“If you really have an issue, put it on the table and handle it like a G." -- Rick Ross on Young Jeezy
Rick Ross, Teflon Don, The Source’s Man of the Year. He’s a man of many names – all of which have been challenged.
The year 2010 was just as stormy as 2009 for the Miami emcee. Slim Thug, Floyd Mayweather picked up where 50 Cent’s diss tracks and porn’s with the mother of Ross’ children left off. However, it was DJ Vlad that left the stinging blow.
In April at the U.S. District Federal Court in New York, a jury of eight awarded DJ Vlad (real name: Vlad Lyubovni) $250,000 in punitive damages and $50,000 in compensatory damages against Ross. The four-day court proceedings stem from an August 10, 2008, incident involving Vlad and Ross' Triple C's group. Vlad alleged that Ross orchestrated an attack on him by the collective at an event at the 2008 Ozone Awards for posting images of Ross dressed in a correctional officer's uniform on his Web site.
In the $4 million suit, Vlad said he suffered a broken eye socket, a broken nose, nerve damage to his face, cheek, upper lip, teeth and gums, and required seven stitches under his right eye.
With the case now behind him, Ross went on to release his anticipated album Teflon Don….almost.
See there was this little thing around his name. It seems the imprisoned ex-drug dealer that the Miami MC had named himself after (Freeway Ricky Ross), was planning a lawsuit against the rapper born William L. Roberts II.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ricky had officially filed the suit in federal court in California to the tune of $10 million. He claimed that “William” stole his name and identity and wanted to stop the sale of his album. He also attempted to trademark his name and sought an injunction that would prevent the rapper from using the “Rick Ross” name or releasing any albums using it.
Well, it seems trademarking a drug dealer’s name isn’t high on the court’s agenda. The lawsuit was thrown out and Teflon Don hit the shelves in July.
Laced with cameos from Jay-Z ("Free Mason"), Diddy and Trey Songz ("No. 1"), and Kanye West, the album was one of the biggest hip-hop albums of the year.
And whether you loved him or hated him, Ross had one of the biggest songs of the year in “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast).
"B.M.F." wasn't a huge mainstream hit, mostly because it wasn't designed to be. But from the moment it first premiered both the streets and the clubs in a stranglehold, and it didn't let up for the rest of the year.
Although Ross' detractors could (and did) point to the song as a prime example of his imagination, "B.M.F." packs such a punch that any debate about its authenticity seems rather pointless. Ross has always been a gifted storyteller, as evidenced by the wide-screen world he's created for himself, a downright "Scarface"-ian sphere of swagger and sophistication.
In the end, it doesn't matter whether Ross actually moves keys of coke through Biscayne Bay. With his minks and Maybachs, mansions and machine guns, Ross' whole shtick may be downright fictional, but his talent, his power, his heft is unquestionably real. Hallelujah.