Since TheSmokingGun.com reported earlier this week that the rapper was once a prison guard, some people have been posting Photoshopped pictures of Ross on various police-movie posters. There's Ross' head on RoboCop's body, Ross' head replacing Martin Lawrence on a fake "Big Momma's House" poster, Ross' face replacing Sylvester Stallone's on a faux "Cop Land" poster — you get the picture (no pun intended). Meanwhile, the message boards have been heating up with talk of rap's Biggest Boss. Some people are confused, while some have vilified him.
This is the same guy whose music they were pumping just two weeks ago. His music is still just as banging as it was prior to this scandal, and from the two freestyles he just dropped, his skills have not diminished. So the question is: With so many people having bought into Ross' 'hood-legend persona, has this dance in the rumor mill created a rift between Ross and his fans that can't be patched up?
"I think real n---as won't think so," the Clipse's Malice said a couple of days ago in New York when asked if this episode will hurt Ross' credibility. "That don't mean what he's talking about [in his rhymes] ain't true. The thing I wish is he came clean, if in fact that is him [in the photos]. 'Cause you ain't gotta make no excuses for whatever you did. You might have thought differently at one point in time. I don't think that should discredit that man."
"I'm not even going to go that far into it," said Mal's brother, Pusha T. "I don't know what it's gonna do to him, what it can or what it should do to him. I know the hip-hop community has given passes for much [worse]."
Fabolous suggested that his Def Jam labelmate keep making hits and not to let the banter get to him.
"I don't know if it will really hurt him," Fab said on the set of Ryan Leslie's "Addicted" video. "As an artist, I think Rick Ross makes great music. He's always shown me love and respect whenever I met him. Everybody has a past. I don't know if [being a prison guard] is his past or not. That's not my place to say. I think if he continues to do what he does, sweep all that garbage under the rug — you know what? That's success. That's success taking a shot back at him. All of a sudden past pictures come up. He should just keep doing what he do."
"I'm disappointed," the Brooklyn MC said when asked about Ross. "I'm really disappointed. I pride myself on being 100 percent who I am. If I went to college and had a job before, I would just say that. ... Him, in my opinion, I just think he should have just addressed it. ... 'Look, man. I was 19. It was a part of my life. ... I got to the coke later.'
"I don't have a problem with what he was doing before the rap game," Maino added. "That ain't my beef with him. The thing is, he was denying he was doing it. He said [the pictures] was Photoshopped and wasn't real."
Fat Joe didn't speculate on the authenticity of the pictures, but he did give a little insight into Ross the person. "He's a great dude. He's my friend," Joe said. "We'll just wait to see what [else] he has to say about it."
In n videotaped interview that recently hit the Web, Rick Ross denied ever being a prison guard.