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“A gripping journey.”—People The highly anticipated memoir from hip-hop icon Rick Ross chronicles his coming of age amid Miami’s crack epidemic, his star-studded controversies and his unstoppable rise to fame. Rick Ross is an indomitable presence in the music industry, but few people know his full story. Now, for the first time, Ross offers a vivid, dramatic and unexpectedly “A gripping journey.”—People The highly anticipated memoir from hip-hop icon Rick Ross chronicles his coming of age amid Miami’s crack epidemic, his star-studded controversies and his unstoppable rise to fame. Rick Ross is an indomitable presence in the music industry, but few people know his full story. Now, for the first time, Ross offers a vivid, dramatic and unexpectedly candid account of his early childhood, his tumultuous adolescence and his dramatic ascendancy in the world of hip-hop. Born William Leonard Roberts II, Ross grew up “across the bridge,” in a Miami at odds with the glitzy beaches, nightclubs and yachts of South Beach. In the aftermath of the 1980 race riots and the Mariel boatlift, Ross came of age at the height of the city’s crack epidemic, when home invasions and execution-style killings were commonplace. Still, in the midst of the chaos and danger that surrounded him, Ross flourished, first as a standout high school football player and then as a dope boy in Carol City’s notorious Matchbox housing projects. All the while he honed his musical talent, overcoming setback after setback until a song called “Hustlin’” changed his life forever. From the making of “Hustlin’” to his first major label deal with Def Jam, to the controversy surrounding his past as a correctional officer and the numerous health scares, arrests and feuds he had to transcend along the way, Hurricanes is a revealing portrait of one of the biggest stars in the rap game, and an intimate look at the birth of an artist.


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“A gripping journey.”—People The highly anticipated memoir from hip-hop icon Rick Ross chronicles his coming of age amid Miami’s crack epidemic, his star-studded controversies and his unstoppable rise to fame. Rick Ross is an indomitable presence in the music industry, but few people know his full story. Now, for the first time, Ross offers a vivid, dramatic and unexpectedly “A gripping journey.”—People The highly anticipated memoir from hip-hop icon Rick Ross chronicles his coming of age amid Miami’s crack epidemic, his star-studded controversies and his unstoppable rise to fame. Rick Ross is an indomitable presence in the music industry, but few people know his full story. Now, for the first time, Ross offers a vivid, dramatic and unexpectedly candid account of his early childhood, his tumultuous adolescence and his dramatic ascendancy in the world of hip-hop. Born William Leonard Roberts II, Ross grew up “across the bridge,” in a Miami at odds with the glitzy beaches, nightclubs and yachts of South Beach. In the aftermath of the 1980 race riots and the Mariel boatlift, Ross came of age at the height of the city’s crack epidemic, when home invasions and execution-style killings were commonplace. Still, in the midst of the chaos and danger that surrounded him, Ross flourished, first as a standout high school football player and then as a dope boy in Carol City’s notorious Matchbox housing projects. All the while he honed his musical talent, overcoming setback after setback until a song called “Hustlin’” changed his life forever. From the making of “Hustlin’” to his first major label deal with Def Jam, to the controversy surrounding his past as a correctional officer and the numerous health scares, arrests and feuds he had to transcend along the way, Hurricanes is a revealing portrait of one of the biggest stars in the rap game, and an intimate look at the birth of an artist.

30 review for Hurricanes: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brandice

