Since being released from federal prison last year, former Los Angeles drug kingpin Freeway Ricky D. Ross has been preparing a battle plan to "go to war" for the rights to his name, specifically calling out rapper Rick Ross and parties involved in his career.
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.
Freeway Ricky claims that he had previously "protested the exploitation and misuse of his name from prison" in 2006, by having a lawyer send letters to Def Jam to cease use, but was ignored. Now that's he out of prison, he plans to stand up for his rights, by fighting for the "control of his name in commerce by any means necessary."
It's unclear, however, if Ross plans to file a lawsuit against the rapper and his record labels, or if his comments are strictly for plans to run a campaign protesting the use of the name.
In the meantime, Freeway Rick Ross is planning a movie about his life with writer/producer Nick Cassavettes, which is slated to drop next year. He is also seeking a deal to release a book about his life as well.
Freeway Ricky Ross was released from prison in May 2009, after serving 20 years for operating a $2 million per day multi-state drug empire. Although he was originally sentenced to life in prison after he was busted trying to purcahse over 100 kilos of cocaine from undercover agents, his sentence was reduced through appeals, after a series of explosive articles by the late Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Gary Webb uncovered C.I.A.'s role in importing cocaine into black communities to fund Sandinistas in El Salvador, as part of the Iran-Contra scandal.
Rapper Rick Ross emerged on the scene in 2006 with his hit single, "Hustlin'," where he bragged about tales of slinging massive amounts of cocaine through Miami. When he broke onto the scene, controversy surfaced over his rap moniker, which many believed he stole from Freeway Ricky Ross.
For more info, visit FreewayEnterprise.com.