TIME Magazine linked up with Rick Ross this week for a feature story packed with tidbits on the Maybach Music head honcho.
If the fact TIME Magazine interviewed Rick Ross didn't make you fall out of your chair in confusion, read on. The 39-year-old Ross, currently gearing up for his eighth studio album, Black Market, touched on subjects ranging from why he chooses to offer up remixes, the Meek Mill/Drake beef, chicken wings and everything in between. But the most notable part of his interview, at least for hip-hop heads, came when he not only addressed ghostwriting, but claimed that he was, personally, one of hip-hop's leading ghostwriters.
"One of them [new songs on Black Market] goes by the name of “Ghostwriter.” I finally wrote a record telling the way it feels for me to be a ghostwriter, and not only a ghostwriter, but one of the biggest in the rap game. Because of my own personal success I’ve always been able to keep that in the shadows. On this record, I just felt it was so current. It was needed."
So there it is, folks. In the year of the "ghostrwriter" Rick Ross claims to be the number one hustler. Could it be? There have been assertions for years that he's penned words for the likes of Jay Z and others, and he first spoke extensively about ghostwriting during this Juan Ep podcast in 2013.
It's hard to think of a song that sounds like he's ghostwritten though - for example, "Fuck With Me You Know I Got It" sounds like a Ross record overall, but Jay's verse sounds very Jay-ish - which either makes Ross an excellent ghostwriter or an exaggerator at best, and a liar at worst. After all, this is from a guy who was once a corrections officer, who told us he has one billion dollars in his bank account, and in the Time interview said the National Pear Association (which is apparently a real thing) credited him with increasing pear sales 18 percent after he shouted them out. Guess what? When Time reached out to the National Pear Association they denied any rise in sales and denied telling Ross any such thing, which is an oddly inconsequential thing to lie about, but perhaps also a very Rick Ross thing to lie about. And so goes the strange life of the Bawse.
Despite his chest-beating on the subject of writing other folks' rhymes, he did have a solid take on the Meek/Drake controversy.
It depends on really the point you’re looking at. If you’re a battle rapper on the block, the emcee battle challenger, not writing your rhymes could really hurt you. When you’re an artist where maybe the focus is really the talent and the different things you bring to the game, I believe it’s more understandable. Someone who may have another vision or just ideas that are priceless versus someone who’s like, “I’m basing my entire career off the words I’m finna tell you right now over this 30-second period.” I’m not speaking to anybody in particular, but let’s say for instance if you was DMX and had a ghostwriter, it’d maybe change the [perception] versus if you was will.i.am. I think that’s more about the music, the records.
He makes a solid point.
Despite how much I would like to jump all over Ross for saying ghostwriting is prevalent, we all know the truth. Rap is like professional wrestling at this point. We want to believe it's all authentic, but more often than not there's a Quentin Miller somewhere nearby.
For his part, I've never fully bought that Ross wrote everything himself, although a quick scan of his lyrics over the years would make it a bit more believable. Regardless, we are in the age of Rick Ross. Whether he can stick out the beef storm Meek Mill has attracted throughout the second half of the year and avoid being the next Irv Gotti remains to be seen. For now though, there is little denying he's at the top of whatever it is he does. Shout out pears.