    Hurricanes: A Memoir is rapper Rick Ross’s story. I liked his music when I was in college and he was (in my opinion) at the height of his prime, though this was early on in his career. It took him a decade to truly “make it” in the music business - Now known as Rick Ross the Boss, The Teflon Don, Rozay, his songs synonymous with the “Maybach Music” intro sounds. With the amount of memoirs I read, I feel it’s fair to say this wasn’t my favorite or the most interesting story about rising to the to Hurricanes: A Memoir is rapper Rick Ross’s story. I liked his music when I was in college and he was (in my opinion) at the height of his prime, though this was early on in his career. It took him a decade to truly “make it” in the music business - Now known as Rick Ross the Boss, The Teflon Don, Rozay, his songs synonymous with the “Maybach Music” intro sounds. With the amount of memoirs I read, I feel it’s fair to say this wasn’t my favorite or the most interesting story about rising to the top. A large portion of the beginning of the book seemed to focus on riding around, selling drugs, trying to make money. I know this is not an uncommon struggle but it was vague and became repetitive quickly. He refers to many friends and associates by their nicknames and I found myself losing track of who was who and what their roles were. The bulk of Hurricanes focuses on his career including his beef with other rappers, two of which were against my personal favorites, T.I. and Jeezy. The majority of them seemed trivial, including Ross’s admitted jealousy over T.I. crowning himself “The King of the South”. He breezes over a lot in his personal life, like the birth of his children. He does, though, touch on the regret he experienced for not communicating more with his father before he passed away. I admire Ross’s drive to get to where he wanted to be, and achieve the level of success he has today - It takes real commitment and determination, having taken 10 years for him to be recognized with his first hit song. Prior to reading this book, I didn’t realize he has released 10 total albums. I enjoyed the closing of Hurricanes, in which Ross details his original intention for the book, the ideal timing of its release, and why he ultimately decided to share it when he did: You never know when another storm is coming — 2.5 stars, rounded up.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tim O'Hearn

    It's... really hard to like Rick Ross as a person. Forging a sinister and aloof persona used to come with the benefit of not having to spend much time working on public relations. Times, as you're aware, have changed. To summarize why this guy needed 288 pages to set the record straight: 1. He was a correctional officer for 18 months and denied it when it was dug up. 2. He rapped about drugging a female's drink in 2013 when #MeToo was gaining steam. 3. During an interview, he made a comment that a It's... really hard to like Rick Ross as a person. Forging a sinister and aloof persona used to come with the benefit of not having to spend much time working on public relations. Times, as you're aware, have changed. To summarize why this guy needed 288 pages to set the record straight: 1. He was a correctional officer for 18 months and denied it when it was dug up. 2. He rapped about drugging a female's drink in 2013 when #MeToo was gaining steam. 3. During an interview, he made a comment that a desire to sleep with female artists was a reason he was reluctant to sign them to his label. 4. After a series of seizures and other health-related issues, many people speculated that he was hiding a serious drug addiction. 5. He was charged with beating his groundskeeper with a gun over money he was owed. 6. He acted really creepily around Angela Yee in a Breakfast Club interview in 2017. 7. The Maybach Music label was kind of a... bust. Meek Mill became a superstar but nobody has ever--ever--praised Ross's ability to hone and develop talent. 8. His rap name is that of a notable drug kingpin, who is still alive. 9. He hasn't had a mega-hit single since Hustlin' in 2006. Hurricanes is an interesting, succinct, explanation(?) of why Rick Ross is Rick Ross. He's never apologetic but, thanks to the help of an excellent co-author, he makes amends in a straightforward, congenial, 2019 type of way. I was impressed, especially as I finally synced up my playthrough of his discography with my reading pace. His career has been significant and he's a colossus of modern gangster rap. Most people don't realize how prolific he's been or how skillful and unique you have to be to have a deep discography where you're essentially saying the same thing over and over except after having made more money. The book does a great job of facing the most public criticisms head-on. I don't think it does enough to address some of the more obscure concerns true fans will have, like how the assemblage of MMG talent on 2012's Power Circle never lived up to the hype.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kiera

    Whether or not you’re a hip hop fan or a Rick Ross fan, this book will grab your attention and pull you in. It’s a very real tale about someone who faced extremely difficult circumstances and found ways (both legal and illegal) to rise above the statistics. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a great look into Rick Ross and how he got his start. Whether or not you’re a hip hop fan or a Rick Ross fan, this book will grab your attention and pull you in. It’s a very real tale about someone who faced extremely difficult circumstances and found ways (both legal and illegal) to rise above the statistics. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a great look into Rick Ross and how he got his start.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Monica T

