I extremely suggest incorporating Rick Ross into your every day Instagram Story rotation, if he isn’t there already. Today you’re prone to see him exploring the grounds of his 100-room property, which previously belonged to Evander Holyfield, whereas spouting aphorisms with a distinctly Rick Rossian spin like, “Good day to boss up.” These are the fruits of a decade’s labor as one of the crucial constant presences in hip-hop: Ross led one in every of rap’s most enjoyable latest crews, normally delivered above common and generally traditional albums, and stayed related with options on bangers and lyrical barfests alike.
Ross can also be fairly humorous, with a dry wit, informal supply and non-sequiturs that make for reliably laugh-out-loud moments. His comedian timing has all the time been evident in his music (“Fuck the prosecutor, inform him the Bugatti’s new!”). But it surely’s on full show on Instagram, the place he presents commentary on occasions like Nate Robinson’s knockout by Jake Paul—one clip ended with him vowing to assist Robinson by sporting one in every of his jerseys the next day, just for the next morning’s video to open with him declaring “I feel it’s no secret that I don’t really personal a Nate Robinson jersey.”
He’ll weigh in on a hot-button debate: the place most rappers uncared for to shun Tory Lanez for allegedly capturing Megan Thee Stallion, Ross made his opinion clear with a number of movies ridiculing Lanez. Or take this video from the beginning of the pandemic, the place he basically labels males bucking towards the shelter-in-place order as perpetuating poisonous masculinity with dangerous repercussions (“You wanna appear onerous however don’t convey that fungus residence to mama and them.”)
Then, after all, there are his beefs, primarily his perennial feud with 50 Cent, which he’s taken to stoking by...taking part in and celebrating previous 50 Cent music, solely with a touch of snide disrespect and backhanded compliments. Most of those movies function blatant branding, normally with Wingstop (one in every of Ross’s most closely promoted enterprise investments) or his Belaire champagne so closely foregrounded that it solely provides to the hilarity. There’s a stage of theater to all of it that’s in line with his musical persona, and a tossed off casualness: Rick Ross is doing too effectively to actually care about beef.
That contentment is clear within the new album title, Richer Than I’ve Ever Been. It’s in all probability true: Ross claims that within the final three years, he’s greater than doubled his quantity of name partnerships. However not like a few of his friends, company pursuits haven’t diluted his enchantment. Richer could be very a lot a Rick Ross album: lush manufacturing, intriguing options, deceptively intricate lyricism, and a splash of controversy. Ross initially launched a picture on social media that was implied to be the album’s cowl, exhibiting him dressed extra like Queen Elizabeth than a Florida road rapper, then seemingly scrapped it for a extra easy strategy. And features on the album intro have been interpreted as maybe going at Jay-Z, beforehand one in every of Ross’s most prolific collaborators.
GQ’s two conversations with Ross throughout the final a number of weeks occurred earlier than that subliminal diss grew to become evident, however we bought into every little thing else from the quilt, as to whether he’d do a Verzuz with 50 Cent, to how the brand new album displays his life now.
The album cowl modified. Why? That first cowl was onerous. Individuals are saying you felt pressured as a result of it was so unorthodox.
It was by no means an album cowl change. That was a photograph that Jonathan Mannion took on the photograph shoot for me that we launched after I introduced my album date on the Miami Warmth enviornment. We did the announcement throughout half time and we launched the picture and it is a good looking picture. I adore it. However you understand, I am per having my face on my album covers and I need you to see me. That is simply part of the Rozay 101 branding.
Discuss to me concerning the artwork course of while you and Mannion had been capturing that picture. It is actually placing and never one thing we would usually anticipate from you.
It was simply us having enjoyable. We had been out by my pool and I needed to take a couple of pictures the place individuals see the lion’s eye, the ring I had on, and I used to be laughing and we simply had fun. However to me, the photographs was simply dope as fuck, and in order that's why I simply needed to throw that on the market and I do adore it.
At at this time’s shoot you’ve been taking part in “Wood Wheel” on loop—you all the time play quite a lot of UGK and eight Ball & MJG on IG tales. What's it about UGK that places you in that temper to get the shine on?
That period for me, that was me developing in my final years of highschool, [as I was] simply figuring myself out. Simply asking myself, "What you fixing to do?" And that is after I understood and knew I needed to make music. So I used to be listening to that shit from after I awoke within the morning to after I went to sleep. And that went on for years. And what 8Ball, MJG, that Texas sound of Rap-A-Lot Information, Scarface, Geto Boys—after I heard that conceitedness of Pimp C, and after I heard that aggressive, nonstop phrase play coming from Bun B, that mixture along with the manufacturing they selected, I stated, "Boy, this shit right here is subsequent stage."
