Rick Ross stood on a Union Square sidewalk, separated from the public only by a velvet rope on a “red carpet” made of black astroturf. Pedestrians noticed Ross seconds after he emerged from his SUV. As he fixed the cuff on his maroon pant leg, adoring shouts of “MMG forever!” and “I’m a groupie!” rang out from the crowd.
Ross belongs to an elite class of rappers who’ve maintained consistent buzz since the flip phone era. He’s settled into a comfortable yacht-rap groove; his 10th studio album, Port of Miami 2: Born to Kill (a sequel to his smash 2006 debut Port of Miami), comes out early next year. If the title is any indication, he hasn’t softened with age. He has diversified, though. While he still embodies his signature boss persona in his music, he’s also become one in a literal sense, with a small empire of WingStop franchises under his belt.
We caught up with the rapper slash mogul last night outside of a promotional event he was headlining for American Eagle. On record, Ross has had an occasionally confrontational relationship with the press—“Fuck a blog dawg, cause one day we gon’ meet,” he rapped in 2012, “I’ma spazz on your ass like I’m on E”—but last night, he couldn’t have been more affable. When Interview approached for a quick chat, Ross’s bodyguard whispered something in his ear that sounded cautionary. But the boss stepped forward with a smile and said, “Let me handle it.”
OLIVER KINKEL: If you were to go on a date at Wingstop, what would you get?
RICK ROSS: I think that’s self explanatory. Of course I would get me and her, if she was a special lady, I would get her a ten-piece lemon pepper all flat. I would introduce her to the all flat lifestyle.
KINKEL: No drums?
ROSS: No drums. Maybe if it was your birthday party, I might get 999 flats and one drum just for you. Other than that, I like to keep it real intimate.
KINKEL: How was Gucci Mane’s wedding?
ROSS: It was legendary.
KINKEL: Did you have some of the $35,000 cake?
ROSS: I thought it was a million dollar cake because it was that good!
KINKEL: What flavor was it?
ROSS: It was vanilla. The party was legendary, what was real special to me is he made sure it was intimate. Just best friends, his closest family members. He definitely made it all come together. For me to see where he came from to now, I was so happy and proud. Keyisha [Ka’Oir] has been so supportive over time, I think she deserved it all and they deserve each other.
KINKEL: Describe the perfect day to boss up.
ROSS: Really, every day is the perfect day to boss up. Every day that you wake up is a perfect day to boss up. It’s all about continuing to put one foot in front of the next. That’s what it’s about. Whatever you think you’re going through, just put one foot in front of the next.
KINKEL: Do you have any Halloween costumes planned?
ROSS: My birthday party, I had that song, “Pull Out the Mask.” We might do something this Halloween, we might have to.
KINKEL: Your forthcoming album Port of Miami 2 is a sequel to your debut, right?
ROSS: It is. On the way here I was just thinking about the artwork for the actual cover. I believe it might be my left thumbprint, me being left-handed. I might have to put some Chinese script at the top. I think in this day and age, making it to number 10 and still being current, and my last album being successful, just my fans still running in the streets—that’s dope to me. That’s what the game is really all about. You just enjoy this game and keep doing it and keep creating content, that’s what we’re doing.
PORT OF MIAMI 2: BORN TO KILL IS DUE OUT NEXT YEAR.