    Page Turner!!!! It should be a screenplay for a movie! It gave me so much insight. He told stories , that I had no idea! It is a story of never giving up and wait your turn!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yesenia Cash

    I love memoirs, the narrator on this book was amazing and made this story so much better!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Camisha Maze

    Whoever wrote this book for him did an amazing job! This book was awesome from front to back and I wanted more! If you are a fan you will love it! I listened to the audiobook and the man that read this is definitely a fan! The way he read this kept me engaged from the beginning to end! I would love to see a movie of Rozays life!

  7. 5 out of 5

    ShakilaMarie_Reads

    “Success comes from saying “Fuck it. I ain’t through just yet” and then giving it another go. Resiliency is what breeds success.” This was my first nonfiction book and I read it was read during #NonfictionNovember 🥳🥳 I have never been interested in reading nonfiction books, but I am so glad that I did read this one! I can say this will not be my last. Being a fan of Rick Ross, I am happy that I was able to learn about the man and not just the rapper through his music. Most people perceive a person “Success comes from saying “Fuck it. I ain’t through just yet” and then giving it another go. Resiliency is what breeds success.” This was my first nonfiction book and I read it was read during #NonfictionNovember 🥳🥳 I have never been interested in reading nonfiction books, but I am so glad that I did read this one! I can say this will not be my last. Being a fan of Rick Ross, I am happy that I was able to learn about the man and not just the rapper through his music. Most people perceive a person or shall I say “rappers” from what they rap about. Reading Mr. William Roberts II aka Rick Ross’ memoir gives you a deeper look into who he is, where he comes from, and the real life accounts that shape the man he is today. This book shows the avenues that he has taken in life was based on his choices and not completly based on a product of his environment. It shows how he made it in the music industry by the drive that he has. It shows that he has been passionate about music since he was a young child, and has had the gift since then as well and did not stop until he became the successful rapper that he is today. I would recommend reading this memoir about Rick Ross because I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it! Huge Thank you to #HTPBook (Harper Collins) for my gifted copy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Anxiously awaited the release of this memoir and I was not disappointed. The ease at which I read this book was refresh. It was like having a conversation with Rick Ross. He's charismatic, witty and very intelligent. This look at his life--the good, the bad, the sad, the triumphant--was a gift. Aided by the same co-author that penned Gucci Mane's story, Rick Ross gave a glimpse into the world of Rozay! Anxiously awaited the release of this memoir and I was not disappointed. The ease at which I read this book was refresh. It was like having a conversation with Rick Ross. He's charismatic, witty and very intelligent. This look at his life--the good, the bad, the sad, the triumphant--was a gift. Aided by the same co-author that penned Gucci Mane's story, Rick Ross gave a glimpse into the world of Rozay!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nada

    This is strictly for Rick's fans and I'm not so I was bored out of my mind and couldn't wait to get done with it. This is strictly for Rick's fans and I'm not so I was bored out of my mind and couldn't wait to get done with it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Hendrix

    Another great read on a hip hop megastar. Reading this I forget how much he has done since he made it "big-time" Also holding no punches, name dropping and details and everything, I enjoyed it. (I may not agree with all of his choices, but I respect this book and the story) Another great read on a hip hop megastar. Reading this I forget how much he has done since he made it "big-time" Also holding no punches, name dropping and details and everything, I enjoyed it. (I may not agree with all of his choices, but I respect this book and the story)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shà

    this is a true testament of a man who I seen work his ass off in this industry who continuously set trends and not ashamed about his age and ashamed about what he's been through not ashamed that he loves his mother and his black children has black baby mamas he's not scared to admit that you know he's made mistakes and that he learn from his mistakes and almost importantly he's not the smartest but when it comes to making money he know what he's doing and that's why I have so much respect for th this is a true testament of a man who I seen work his ass off in this industry who continuously set trends and not ashamed about his age and ashamed about what he's been through not ashamed that he loves his mother and his black children has black baby mamas he's not scared to admit that you know he's made mistakes and that he learn from his mistakes and almost importantly he's not the smartest but when it comes to making money he know what he's doing and that's why I have so much respect for this man in this book really open up my eyes to a lot more about what was going on with him because headline would make you think that you know that's always the truth and that's not always the truth and I truly truly respect this man and I would love to meet him one day and what I like he loves his people and what I mean his people has black people and it is what it is so I think anybody that for hip hop fan should read this book and buy it and support this man & keep rooting for him because I will

