Ex-con calls on Rozay to stop romanticizing “thug culture” and help end the “hip hop to prison pipeline” epidemic.
“Freeway” Rick Ross has gone from legally battling Rick Ross over his name to asking that he help drive a new mission. The ex drug kingpin wants Rozay and other artists to help bring an end to the praising of “thug culture” by being honest about their collective criminal pasts so as to dismantle what he calls the “hip hop to prison pipeline” epidemic.
"To William Roberts, a.k.a. Rick Ross, who’s using my name, I’m inviting you in to come with me,” he said in a video on InfoWars.com. “Let’s fight this culture. Let’s fight this penitentiary culture that hip hop’s been spreading. Let’s make a difference.”
The ex-con advises that his namesake admit that his money didn’t actually come from the drug game, as he often raps about. "Me and you need to come together and you need to tell them that you didn’t make your money selling drugs and making music is how you became famous. It’s nothing wrong with making music just like it’s nothing wrong with being a correctional officer, if that’s what you did. But so many of our friends who look up to you and look up to me are out on the streets thinking that they can go out and sell drugs and parlay that into a record career. I don’t know if you know that they’re not gonna make it, but I know that they’re gonna wind up in prison with prison sentences three and four times what they should be because this war on drugs is no joke.”
He later names former drug lord Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory among his “10 or 11” friends serving life sentences for drugs. Meech, who has been mentioned by the 38-year-old MMG Bawse in the song “Blowing Money Fast,” is used as an example to illustrate how criminal lifestyles have been glorified in hip hop. “I know how much you respect and care about me, otherwise you wouldn’t have took my name,” adds "Freeway" Rick Ross. “Take a chance with me now. Let’s make a difference.”
The call to action is riddled with backhanded compliments, and probably not a collaboration that Ross the rapper will be signing up for. He and Freeway Rick Ross aren’t exactly buddies, especially after years of fighting in court. A judge ruled last year that First Amendment rights allow Ross to continue to use the rap alias.
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(Photos from left: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET, Freeway Rick Ross via Twitter)