Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV's "Drink Champs," which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly "Drink Champs" episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of "Drink Champs," Rick Ross joins N.O.R.E., DJ EFN and the rest of the crew in Charlotte in the MMG boss' return to the show. With nearly three years having passed since Ross' last appearance on the show, N.O.R.E. and EFN have a lot to catch up on regarding the Miami native's recent moves and whereabouts, which he divulges over copious amounts of liquor.
Since releasing his tenth solo studio album, Rather You Than Me, Ross has been steadily prepping what is primed to be the biggest album release of his career, Port of Miami 2, the sequel to his classic 2005 debut. Recently making his presence felt with his new Wale-assisted single "Act A Fool," as well as a recent guest spot on Drake's new stimulus package "Money In the Grave." Rozay is clearly in album mode and gearing up for another dominant run.
1. His Inspirations As A CEO
Hailed as one of the most beloved and respected CEOs of his generation, Ross credits his success with peeping game from legendary moguls of the past.
"I wouldn't be a boss if I wouldn't first and foremost give it up to the ones that came before me that I was able to absorb some game from," he admits. "That was the Luke Skywalkers, the Jay-Zs, the Puff Daddys, and the list go on,. The J Princes, the list goes on and on. But I took my time to get here and I made sure I built a true bond with the team. We just been putting in work and we built it from the ground up."
The MMG camp suffered internal friction a few years ago when crew members Meek Mill and Wale had a war of words via social media and radio outlets. However, the situation was eventually diffused, which he credits to both artists' loyalty to each other and seeing the bigger picture. "It was unnecessary," Ross shares. "It's just like being a big brother. It's just like everyday in the studio with my homies, that's just the type of vibe we are, but that's not personal. But most definitely speak your mind and if you gotta get emotional to speak and make your point, you do that. Whatever it is, but this the squad. This the empire, it'll never go no further than that. We'll never shed no blood, you know what I'm saying."
3. How He Met His A&R and DJ
Ross' knack for elite beat-selection has aided him in compiling one of the more consistent catalogs of his era. However, the boss makes sure to shout-out his longtime DJ, Sneak, with assisting him in the process. "He became my DJ when he was 14-years-old," he recalls. "I just seen his vision and he was following me underground before anybody else was so it just showed me his ear to the streets. I pulled up on him, he ain't have nothing but a bunch of sneakers, that's why he was like, 'Yo, I'm Sam Sneaker.' 'Oh, that's what it is. Okay, I got you. Boom.' And then he just stayed down and he'll just plug into his laptop for twenty hours out of the day, listening to beats. Listening to synths, listening to this and that. So, I shout out to the homie, he hustle and he making his own music. So, he an artist in his own right. So, shout out to Sam Sneak.
4. His Meeting With J. Prince
During the thick of Meek Mill's face-off with Drake, an alleged meeting took place between J. Prince and Ross to quell the beef, which the Miami confirms during his visit with the "Drink Champs.""We most definitely worked out fixing that situation and I feel we deaded the nucleus of it," Ross reveals. "It wasn't nothing real. At the end of the day, I felt it was something behind it, whatever it was. But, it's two genuine dudes who I watched break bread together. I watched them support each other and get money together. I feel like that's the way it's gonna get back to. It's gonna take a little time. But, a lot of times you just gotta block out the negativity and I just kept my vision clear with both sides."
5. His Loyalty To Meek Mill
Meek Mill's past few years have been a roller-coaster, with the rap star enduring beef of the rap and legal variety, but has since bounced back and reached the apex of his career. All the while, Ross was a constant, showing his undying loyalty to his protege, whom he praises for his continued evolution as an artist and a man. "You gotta understand man, that's who we gonna ride for that's who we gonna stand for," he says of his allegiance to Meek. "And at the same time, the type of individual I am, everybody that get money around me. We all know we gotta do this the right way. We ain't gonna get it the long way and if it ain't long money, we talking short term. So, we just wasting our time. Blow smoke over there. It's the big boys at the table and that's what it's about. Meek always had a vision. He always had something to tell the youngsters coming from the streets. That's what his purpose is and it's more exemplified than ever. And I'm proud of the homie, most definitely. Wale, the same way, coming with his new shit as well."
6. Producers We Can Expect On Port of Miami 2
Ross recently revealed that his forthcoming album, Port of Miami 2, will be touching down by summer's end, and the veteran spitter shared a few of the producers we can expect on the album. "Shout-out to Justice League, shout-out to Alchemist," he says. "We did the three-way with DJ Premier. What we doing is absorbing and appreciating all that love that came from that first album 'cause that's what I call it. You may call it whatever the fuck... I call it love. That's what I'ma make sure we give this go-round. You know what I'm saying. And that's what we did it for. We did it for the streets."
7. Squashing His Beef With Jeezy
One of the more heated spats of Rozay's career was his heated battle with Jeezy. The two rap kingpins sent shots at each other on and off wax. However, the two have collaborated on various occasions over the years in a show of solidarity after burying the hatchet. Ross speaks on repairing his relationship with the Snowman. "Well, you know, I heard a lot of different things and that's what comes with the streets," Ross explains. "That's what comes with the music. That's what comes with all this shit. That's what comes with entertainment and you gotta understand that. You can't just let that [fester], you see. And that's why we was still able to get it to a point where we was able to turn back. Necessarily, there's some lines you cross, you may not be able to walk [back]. Me and homie we ain't ever cross that line 'cause we ain't ever fuck up no money, it wasn't ever nothing real. So once you sit something real on the table, you talking about something different now."
8. Gentrification In Miami
A native of Miami's Carol City section, Ross knows the impoverished conditions that have plagued the cities low-income communities all too well. With gentrification on the uptick in his stomping grounds, the rapper shares his take on Miami's metamorphosis. "I think Miami just so diverse right now," he says. "Every time I go to the crib and I spend time in different places. When I go to Wynwood, when I see what's going on. It's totally changing. It's most definitely getting diverse. It's a lot of different resources coming into the city 'cause Carol City gonna always be Carol City. Overtown, Little Haiti, you know, Miami gonna be Miami. But we most definitely see the change and I just wanna see what come from it."
9. His Thoughts On Miami's New Blood
The most successful soloist to emerge from Miami's rap scene, the boss sees a bright future for the city's next wave of rap talent, a few of which he cosigns during his chat with N.O.R.E. and EFN. It's always young dudes. I like little Cassius. Shout-out little young Denzel [Curry], we did something special for the album as well, Port of Miami . It's a bunch of youngsters that's doing their thing. I try to keep my ear to the street and support all the lil homies. See who next and whoever the hungriest, that's who we give that one shot to."
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