Thu | Sep 28, 2023

Rick Ross encourages local artistes to stay focused

Published:Saturday | April 8, 2023 | 1:02 AMAaliyah Cunningham/Gleaner Writer
Rick Ross.
Rick Ross.

American rapper Rick Ross has always been vocal about intentionally pursuing his dreams, and the Aston Martin singer is encouraging local artistes to do the same, as they could just be one small step away from hitting their goal.

“All the Jamaican deejays that are making moves and coming up, don’t ever count yourself out. It is only so long before you can be the biggest in the world. Keep doing what you doing, keep chasing your dreams and do it out of love. As long as you do it out of love you will never fail,” he said.

Rick Ross is billed to perform at Sandz Caribbean Music Festival scheduled for this Sunday in Ocho Rios as a part of the Vacae Weekend line-up. At a press conference held Friday morning he shared that he is excited to be back performing for his Jamaican fans.

“I wanna come perform my music and also just for me coming to Jamaica, I just want to absorb that real Jamaican vibe you know. I let everybody know as soon as I land, I want to go by the best fish spot. I told them the next day I want to go ride water rafting, I want some real curry chicken and oxtails. I want live to life. We only have one life,” Rick Ross said.

The Dice Pineapples artiste who emerged on the rap scene in the early 2000s has always been a fan of the Jamaican musical genres. Over the years, he has collaborated with artistes such as Sizzla and Mavado. When asked which current local acts he would be interested in working with he admitted that he was unfamiliar with them, but is hoping to connect with a few on his visit.

New young artistes

“When I think of Jamaica, there are so many names that come to my mind. When I think of new young artistes, its nobody that just come to my mind right now so hopefully while I am there, I am introduced to at least six to a dozen young artistes that would dope. That would be cool. Maybe they could have some oxtails with me,” he said.

This year, the hip hop genre that has its roots in Jamaica is celebrating 50 years of existence. For Rick Ross, who has had well over a decade’s worth of experience and time in the business, he acknowledges Jamaica’s influence on not only the music but the world.

“I think it is even bigger than rap, when I think of Jamaican culture and when I think of Bob [Marley] and so many different other artistes that are so influential in not just Florida or Miami, but really the whole culture of music it is bigger than you could ever imagine. When I think of Bob Marley there is nobody else that I can think of that had a bigger impact just on life not just music,” he reasoned.

Born William Leonard Roberts II, Rick Ross initially made his debut under the pseudonym Teflon Da Don. He made his recording debut on the song Ain’t Shhh to Discuss on Erick Sermon’s lone album for DreamWorks, Def Squad Presents Erick Onasis. It was not until in the mid-2000s, he changed his name to Rick Ross which was derived from former drug kingpin ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross. Over the years, he has been nominated for several Grammy Awards for tunes such as New Flame featuring Chris Brown, God Forgives I Don’t and Gold Roses with Drake.