Rick Ross didn't grind on the underground for more than 12 years just to solidify his spot in the rap game and then come up short. The man who calls himself the Boss (well, more like the Bawwwse!) is enjoying being two for two.
"That's two number-ones," Ross said Tuesday in a phone call from the road. Just like his 2006 debut, Port of Miami, his second LP, Trilla, has hit #1 on the Billboard albums chart in its first week of release. He bested other debuts by Snoop Dogg and his good friend Fat Joe.
"I told them we bossin' up," Ross said. "We grinding it out. Trilla! I'm just trying to get ahead and make bigger moves. It's that movement. The industry is still there. That's what that shows."
Last week, Ross, Snoop and Joe were all in New York partying and promoting their releases.
"I gotta be open for competition in this business," Ross said of coming out the same week as his more experienced peers. "I looked at it from the angle of 'I'm a n---a in the game with a hot first album and potential for greatness.' I looked at Snoop and Fat Joe as legends with careers. To say you had a career in this business is big. I knew I had to come back and sculpt me a masterpiece. I didn't grind 10 years to get here and lose. So I just wanted to step it up. I made the production more soulful. The record's a little more meaningful, and I stepped my flows up to challenge whoever at the top."
Ross laughed when asked what the follow-up to "Speedin' " and his current single, "The Boss" (featuring T-Pain), would be. He hasn't decided yet, but he feels his hand is loaded with possibilities.
"You know, we got multiple choices right here. Trilla! That's one thing the album is full of, next moves," he said. " 'Luxury Tax' could definitely be a next move. 'Maybach Music' could be a next move. 'Here I Am' could be a next move. 'All I Have in This World' with Mannie Fresh. I think it's a decision we're gonna make within the next week. I'm just in the clubs touching the people in the streets. These are the people I make the music for, and I'm just seeing what they are absorbing."
Even though Ross is known for party records and for detailing his exploits in the drug trade, he strikes a different tone on "I'm Only Human," his most personal and favorite song from Trilla.
"I talked about growing up and overlooking a lot of things," he said of the record. "I was reckless, like not having a relationship with my dad when he died of cancer. Now that I'm older, I look at the mistakes I made. Talking about our house being burnt down, having to live in motels. Not being able to bounce back. [I was] just absorbing that and channeling that and [began] dreaming big."
The Trilla tour is supposed to kick off sometime in mid-April or May. Flo Rida, he said, is being lined up, in addition to some other names. Ross also made guest appearances on current LPs by Webbie and Danity Kane, as well as Brass Knuckles, Nelly's upcoming project.