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 NetGuruINC on February 7, 2012 at 1:29pm
@Jay_Truth, how can you call somebody fake if their READING your comment, well what does that make you? Because your the one who took the time to write it, idiot. Secondly, how can you call 50 Cent fake when your on HIS website writing a comment. LMFAO. How you gonna talk s*** about the man and your on his website? LOL idiot
Comment by Snow on February 7, 2012 at 1:23pm
I wuz callin Ross fake when the CO thing came out but then thought about it, with all the crooked cops in this world, y couldnt Ross hav been n the drug game jus cuz he wuz a CO? But @ the end of the day Fake or Not Rick Ross puts out good music n thats all that matters!!!
Comment by D Carroll on February 7, 2012 at 1:19pm
Fake a** nicca please get a life and stop stealing others...
Comment by Timur on February 7, 2012 at 1:03pm
Officer rickyyyyyyyyyy! Gusto!
Comment by john smith on February 7, 2012 at 1:02pm
@Jay Truth 50 AINT FAKE YOU OBVIOUSLY DONT KNOW BOUT HIS PAST, ONLY N**** WHO LIVED THAT LIFE ALL THESE RAPPERS TALK ABOUT >>>>>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRebPeK6uXg<
Comment by Jay Truth on February 7, 2012 at 12:53pm
If you're reading this, you are fake too. Why? Because you are on an internet forum pretending you are a street thug who knows the real from the fake. I'm sure Ross is doing more coke and having more money than you right now, he's overdosing with strokes in parking lots, that is how real he is keeping it b******!
Comment by Jay Truth on February 7, 2012 at 12:51pm
50 cent is fake too. Rapping about guns and drugs and ski masks, when he is living in a high rise with his dog Oprah and drinking filtered water with Mayweather in his arms. All these dudes are fake. That's why no one feels their music. Ross is just feeding the last of your dreams. Lets face it, all the dudes listening to this crap are fake, because they are wanna-be gangsters and losers.
Comment by True2HipHop on February 7, 2012 at 12:30pm
Can we please stop giving this fake, non-lyrical, gimmick, lame attention. Honestly he doesn't even fit into many categories when it comes to real MCs, which is why he stays being a rapper (gimmick). 50 please expose this man, get whoever else you need to discredit this man he is not doing justice to the game. I can't believe people actually support and hang onto this man's words. He is so wack and doesn't deserve all the attention he receives period. If your smart stop supporting him and teach your friends to do the same cause its fake people like him that hip hop is being destroyed along w/ wack radio execs & label C.E.Os. (the white man) hahaha.
Comment by FRANK GOODY on February 7, 2012 at 12:29pm
F*** off shasha,making money is all about how smart u re,if dumb a** rappers can't make it cus DEY not smart Ross is,he is an entertainer,u do believe in politicians don't u ,but DEY fucken lie as well,so is da game,stick ur head in or suck Ross d***....
Comment by SonGetWrec on February 7, 2012 at 12:20pm
yo i'm readin' through these comments and i'm buggin! ross aint never gone platinum?!? LMAO!!! n!gga aint the boss of sh!t n!gga! 50 gon' flip it on 'em this year watch. #SK



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