Did Pimp move earlier than you had been in a position to work with him?
One of many photos that is on my Instagram that I posted with Pimp was us within the membership simply kicking it. We spoke a couple of days later, possibly per week earlier than he handed away. So, yeah, I need to say RIP to him. RIP his mother, simply the entire squad. Pimp was particular.
High 10, even.
His conceitedness was priceless. And man, after I hearken to that shit, I really feel it as a result of I do know he is talking for each younger man who desires a home proper up the road.
I hear you interpolate him somewhat bit in your rhymes, while you emphasize a few of your enunciations, there's that Pimp DNA.
Why not? You already know, hopefully sooner or later, I ought to let all of the greats that impressed me shine via me generally. And I hope they get to see that.
Final time we met was proper earlier than the pandemic popped off. How has the final yr and a half been for you?
I am studying. I actually bought to spend so much of time with myself, mirror and be taught. I bought to write down one other e book, a New York Occasions greatest vendor [Good Day to Boss Up]. But it surely was dope as a result of I bought to only speak concerning the methods of my approaches in relation to entrepreneurship. So after all I used to be making information, however I bought to do quite a lot of completely different different issues
And also you really caught Covid too, proper?
Mm-hmm. I used to be down dangerous. It ain't no secret, boy. I had that actual one. I ain't had that common [asymptomatic] shit. I stated this earlier than, my dick ain't get onerous for 2 weeks, man. I had by no means skilled no shit like that. I used to be trying round like... [laughs].
So while you undergo an expertise as severe as that, in relation to the vaccine, the place do you land on that?
You bought to grasp, once they first advised me concerning the vaccine, I used to be like, "Man, y'all loopy. Rozay ain't..." However as I moved round, the issues I noticed, travelling—as a result of I nonetheless was going into golf equipment. You go within the membership, it is two ladies with a masks on, I am nonetheless watching individuals move hookahs round. However me, for the reason that pandemic, I ain't by no means let no person hit my blunt. And I simply actually thought of my mother, my sister, I had actually prevented going to see my mother due to the pandemic. In some unspecified time in the future, I needed to be round her, and she or he was actually involved with it. So it was all good. I let her know, "It is on you. I am with no matter you with. If we getting the vaccine, we getting the vaccine. If we not, we not.”
I seen throughout that shelter-in-place interval you bought extra into gardening, landscaping. Like Drake says, you’re on 235 acres however it looks as if final yr was your first time actually attending to get pleasure from it.
Yeah, indubitably. That comes with being richer than I’ve ever been. Actual language.
After I see you gardening like Don Corleone or one thing, it makes me marvel, does retirement cross your thoughts?
Not for actual. If I wasn't making music that was higher than nearly all of every little thing that is out, possibly I might take into account it, however... You already know, I am a singular particular person. And I let the streets dictate [when it’s time for me to retire]. However I am a hell of a person, and my hustle remains to be unmatched. All I want is 2 or three extra years, I am going to have probably the most cash, indubitably, round this shit. What? N-gga, this Rozay. You loopy?
Your albums all the time have experiments—placing surprising collaborators collectively or taking rappers out of the ingredient we’re most used to listening to them in. The one which jumped out to me probably the most on Richer Than I’ve Ever Been was placing Future, a entice artist, on a hotter, extra soulful beat from Bink [“Warm Words in a Cold World”].
Why not? And what made the file actually particular to me is how Future switched his move up, turned down his harmonizing and turned up his bars in that chop move. Once you’re on album 11, you possibly can't simply go to [the things you’re already] safe with, it's a must to be inventive. That is what being an artist is about.
What are another issues that you just did on this album that you just really feel proud about creatively?
Oh man, ensuring I went and bought among the most gifted kids from Florida with the file I've [“Can’t Be Broke”] that includes Yungeen ACE file and Main 9. I really feel that file goes to actually resonate in a particular manner. And giving these kids the chance was massive. Additionally, me going to seek out who the streets had been saying was the most popular spitter proper now, which was Benny the Butcher. Okay, let's put him proper subsequent to me [on “Rapper Estates”], I do not even need no hook between us. Let's give it to them straight up and down.
A giant level of competition as of late is when massive, blockbuster, A-list albums drop which have dozens of options however none from feminine rappers, since there are such a lot of actually gifted and buzzing women out proper now. So it was good to see you make such a tough file with Dreamdoll on “Wiggle.”