  12. 4 out of 5

    LeeTravelGoddess

    The Biggest Boss that I’ve seen this far! 😍😍😍. I love Ricky Rozay & I believe the rest of the world does as well because he has stood the test of time. I enjoyed the memoir although the beginning started a tad dark. There were in fact things that I had never known but there was never a moment when I thought Young Renzel was a fraud or fake. I’m mad 50 got more play in this AutoBio than he should have, but I get it... he sealed his own fate LMAO!! I was also thrilled to learn things about other a The Biggest Boss that I’ve seen this far! 😍😍😍. I love Ricky Rozay & I believe the rest of the world does as well because he has stood the test of time. I enjoyed the memoir although the beginning started a tad dark. There were in fact things that I had never known but there was never a moment when I thought Young Renzel was a fraud or fake. I’m mad 50 got more play in this AutoBio than he should have, but I get it... he sealed his own fate LMAO!! I was also thrilled to learn things about other artists in the industry and hearing his 10 year come-up; because if it had come easy I don’t feel as if he would have appreciated it as much. Just so y’all know Rick said he is not fat and is very handsome of which you can tell by his demeanor in interviews & videos 😎. William Roberts tickles me and would for sure be my friend if we ever met 👅. All in all, the book was good and I’m adding it to my tops and I hope and pray that his story gets better & he blesses us with “Hurricanes: Volume II” but for now we have to settle with him owning the biggest residential pool in the US!!! Keep climbing Young King— Uuuhhh! Oh & BTW Teflon Don = his best work to date 🙋🏽‍♀️ 💚💚💚.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bella

    Read this for my March Book club pick. It wasn’t bad, just not what I expected. However, it was nice to get to know more about Rick Ross, his background, family and the work ethic that took him to the top of his game. I listened to this book and I really felt it would have made my audio experience better if he had read it himself.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lupetheoracle

    ez and quick, would recc if you're a fan but ctrl+f and no mention of pears???? ez and quick, would recc if you're a fan but ctrl+f and no mention of pears????

  15. 4 out of 5

    Taneka

    I did not know that The Boss had a memoir out. That is how much I am out of the loop with pop culture. I barely even watch TV. I loved this memoir. I think that many of the music artists should put out a memoir/biography. Would have been nice if he had read for the audio, and even better if the actual performer knew Ross' music and gave the rap lyrics justice. But all in all it was a good read. I did not know that The Boss had a memoir out. That is how much I am out of the loop with pop culture. I barely even watch TV. I loved this memoir. I think that many of the music artists should put out a memoir/biography. Would have been nice if he had read for the audio, and even better if the actual performer knew Ross' music and gave the rap lyrics justice. But all in all it was a good read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nadine

