Rick Ross* has made a career out of claiming to be head of a drug empire. His name comes from noted drug kingpin Freeway Rick Ross and if you listen to his music you’d think he’s seen and done some crazy stuff. But he hasn’t. He made it all up.
Which would be one thing. But in an act which can only be the result of having enormous balls- he borrowed all his tales of criminality from people he met at work… as a corrections officer.
Unsurprisingly, this pissed off some dudes who felt they’d done all that hard work of being actual criminals for nothing. 50 Cent even went out of his way to create a website with original cartoons poking fun at Rick Ross, and called him out repeatedly in interviews as a real life Albert from CB4.
None of which seems to have affected his fame at all. A few death threats not withstanding (and a tour that may or not have been cancelled as a result), Rick is doing better than ever.
To which I say- GOOD.
I couldn’t care less if the people making the music are what they say they are. They’re performers, they perform.
I don’t know how musicians got to the place where they’re held to a different standard than say, actors or novelists. But it’s easy for people who don’t have to do it to insist on standards for other people that they would never want to have to live up to themselves.
Sure, it might be cute to know that George Jones actually was a hard-drinker, but don’t come crying to me when he’s too drunk to show up to the concert you bought tickets for. That howl of despair you hear in Kurt Cobain’s voice? It was real. And when he blew his own head off that was real too. I like to joke that Lil Wayne shot himself when he was 13 because he knew he’d be a famous rapper someday and wanted to get it out of the way, but for every The Game or 50 Cent who survives getting shot, there’s a Biggie or Tupac who didn’t. Want to hear a new song by Tupac or Biggie or Kurt Cobain or Waylon Jennings? Too bad, they’re keeping it real by being authentically dead.
*OK this is a mugshot photo, which kind of undercuts my point. In my defense he was arrested for gun and marijuana possession, not running an international drug ring.