I actually imagine that is going to be successful file. She deserves it. She earned this place, it wasn't no favor. She’s actually spitting bars. Her tone was so dope. She went proper within the studio, dealt with that enterprise. I stated, "Yo, her future vivid."
Are you feeling some other feminine spitters out proper now?
Simply coming proper off the dome, as an example as an example, on that [theoretical] “Wiggle” remix, it is a good likelihood I could attain out to Megan [Thee Stallion].
Reaching album quantity 11 is not any small feat.
Eleven is a good looking factor for the place I come from. It is superb. It is phenomenal. It is virtually indescribable for the kind of music that I’ve made, the collaborations that we now have made, the shit that is on the horizon. I've been in a position to be part of among the most unimaginable shit in hip hop. I collaborated with the best ones besides Large, Tupac. However the shit me and Nas did, me and Kanye did, me and Jay-Z did, me and Lil Wayne did, me and Khaled did, the shit me and Drake might proceed to presumably do, in addition to developing on my eleventh album, and n-ggas nonetheless shopping for verses from me like I am fucking SpottemGottem, a brand new n-gga or one thing. You're feeling me?
I bought 20 enterprise partnerships now. My final album, I ain't have 10. You perceive? That is how fast this shit'll flip. So after I inform you in three years, individuals going to should really feel me, you perceive. The final word place I am in is now I've the music, let's mirror the place my thoughts is at, and put it in phrases now. And to me, it isn't tough aside from getting the small print. And now that we’ve carried out that, I am fixing to prepare and feed the streets. Richer Than I’ve Ever Been. They higher be prepared for some crispy, classical Rick Ross, aka Rick Ravioli.
We've to speak nicknames. You have got Rozay, Renzel. Now you’re speaking about Rick Ravioli. Are these alter egos? Do they mirror completely different zones you faucet into the identical manner say, Nicki used to name an aggressive monitor her being “Roman,” Beyonce had “Sasha Fierce,” Jay-Z had his “Jigga” section…
It may be. I by no means had that dialog. What's an alter ego?
Such as you, however a special model of you.
Ooh, Renzel is that horny, “Diced Pineapples” speak. After I say, [for example] Ravioli, that is one thing that is been spinning off as a result of I am in a brand new place. I personal a $three million timepiece, you perceive? This one [Ross gestures to the watch he’s currently wearing] is barely 1 / 4 million. I put my chain on, that is a half one million. You perceive? And after I put that on, I should throw on a baseball cap, and spin that to the again. But it surely's all simply finally, on the finish of the day, manifestation, nonetheless having fun with myself. The phrase play. I will let the album let individuals know, do not ever query the flexibility. Y'all know I am getting cash. I am—I used to be fixing to say high 10, however you by no means know what number of of those rappers actually broke, so I could also be even nearer to the highest 10.
Now's that [Forbes] listing the one listing you are anxious about? In the case of rapper rankings, are you tripping over that? As a result of one thing like Verzuz begins conversations the place individuals begin evaluating legacies.
They may do no matter they need. When Rozay run out on the stage within the arenas, and I carry out information that is 12, 13 years previous—I might carry out [a banger like] “Pop That,” I might carry out [an album cut like] “Tears of Pleasure”... They’re screaming prefer it's a brand new file.
How did you want doing Verzuz [with 2 Chainz]?
That shit was cool. I saved a bunch of information for Verzuz Two.
The one with 2 Chainz was good vibes, although. Would you ever do one which was somewhat charged up, somewhat extra contentious and aggressive like Dipset and LOX? Like… would you do one with 50 Cent?
You bought to ask your self would he come and do a Verzuz with Rozay. I imply, you bought to ask your self actually, would he come and stand subsequent to Rozay within the enviornment or wherever it could be? That is actually your query. I do not even suppose it is a query of if I might do it. That shit gentle.
50 can be gentle work? It’s 20 songs...
Come on, now. I helped the views on his exhibits. On TV, he did not do nothing, man.
Have you ever been watching BMF, contemplating your individual BMF connection?
Man, I noticed the primary [episode]. I used to be simply attempting to assist the homie Meech [the incarcerated head of Black Mafia Family whose rise the 50 Cent-produced show chronicles], the n-ggas on the street. I am an actual n-gga. I might put [my issues with 50] to the facet. I do know he could have made 1 / 4 million off the entire season. I am glad he made that quarter. [I laugh at his backhanded compliment] You already know that is what he made. Why you laughing like that? And ensure you put all these particulars in. I am going to by no means allow you to interview me once more for those who take that out. Hold it. However, look I do know he made 250ok off the entire season, and that is good. Inform him I stated, "Congratulations."
