Now that the real “Freeway” Rick Ross, is out of jail he’s ready to reclaim the rights to his name. The infamous L.A.-based drug trafficker is planning a lawsuit against Miami rapper Rick Ross (real name William L. Roberts II), for profiting off the unlawful use of his name, along with Def Jam, Universal, and others. XXLmag.com spoke to both Ross and his lawyers today (May 25) to find out more about their case.
Rumors hit the internet this morning, claiming that both parties are set to go to court this summer. Ross’ attorney clarified with XXL that a date hasn’t been scheduled yet because the suit hasn’t been formally filed. However, a cease and desist letter (a formality generally preceding lawsuits) on behalf of Ross has been sent to Def Jam and they’re currently waiting for a response, if any.
From the sound of it, things could get pretty serious. When asked if they were planning on pushing for injunctions on Ross’ music or anything of that sort, his lawyer responded “If it has to go to court, all of that is not only in the plan but already prepared.”
The former drug king spent almost 15 years in prison for trying to purchase more than 100 kilos of cocaine from a federal agent. While locked up the Southern MC has dominated the use of his reputable name, forcing Ross (and others) to refer to himself as “the Real Rick Ross” to differentiate between the two.
“I just want my name back,” Rick told XXL. “I don’t want to have to be ‘the real Rick Ross.’ When I go places I have to explain to people that I am the real one because Def Jam has put him on TV and now people recognize him. It causes a conflict.”
Although he hasn’t made up his mind about whether he wants complete rights over the use of the name or just damages, he maintains that the suit is not personal. “It ain’t even really against William Roberts you know what I’m saying?” Ross added. “It’s really against Def Jam because they making all this money off of my name and you know those guys didn’t even reach out and said hello to me since I been home.”
This isn’t the first time Ross has spoken out. Previous attempts at protesting the exploitation and misuse of his name have failed. Ross claims that letters sent to Def Jam from his lawyers in 2006 while he was still in jail were ignored. So far there hasn’t been anyone from the Def Jam camp to reach out to Ross since his release.
His legal team simply states that they are seeking “respect, redemption and restitution” and as of now, the ball is in Def Jam’s court.
For updates on Ross’ further actions visit freewayenterprise.com. —Brooklyne Gipson with reporting by Rondell Conway