"I look at the game and the business and all different aspects," Ross said a few days ago sitting in New York's Philippe Chow restaurant. "It's a lot of great lyricists on the corner that will never properly understand the business and know how to market themselves and get in a position where they can gain capital. I look at all the strategies people use and what made them successful. What made Birdman just as relevant today after selling 50 million records? That intrigues me. To see the class of Jay-Z, his accomplishments and see how he sits backs and accurately makes his moves."
When his third LP, Deeper Than Rap, drops on April 21, Ross thinks he'll gain a throne all his own. The record, he said, is his best work.
"I feel like it's much more soulful, it's much more sophisticated," Ross said. "To be considered one of the best, you gotta compete. That's what I feel like I'm doing. I feel like I'm competing for the throne. I feel like the fans and the people can see my hunger. They could see my growth. They could know I'm not satisfied with just two #1 albums and selling 2 million records, or whatever I sold. I want more."
He said he wants to be etched in history and fans' memories. "I'm confident I'm gonna be remembered as one of the innovators and somebody not scared to make big music and take on all different challengers," Ross said. "That's what makes music exciting."