Rick Ross' VMA 'Salute' to Eminem

By Rahman Dukes

Just one year ago Rick Ross was knee-deep in a scathing rap battle with 50 Cent that spilled over to Ross’ then release “Deeper Than Rap.” Once Rozay was crowned the victor against Curtis in the feud, he appeared to move on to a much bigger target, Detroit's pride and joy.

“I mean, I’m a fan of Eminem,” Ross told MTV News back in April 2009 about going after Dr. Dre's protege. “I’m a fan first and foremost. But after defeating Curly, my confidence is at an all-time high. Maybe before I wouldn’t have challenged him, but I’m contemplating it now. The game is commending me for my victory. That’s all I wanted to do was … punish the opposition. I think I’ve done a great job and I’m gonna continue to do that.”

Ironically in June, Ross’ three year run of consecutive number one albums ended at the hands of the Soundscan champ Eminem with his LP "Recovery." Early predictions had Ross’ “Teflon Don” beating out Slim Shady, who nailed his fourth number one album in a row after “Relapse” held that position for four weeks straight. The early predictions were nixed and Em would seal the top slot for the fifth straight week. If there were ever a time for Ross to ignite a battle with the Detroit rapper, this was the perfect opportunity. But like Ross walked away from the beef with 50 Cent, the portly MC also took the high road regarding Eminem.

As such, earlier today while walking the red carpet Ross had nothing but praise for Shady, whose performance he watched during VMA rehearsals.

"I actually had a chance to sit through the whole rehearsal yesterday man and got to watch Eminem rehearse and perform for the first time," Ross said. "You know, I gotta salute him, I gotta take my hat off. He's a dope lyricist, actually seeing him in person brought his rhymes that much more alive to me. I'm actually looking forward to seeing Eminem do his thing."

So there you have it. Maybe now Ross and the Motor City ambassador can come together and make historical music. If Fat Joe can get Em to drop a few bars on the “Lean Back” remix then why can’t Ross?

The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there's plenty of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on MTVNews.com.