    I am apathetic about Ross or his career, but the book isn’t long and the narrator was fine, so without many distractions, I finished this book handily. I now know a bit about the modern hip hop scene and some details about all those names Wendy Williams et al drop. I like memoirs and I do admire Ross’s ambition and success. I don’t admire his passion for gaudy display of wealth, but I suppose he can’t help being who he is. I will seek out his music and through that likely get to know the man or I am apathetic about Ross or his career, but the book isn’t long and the narrator was fine, so without many distractions, I finished this book handily. I now know a bit about the modern hip hop scene and some details about all those names Wendy Williams et al drop. I like memoirs and I do admire Ross’s ambition and success. I don’t admire his passion for gaudy display of wealth, but I suppose he can’t help being who he is. I will seek out his music and through that likely get to know the man or persona of Rick Ross. Read this if you admire Ross or people like him. I give it 3 stars, but I wouldn’t even post it because I wouldn’t even read it if I didn’t like it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Surprisingly, I learned Rick ross is hungry and has a big picture view of what he wants in his life. I read a lot of books on wealth building generation but none to strike a chord "pun intended" like Ross non apologetically hankering for boss status. Things my ear picked up on What makes me a boss isn't the stories I tell, it's the ones I don't What unspoken words are there between us? Had the presence of mind to manage the situation I want more out of more If it's not a long term play then it's jus Surprisingly, I learned Rick ross is hungry and has a big picture view of what he wants in his life. I read a lot of books on wealth building generation but none to strike a chord "pun intended" like Ross non apologetically hankering for boss status. Things my ear picked up on What makes me a boss isn't the stories I tell, it's the ones I don't What unspoken words are there between us? Had the presence of mind to manage the situation I want more out of more If it's not a long term play then it's just small talk I'm in war mode Trained to go There are storms you never see coming Fear keeps me focused Deep down your pissed about where you're at in life Living in the red will take a toll on you He lives a real turbulent street life Triple OG if you judge me by my gently manner of speech you have no idea what I'm capable of I'm very certified in the streets Can we work out a business arrangement? The unspoken words between us will remain unspoken Cribs all over the Caribbean The ethics of hustling is complicated Psychotic menace Dirty little fat nigga Big ass crib off a golf course Compare yourself to yourself yesterday Be careful not to be too careful Not secure psychologically Theft by conversion non payment of residents I'm working with cloudy information

  18. 4 out of 5

    Byron

    One of the more amusing as-told-to rap memoirs that I've read, which is saying something. It's worth a look just to see how he weasels his way out of discussing having once been a cop. I'd bump this up another star if there was more discussion of his love of seafood. One of the more amusing as-told-to rap memoirs that I've read, which is saying something. It's worth a look just to see how he weasels his way out of discussing having once been a cop. I'd bump this up another star if there was more discussion of his love of seafood.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kara Harris

    Hurricanes Maybe category 1? Major S/O to Mississippi ❤️ And where was I during this beef with him and 50 Cent? Entertaining though..

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

    Ross!! I love Rick Ross. I enjoyed his story although some of it put me in the mind of Dick Gregory's stories....you never really know just how much of it is reality. Lol Ross!! I love Rick Ross. I enjoyed his story although some of it put me in the mind of Dick Gregory's stories....you never really know just how much of it is reality. Lol

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jason Weber

    If you are a hip-hop, rap, or even just a music fan then read this book. Rick Ross pulls no punches in telling his rags to riches story. Check it out, you want be disappointed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelvin Mafuleka

    Very inspiring read. I read it in one sitting because its such a great story about Rick Ross upbringing during the crack epidermic in Miami to becoming one of Hip Hops biggest moguls. I highly recommend it for everyone especially Hip Hop fans. Im happy he decided to write his life in a book because a movie wouldnt do his story much justice. But if theres one in production I would love to watch it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Griffin

    4.5 Stars. "What makes me a boss is not the stories that I tell. It's the ones that I don't." A fascinating and binge worthy account of a dark and successful life. 4.5 Stars. "What makes me a boss is not the stories that I tell. It's the ones that I don't." A fascinating and binge worthy account of a dark and successful life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jay Sellers

