Rick Ross went from a quiet 2015 to a contender for Mixtape of the Year with Black Dollar, and he hasn’t stopped making headlines there. He's also in the news thanks to an engagement to Lira Mercer, as well as two new singles, “Work” and “Babies Cry.”
But is there a deeper meaning for his push back into the spotlight? Ross always tends to perform runs like this before he releases an album, and one could be on the horizon. However, the question of what label that album will be released on is now up in the air.
Many have suspected that his two '14 albums, Mastermind and Hood Billionaire, were a means to get out of his contract with Def Jam. Still, he’s listed on the label’s website and gets retweets from Def Jam’s Twitter account. It would appear there are no issues or confusion here. Ross is still a signed Def Jam artist, or at least it seemed like it until the man himself complicated things earlier today.
On Twitter and Instagram Rick Ross posted a photo hanging out with L.A. Reid and Breyon Prescott, along with a caption that seems to hint that the two are entering into some sort of business relationship. It doesn’t seem like Ross is a free agent just yet, so what’s the purpose of this photo?
BIG $$$ FLEW IN!! SALUTE Mr #LAReid //#EPICRECORDS HEIR TO THE THRONE!! $$$$$!!
As a businessman, Rick Ross is smart. This moves feel more like a power play than anything. Ross has made so many moments while under the Def Jam umbrella that maybe he doesn’t want to leave? This picture could then be his attempt to establish himself as a hot commodity so that the label will meet his contract renegotiation demands. Rick Ross leaving would be a huge loss for Def Jam.
And yet a lyric on Mastermind track “Supreme” alludes to a new deal signed with Def Jam: “My new deal with Def Jam just set me for life.”
Ross is known to exaggerate in his rhymes, actually having the millions of dollars he raps about in his bank account would have landed him on the latest Forbes list, so who knows if this is a fact or not? At one point, Black Dollar was deemed as his next studio album, but what if Ross got tired of waiting and released it as a tape against the label’s wishes? Maybe instead of his solo deal with Def Jam he's alluding to his MMG label deal with Warner Brothers?
It’s a confusing situation, but nothing with Rick Ross is easy to decipher. By all accounts Def Jam is still his home, but considering the strong relationship Ross has with L.A. Reid a move to Epic wouldn't be surprising. For further clarity we’ll just have to wait until Ross reveals his next album, and by the look of things we won't have to wait long.
[By Sermon, writer and Boy Meets World connoisseur. This is his Twitter.]