Comment by RexGdubb on February 6, 2012 at 11:14pm
Corey the dude is fake period!Stacks u right&u are to m@rz..
Comment by jBrizzle on February 6, 2012 at 11:08pm
It's like Yayo says; "the Rap Game is fake if you really wanna ask me"
Comment by GT on February 6, 2012 at 11:04pm
No matter what people think or say it's just entertainment.
Comment by stacks on February 6, 2012 at 11:03pm
Part of the thrill of listening to Ross was thinking at least some of the stuff was real but now you kno he lied it's not wack but his music don't have the same effect but he undeniably consistent so I guess people love him but it jus make you wonder why the other real rappers don't put themselves all over the radio, cuz rap would be different but they lettn whoever can rap run it.. And the authentic rappers don't hav to preach all over every track but give it a good balance that would put things back in perspective for hip hop imo (for those who care about the actual art form)
Comment by Kang on February 6, 2012 at 10:50pm
rick ross the biggest fraud ever to step in the rap game...he a correctional officer locking down all the real n*ggas that put in work!!!!...it just shows you alot of ppl claiming they hood and street aint about sh*t if they bumpin rick ross like he real ! if you ever been locked up you hate the correctional officers ! thats a fact
Comment by M@Rz!!! on February 6, 2012 at 10:49pm
who gives a s***! i think you should make ur money the best way you no how! i think that rapper and actors are one in the same!



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