By Maurice Bobb
It’s January 28, which means that, despite news that Rick Ross was the target of a drive-by shooting early this morning, it’s still Rozay’s birthday! While his 37th will be partly tarnished by his brush with death, here, we’ll focus on the triumphs, taking a look back on the incredible year he’s had as the Bawse of the untouchable Maybach Music Empire.
For an MC, there’s probably no better way to start off a new year than landing at the #1 spot on MTV News' “Hottest MCs in the Game VII list.” The MMG Bawse landed at the top of the list for helming the hottest rap collective in the game and for his critically-acclaimed mixtape, Rich Forever, a 19-track gift for the streets which featured blazing hot singles like “Yella Diamonds” and the oft-repeated "Stay Schemin'," which virtually put French Montana on the map.
What’s in a name? Everything, when it’s the foundation of your brand. After volleying back and forth with Freeway Ricky Ross over the use of his stage name, the rapper born William Leonard Roberts II, had his day in court and won the right to continue using the alias after an L.A. County Superior Court judge threw out the case.
After much anticipation, the baritone-voiced Miami native released his fifth studio LP, God Forgives, I Don't, on July 30, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after selling 218,000 copies in its first week. GFID was later certified gold and, as a thank you to MTV News and the "RapFix Live" crew, which has supported him throughout his formative years as an MC in the game, Ross gifted RapFix with a gold plaque.
Known for keeping the streets flooded with MMG material, Rozay followed up his official project with another mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah, which featured copious freestyles over big-time beats, including an explanation for the now notorious scuffle backstage at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Ross also diversified his bonds last year, opening up a second Wingstop location in Miami (his first was in Memphis). The MMG CEO took ownership of the 20565 Old Cutler Road location in Miami and began a multi-unit, multi-state development agreement with the burgeoning wing chain.
To top off his year, Rozay was crowned GQ's 2012 'Bawse Of The Year' for his shrewd moves behind the scenes steering Stalley, Meek Mill and Wale’s careers, as well as his own. "It's been a power-player year,” Ross told GQ. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Happy Birthday Rick Ross!