    Fat Boys Crushin' was the first tape I remember buying with my own money. I was 10 when it came out in May of 1987 and the summer was about to open up to new sounds. Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, RunDMC, Public Enemy...somehow my parents tolerated the music blaring out of my room. They probably thought it was just a phase since the rest of my Case-Logic was full of classic rock tapes like Led Zeppelin and Molly Hatchet sandwiched in with the Beatles and Elvis. Kids these days don't really know what Fat Boys Crushin' was the first tape I remember buying with my own money. I was 10 when it came out in May of 1987 and the summer was about to open up to new sounds. Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, RunDMC, Public Enemy...somehow my parents tolerated the music blaring out of my room. They probably thought it was just a phase since the rest of my Case-Logic was full of classic rock tapes like Led Zeppelin and Molly Hatchet sandwiched in with the Beatles and Elvis. Kids these days don't really know what it was like to see the launch of MTV and BET in real-time. Didn't have a contest early on where you could enter to win a purple Porsche owned by MC Hammer? Anyway, my point is that I didn't read Hurricanes out of irony as a 43 year old white man or out of interest to understand the culture a little better as the father of a mixed race little girl. Those things could be true but I mostly read the book to catch up with something that sounded so weird yet so familiar, having lost my way a little bit when grunge led me down a different path in the 1990s. There's something so sincere about Ross, who unapologetically retraces the steps that got him to his successes and through his excesses. In some ways, I think he may just be getting started. Consider this book Act 1. Don't just read this book. Listen to it. Open up YouTube and play every song he references.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Colin Baumgartner

    This read much as expected. I did appreciate the sections on Ross’ childhood and his regret that he couldn’t express his love for his father before his father died. A light read that adds at least some background to the songs I enjoy by the guy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Jaskolka

    The life of rapper Rick Ross was very well told in this book. I would of gave it 5 stars but I felt it was missing something after I finished it. Despite this, it's still a great story and gives you better perspective of this man as a person and not as the rapper he is. It also makes you completely forget that he worked as a C.O. The life of rapper Rick Ross was very well told in this book. I would of gave it 5 stars but I felt it was missing something after I finished it. Despite this, it's still a great story and gives you better perspective of this man as a person and not as the rapper he is. It also makes you completely forget that he worked as a C.O.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yochi

    Finishing this was brutal. As I listened to this book I jotted a few words down. Immature. Bully. Full of himself. Childish. Arrogant. This was a random suggestion from my library. I listened to a lot of hip hop in the 90s, but tapered off in the early 2000s as I felt it was too commercialized and manufactured. Rick Ross came into fame during that time and the glowing reviews of this audiobook intrigued me to learn a little bit about this artist. Talk about manufactured!!! I couldn't believe the Finishing this was brutal. As I listened to this book I jotted a few words down. Immature. Bully. Full of himself. Childish. Arrogant. This was a random suggestion from my library. I listened to a lot of hip hop in the 90s, but tapered off in the early 2000s as I felt it was too commercialized and manufactured. Rick Ross came into fame during that time and the glowing reviews of this audiobook intrigued me to learn a little bit about this artist. Talk about manufactured!!! I couldn't believe the reviews from reputable sources that he KEPT ON reading about himself. Is this the same stuff I'm listening too? Ugh I tried. Kudos for him for manipulating the system to make himself that disgustingly rich. How braggadocios he is! I read a lot of memoirs, so I get that - duh, people will talk on about themselves and their accomplishments. People will "name drop" as they are actually with these people so how can they not. I find it unfair when reviewers of these memoirs give the author shit for these things, but Jesus H this guy! If there was a count of how many magazine reviews he read ::eye roll:: All the patting the self on the back. No growth as a human being. This is a case of stop making stupid people famous. I will give him credit for his tenacity, resiliency, and succeeding in the BUSINESS of making music.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Seals

    Rozay. Boss. Teflon Don. This memoir showed a vulnerable rapper by the name of William Leonard Roberts better known as Rick Ross. Ross has had countless mishaps exposed in the media and he addressed about each one of them in this book titled Hurricanes. To me this titled is used as a great metaphor of how he entered into the land of rap the strong lyrics and was a potential threat to those in the game. A very insightful memoir.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sakeenah Graham

