Drug Kingpin Seeks Injunction Against Rick Ross
Representatives for former drug kingpin "Freeway" Rick Ross have announced that they will seek an injunction against popular Miami rapper Rick Ross for stealing his name.
We reported last week, the "real" Rick Ross was recently released from a prison sentence, stemming from a 1996 cocaine arrest, and has publicly stated his frustration with the artist using his likeness. Born William Leonard Roberts II, Rick Ross the rapper has released three successful albums under the name, posturing himself as a Miami druglord like his namesake, and referring to himself as a "boss."
According to a statement made by the infamous drug dealer's people, he will seek to block the release of Roberts' forthcoming album, 'Teflon Don,' a name borrowed from yet another notorious gangster, former Mafia boss John Gotti.
Ross claims that Roberts has stolen his name, image and likeness and leveraged them for profit, without his permission.
"If William Roberts attempts to use the 'Rick Ross' name that he spent years earning and spending time in prison to uphold, he will be met with an injunction," Ross' rep said. "Simple as that. This is not a publicity stunt, a game or a hoax, to sell some Rick Ross albums, as some have suggested. In fact, [Freeway] Rick Ross intends to halt the release of any Summer 2010 'Rick Ross' album."
At his height, Rick Ross purportedly made millions of dollars per week as one of the nation's most respected and feared drug dealers in the '80s and '90s. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1996, after attempting to purchase 100 kilos of cocaine from an undercover agent, but allowed an early release for being a model prisoner.
Also to be named in the suit are Jay-Z, L.A. Reid and Roberts' record labels Slip-N-Slide and Island Def Jam.
"Jay-Z had no reason to disrespect Rick Ross and violate his name, because Jay-Z was a hustler, just like Rick Ross and [he] should've respected what 'the boss' did in the 'game,'" explained Ross' rep. "L.A. Reid knew he should've cleared the name before letting Roberts' art imitate [Freeway] Rick Ross' life and exploiting his name."
Rick Ross is allegedly seeking half of Roberts' earnings for the usage of his name.
'Teflon Don' is scheduled for a July 6 release date. It features Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and production by Kanye West.