While his only response thus far is a freestyle sent to MTV News saying he's "laughing at [the] blogs," Rick Ross is apparently standing by his denial that he previously worked as a prison guard — in the wake of documents posted on the TheSmokingGun.com that purportedly expose the MC's past employment as an officer for the Florida Department of Corrections.
The Smoking Gun's report claims that in 1995, at the age of 19, Ross (born William Leonard Roberts) started a career as a prison guard, earning a salary of $22,913.54. He reportedly held the position for 18 months. The rapper's Social Security number is the same as the one listed for the jail guard on documents given to the site by D.O.C. spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff. A photo of what looks likes a younger Ross in full uniform was also posted on the Web site and is said to have been taken at his graduation from the D.O.C. academy.
A few days ago, a videotaped interview of Ross was leaked to the Internet where a male voice confronted Mr. "M.I. Yayo" about what until then had been loose rumors and urban-legend-type talk among some music industry insiders.
"It's no truth to it," Ross flatly denied in the video.
Early Tuesday morning (July 22), someone going by the name "Mr. 305" released a video claiming that he was in possession of more photos from Ross' alleged security-guard days. The trailer included what appeared to be a D.O.C. class picture featuring a man who looks like Ross dressed in full prison-guard garb.
Neither Ross nor his rep were able to be reached for comment about the accusations. Late Monday night, however, a source within his camp told MTV News that he planned to respond with a song. Around 1 a.m., we received two new freestyles from Ross, though he barely touched on the controversy. Over Snoop Dogg's "Life of da Party," he rhymed, "B----, I'm the boss and I'm laughing at your blogs." Later he went on to brag, "I'm the glue in the streets, meaning I can get you stuck/ The world knows where the f--- I'm from/ Sell rock, 20 chains and I never lost one .../ Heavy on the block, never on the Net."
The other freestyle is over the instrumental to Alicia Keys' "Teenage Love Affair" and doesn't mention the rumors, but talks about hanging out with a close female friend.
After over a decade of having his music relegated to the underground scene in Florida, Ross finally broke through in 2006 with the monster street banger "Hustlin'." The song turned into a club anthem, easily making him a household name in the hip-hop community. That year, Ross released his debut LP, Port of Miami, which was filled with tales of his transition into a cartel kingpin. The record was #1 on the Billboard albums chart in its first week of release.
While records such as "Hustlin'," "Push It" and "Blow" were undeniable, the key to Ross' success and strong following were that the fans believed that he lived all, or at least most, of what he rapped. This year, Ross' second LP, Trilla, also bowed in the #1 spot, fueled by his hit "The Boss," featuring T-Pain. Ross' current single is "Here I Am" with Nelly. During his last sit-down with MTV News, the Miami native said he hoped to release another album later this year called Deeper Than Rap.