FEATURE: Rick Ross, Under Oath
[Editor’s Note: These are the outtakes to the edited interview that appears in the May 2009 issue of XXL.]
XXLMag.com: How did you come up with that line about 50’s baby mama and burning down the house? ’Cause that was the thing that triggered him.
Rick Ross: Most definitely. And what it was, it was a true statement. I was just smoking at home watching the news just like everybody else.
XXL: Did you know he would come back at you with something?
Ross: Of course. That’s why I did it.
XXL: That’s why you did it?
Ross: Of course. You gotta understand this is chess not checkers. You gotta understand a man’s next moves. When a woman is scorned, you have to understand that there’s gonna be a backlash, which is totally fine. I was… As far as him responding, I’m still a little disappointed in the quality of music that’s being released. ’Cause at the end of the day, all the hoopla, you smoke a blunt, forget about it and people wanna put on they headphones and hear some quality. I’m one of the first artists to admit Get Rich or Die Tryin‘ was a classic. But if I turn back the hands of time five years ago, if I knew the dude who did “Many Men” would wear wigs and buy dildos and, you know, attack people that I look at as legends, such as Jadakiss and the LOX and the list could go on…
XXL: So were you just upset with him attacking everybody else and that made you—
Ross: Nah, it’s not that. It’s not a fact about nobody being upset because his last attacks have relatively failed. So it wasn’t about that. It was just about me deciding when I was ready to engage in 50 Cent.
XXL: Why did you go straight for the personal thing that you knew he would react to?
Ross: It’s the truth. His music is wack. Can you repeat the chorus to “Everybody Get Up”? Can you repeat the chorus? It’s nothing personal. It’s just… Enough is enough. Let’s move along. Let’s put on the next niggas that’s doing they thing, know what I’m saying?
XXL: But didn’t you make it personal with that line?
Ross: It could. It depends on how you wanna take it. I don’t know. It’s however the next man take it. I said it.
XXL: Some fans, that’s how they see it.
Ross: Okay, that’s understandable. I said it.
XXL: What kind of feedback are you getting about the 50 beef? Because people I speak to, honestly, they feel like you’re losing… With the cartoons and stuff, he’s funny.
Ross: That’s fine… I mean, look at the sales. Look at the BDS. I don’t have to say it. Look at the response. I mean, we just watched the Grammys. He sold a lot of records, right? How many did he take home? That’s the point I’m trying to make. Where I come from, none of that counts. Your money doesn’t count.
XXL: So nobody’s telling you that they feel like you’re losing?
Ross: Why would anyone say that? If they listen to the music—
XXL: Is there a bias in New York?
Ross: Nah, nah, I love New York. I got a lotta good… I got a lotta strong ties in New York so I never say that. Like I say, the people I touch are maybe a lot less to voice their opinion online.
XXL: In the video [“Kiss My Pinky Ring”] you were in the subway station in Manhattan. Why didn’t you do that in Queens in 50’s territory?
Ross: ’Cause Queens is no longer 50’s territory. I was with a hundred dudes from Queens. Me and Bang Em Smurf finna do a lotta business. The dudes that you saw talking at the end of that clip? Do your homework and find out who that was.
XXL: The other obviously big controversy is the C.O. stuff…
XXL: From a fan’s standpoint, they’re looking at it like, why did he just lie about that’s not him in the photo. Now, why should I believe anything he says, you know?
Ross: And that’s fine, too. But I have so many more fans that understand. There’s a lotta people that understand and know and it’s so many gangstas in the world that could vouch for me. But why? I feel it’s unnecessary at this point. I feel any small talk is beneath me. I feel like I came from nothing and became a 10 millionaire and in two albums, I feel I’m the focal point of the industry. And all I could do at this point is smile.
XXL: It kinda affects the music if a fan sees a conflict between, oh he was a correctional officer but he’s talking about this big drug lifestyle that he lived.
Ross: I mean, how do you describe a mobster? How tall are they? How fat are they? What do they do during the daytime? Where do they eat? Where do they go? What do they drive? Do they drive Lambourghinis? I mean, at some point you have to realize I’m doing a lotta things out here. I’m putting my life on the line and I don’t give a fuck. I have no fear of none of these bitch ass niggas. None of these monkeys. I will terminate them. I have no fear. And at some point, my music will… you know, lames won’t. But I’m not tryna convince anybody. I’m doing me.
XXL: The monkey thing kinda bothers me because it’s kind of—
Ross: It’s not anything racial. It’s just the tactics. And that’s what he is. I couldn’t refer to Jay-Z as that. I would never refer to Nas as that. I would never disrespect the legacy of Biggie Smalls as that. But then when I think about the class of a Jay-Z, the class of a Nas, I don’t think I would see them in wigs. I don’t think I would see them. It’s not funny. The jokes on him. He’s the monkey. And that’s what he has to live with.
XXL: Tia, your baby’s mother, she’s been all over the radio trying to expose you and she was saying that you were actually well off and that your mom bought you a house when you got out of high school.
Ross: I mean, then why’d you work for me? Why’d you… what I’m not gonna do is because of who I am and how I was raised, I understand scorned women. It’s perfectly fine, everything she says and I refuse to… Because of who I am, I refuse to disrespect her because of any of that. So I applaud her. I respect her financial gains. And am I upset? No. Do I forgive her? Of course. I apologize to her for everything I’ve done wrong to her. ’Cause I’ve done some wrong things. But as far as the statements she make, we all have to be smarter and realize it’s not true.
XXL: So you’re saying it’s not true that your mom bought you a house and a car?
Ross: I mean, I got 20 cars now. Half of them in my mom’s name now. I have 10 homes now. Half of them in my mom name now. That’s the way it goes. That’s just how it is. As far as bank statements, I mean, Lord forbid, you’re a guy who has a crazy baby mom and you might want a tax shelter. Not saying that’s what I do. You might want an IRA. Not saying that’s what I do. But it’s called trying to live your life. That’s what I’m doing.
XXL: Have you talked to Tia since she’s been on the radio and stuff like that?
Ross: Yeah, she called me. I have a son with her. I don’t take that personal.
XXL: How do you feel about her exposing all the details of your relationship?
Ross: Listen, baby. Lemme explain something to you. Baby, I didn’t hear it. It didn’t entertain me. But what I do wanna know is… I wanna thank them because the majority of the fans are not listening to them. They just wanna hear about me. That’s what it basically boils down to. So whatever you’re doing, I applaud it. Generate income. That’s what I’m about. Number One. I don’t have any problems with that. Once money’s made, then I may be interested. Other than that, God bless you baby. I hope he don’t burn your house down.-Clover Hope