An Instagram video of Chris Rock crowning him the “greatest rapper alive” was the announcement mode of choice for Rick Ross's big release date reveal: His ninth studio album Rather You Than Me will drop Friday, March 17. In an era where surprise album releases are the new normal, Ross still wants his fans to have a little warning. Mostly, it seems, so you can gird your loins for what he tells MTV News might be his “magnum opus.”
Rozay is a multi-hyphenate rapper/songwriter/entrepreneur who's constantly challenging himself — he teases that he's dabbling in film with a script he's written himself and workshopping ideas with Gucci Mane, no less. However, at this stage in his career, over a decade since his 2006 debut, he's just as focused on building up the community that raised him and the careers of his contemporaries as he is on building his oeuvre.
This idea of using your own success to lift others up is the basic premise for his latest drop, “Summer 17,” but is best exemplified by his 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane–assisted track “Buy Back the Block.”
“I understand that small things can make us happy for a short period of time — when I say the small things, I mean like the jewels or whatever it is,” Ross explained, “but let’s always keep our eyes on the big picture which is ownership, whatever that may be. Let’s focus on being the owners and working towards that. Let’s talk about cleaning up where we’re from, cleaning up the community, investing back into where we’re from.”
On the flip side, Rozay is not averse to being invested in either — Rather You Than Me appears to have Jay Z's seal of approval. While he was tight-lipped about Hov's involvement beyond listening to earlier stages of the album, Ross assures that “this is the highest grade of Maybach Music.” Also, that you'll hear the signature Maybach Music drop “at least five times.”
For more on what to expect from Rather You Than Me, Rick Ross's screenwriting career, and who made him throw up “for the first time ever” and how, watch our full MTV News interview.