Effectively, this can be a nice segue to-
You going to inform him?
I'll. However this can be a nice segue to, actually, the primary factor I actually needed to speak to you about: you may be the funniest rapper there may be.
Oh, my God. I've by no means heard that in my life. I swear to God. [To his publicist] Have you ever ever heard that earlier than? Inform me, what's humorous?
I’ll thumb via your IG tales—speaking about 50 jogged my memory of this, since you’ll simply be like, in your crib consuming Belaire...and blasting Lloyd Banks. Who is clearly related to somebody you could have a really public beef with. And also you’re nodding alongside to some traditional G-Unit or classic 50 after which yelling “Banks, you need some money?” It’s very dry and hilarious.
Come on, man. Be trustworthy. You already know it is tough on the market. Typically you simply bought to be trustworthy. Inform Lloyd that I am going to let him come to the promised land, and I am going to have a dialog with him. I haven't got no downside with Lloyd Banks.
Effectively, you revered the music while you had been rapping alongside. You listening to “Hate It or Love It” is a classic clip on Twitter.
What I stated?
Effectively you particularly dialed in on the road about his mom...
As a result of his mother, he stated she was a bulldagger, proper? That is what you appreciated. And that was dope how he stated it.
Would you act? Do a comedy?
There ain’t sufficient cash in appearing. That is what I used to be simply saying. Your synthetic 250ok for the season doing that. That little season, Starz TV shit. What channel is it actually?
It's really on Starz.
That is on Starz? I actually was joking. He ought to’ve simply went Revolt. Simply go Revolt subsequent time. Inform Curtis I stated, "Go Revolt."
You talked about Drake earlier, and also you particularly stated what you guys “might” do. I do know it's possible you'll be getting bored with this query, however while you guys identify your newest track collectively “You Solely Reside Twice,” you’re actually teasing us, hinting at the YOLO album.
It might occur. It is nonetheless a chance. We'll put it on the market. That will be simple.
Talking of “You Solely Reside Twice,” Drake is on that track with some bars, seemingly, for somebody you’re cool with.
Firstly, it's a must to bear in mind, Drake in relation to the move… His shit is so dope and fashionable. Even when he’s saying [something slick]... And the kind of individual that I do know Drake is, and the kind of particular person I do know Swizz is, it is a chance they might have a collab out by… 9pm tonight.
I’ve all the time puzzled about this: Is it ever awkward in a state of affairs the place you are on a track with another person, they usually have phrases for somebody you are cool with?
No. Perhaps it could turn out to be awkward after I know any person could lose their life behind it. If it is just a few n-ggas getting off they chest, I like to be part of it. It is hip hop.
That was sort of like while you tried to get Pusha and Wayne together on [“Maybach Music 6”].
And as soon as once more, I like each of them.
Would you continue to work with Pusha though...
I like Pusha. We had been simply at an occasion lately, having fun with Luc Belaire.
Good to know. You have to get this each time you drop an album that does not have a brand new “Maybach Music” sequel on it, however was there, or is there, a “Maybach Music 7” within the wings?
I imply, I really did do one and it is Ronald Isley on the refrain.
Oh my God.
It is a phenomenal file, however when it comes all the way down to sure information and samples [clearances] and beats, after which the time it takes me to get it redone… I do not need to simply throw it out simply to throw it out. So you possibly can anticipate to listen to that sooner or later. Ronald Isley, I like you and I respect you.
And that one had some visitor rappers on it too?
I bought you, belief me. I bought you, belief me.
Talking of the “Maybach Music” sequence, no matter occurred to the one with Bobby Womack?
Man, that shit is particular to me. These information actually are particular to me—the information I've with Alicia Keys, the information I've with Adam Levine, Bobby Womack. I've had my file with Alicia Keys over 5 years and I am unsure after I'll put that file out. It is carried out. My file with Bobby Womack, which means a lot [especially] after he handed, it is like, "wow." I bought a Dolph file able to go that I might have placed on the monitor listing. However some issues ain't simply meant to only go. Some issues take time and actually take coronary heart, man. Some issues actually take ardour and course.
You had been on one in every of Dolph’s first massive information, “Preach.”
Proper. I knew after I met Dolph—he was a younger hustler out of Memphis, and DJ Q out of Memphis launched me to him, and he was simply strong from day one. I noticed his work ethic, I used to be there for him, vice versa, and we grew to become shut. He’s a terrific loss only for all of the leaders within the streets and all over the world, we bought to guard our leaders, man. We bought to guard them.
Styled by Groovey Lew, assisted by Daniel Jones
Grooming by Pedro Antunes