    While somewhat interesting, this was very carefully orchestrated. He did not give what a good memoir does, authenticity, vulnerability, relatability. He also didn’t write this book, which is ok but reads as if we are to believe he wrote it. When he’s old and his rap career is over and he’s ready to dig deep, his true story will be a lot more compelling...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Bawse! Let me start by confessing to be a big fan of the music of Rick Ross. The Teflon Don album is one of my favorites of all time. His verses on “Here I am” and “Rockin’ That Thang” (“Fresh as a Black President, Air Force Ones in the Air Force One!”) make me smile every time. I’m not as big a fan of his more recent albums, but anyone that’s dropped a classic has earned love. Also, any man that goes topless as much as he does in videos and out in public has the kind of confidence you have to a Bawse! Let me start by confessing to be a big fan of the music of Rick Ross. The Teflon Don album is one of my favorites of all time. His verses on “Here I am” and “Rockin’ That Thang” (“Fresh as a Black President, Air Force Ones in the Air Force One!”) make me smile every time. I’m not as big a fan of his more recent albums, but anyone that’s dropped a classic has earned love. Also, any man that goes topless as much as he does in videos and out in public has the kind of confidence you have to admire. And his snaps from Wingstop locations were one of the main reasons I had a snapchat account back in the day. My bias out in the open, it was with some disappointment I finished this book. Unlike the Jay-Z book I read, this didn’t feel like Ross actually wrote it. The personality and voice you hear in the music doesn’t translate on the pages. If this were listed as a biography written by someone else, it’d be one thing, but he’s given himself authorship credit. The mystique of most rappers in the game that rap about drug dealing or things related to it is that they came up from a rough or bad upbringing and turn to trappin’ just to get by. Ross, through his own admission, is basically just a bad person without mitigation. He insists he grew up in nice enough homes with great parents and opportunity. Sure enough, he gets a scholarship to college and drops out. He lands a series of good jobs. His failings at school and work all seem to be his own. He just wants to make quick money by selling crack. This already sets himself apart (per hip hop standards, not in a good way) and then came the well-known corrections officer “scandal”. He does address this and concedes he went about it the wrong way (going full Trump gaslight mode in denying what is clearly in a picture and gaslighting everyone), but for some, myself included, he lost a credibility he could never get back. While not having much of a moral compass is par for the course for rappers exuding a gangster profile, in a book which has moments of attempted reflection, the few attempts to moralize by Ross are laughable. He states after learning about R Kelly he “probably” (lol) would not have had him on his song, yet has no problems with Chris Brown. Ross goes full idiot mode when he discusses what he describes as “a lyric about slipping a girl a Molly” that brought him controversy and whines that that media is more interested in creating controversy than the truth. Here is the lyric in full: “Put Molly all in her champagne, she didn’t even know it / I took her own and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” No better Truth than that. The predictable backlash came and Ross played dumb at first, acting like he had no idea such lyrics might imply (or, straight endorse) rape. It’s not quite “That’s not me!” when there’s an obvious photo of you, but it’s in the same zip code. He then would come out and make clear he “didn’t condone raping”. Surely, a career highlight. Shortly after this, Ross meets Obama and reflects the President was telling him about the power artists have to influence youth. About that Molly lyric... A book by Ross is different than a song. Ross can be a clown and most of his stories could be fabrications, but in a rap song I don’t take seriously, it doesn’t matter that much. In a book, you have your eyebrow raised reading the same stuff and it gets old quick. I can’t help feeling this guy is the James Frey of rappers. Ross himself notes: “I was rapping my reality but I was also rapping my destiny. I was speaking things into existence.” I’m not sure how much of the former portion of that quote really happened, but he was undoubtedly a great success with the latter. In conclusion, Ross insists what makes him a boss is not the stories he tells, but the ones he doesn’t. I couldn’t disagree more. The stories he tells in his songs are exactly what has made him a boss, fictitious or not. Unlike Jay-Z, who comes across as maturing through the years, reflecting on his life and music in a deep manner, and looking toward the future with the wisdom of the ups and downs of his youth to advise him, Rick Ross comes across more as a ridiculous man-child...granted, one that probably still has some good club bangers left in him.

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