Former drug kingpin Ricky “Freeway” Ross is attempting to take back control of his name by filing a lawsuit against rapper Rick Ross.
According to reports, Freeway has been trying to stop Ross from using his name as a rap alias since 2006.
The ex-convict claims his lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to executives at music label Def Jam in 2006, after they signed Roberts, to protest “the exploitation and misuse of his name”. He maintains he received no response from music bosses and claims the star went on to profit from the moniker “without his consent”. (Contact Music)
A lawsuit has now been issued to Ross and his record label, Def Jam.
In a press release issued to us on Monday (May 24), Ross’ camp accused rapper Rick Ross, Def Jam and Universal of profiting “off of his name unlawfully while he was in jail, without his consent.” “It’s no secret that the boss at FreewayEnterprise.com is unhappy with how his name has been exploited and misused since he went to prison in 1995, and in 2006, the above-named parties signed [William L. Roberts II] (Rick Ross’ government name) to a big record deal and then spent, and made, millions off Ross’ name,” Freeway Ricky’s camp says in a press release. (Baller Status)
Earlier this year, Ross talked about the rapper not experiencing the same trials and tribulations he went through.
“I just keep pushing, I don’t really trip off of him using my name,” Freeway said in an interview. “I don’t really give it much thought. He was clever with what he did, he made himself a nice piece of money, fortune. I’m thankful that he didn’t have to sell drugs. There’s so many of us out here selling drugs and getting ourselves locked up at least he’s in a position where all he does is rap about it. You know, you can’t really knock him for that. You know, it is what it is. I had nightmares in prison about selling drugs. I’m a selling addict.” (Urban Spin Online)
Last November, Freeway justified Ross’ choice to conceal portions of his past.
“What else could he do [except lie], really, could he come out in the hip-hop world and tell ‘em that he was a corrections officer rapping gangster rap or about selling drugs?,” Freeway asked during an interview. “[And] basically living the lifestyle that he had read about in newspapers and books? Who would have went for it? He pulled one over everybody’s head and made his bread. So, it is what it is.” (This Is 50)
Check out Freeway Ricky Ross speaking on Rick Ross down below: