freeway rick ross

Freeway Rick Ross: The Entrepreneurial Hustler

Why did I choose Freeway Rick Ross, an American Drug Kingpin, as my first entrepreneur to profile on my blog? Well, because I believe he set the stage for a new type of entrepreneur- the kind that I’d dare say didn’t exist before him- the entrepreneurial hustler.

But Freeway Rick Ross wasn’t an immigrant in American history who worked his way up to success. He didn’t receive the financial backing of relatives or investors. He was a poor black kid who couldn’t read in a post-Civil Rights era Los Angeles. He grew up among pimps, drug users, low- wage workers, and gang mentality. The only thing he was passionate about was getting out of poverty.  He talks about it with me in this video:

See, the real Rick Ross was never a big fan of drugs. He actually told me he always wondered why people were so attracted to them. In his mind, cocaine and crack was a better alternative to the drugs already being sold in his neighborhood by people outside of his community. I mean if cocaine was good for rich Hollywood, why not for those who lived by the freeway? He followed the simple principle of sell what you know and had access to.

But this isn’t a blog on drug policy.

Because Rick Ross did not care about selling drugs; he cared about making money, and that he did very well. Like the moguls ahead of him, Ross built an empire of profit, investments, and brand saturation. By 1990, his name had become synonymous with drug dealing success. For Ross, money was the goal, making it was just a means to an end.

What did he learn for the experience? He explains it in this video:

Now the real Rick Ross is no longer selling drugs- but he is still hustling for big money. This time, he is using his street knowledge as a legal entrepreneur. It was his time in prison that changed that- (and no, it wasn’t the fact that he couldn’t sell drugs from there). It was while he was in prison that he learned how to read. According to Ross, it was only after he was exposed to education did he realize the many ways to make money outside of selling drugs. He now writes books, fights to protect his brand, owns Freeway studios (film) and Rick Ross Music Group, sells his own apparel and is planning even more business ventures.

Why does he do this? He discusses his motivation in this short clip:

Based on what he’s done so far, Rick Ross is well on his way to becoming a “Black Economic Coach”. Even if he doesn’t make a million dollars a day again, his messages of education, entrepreneurship and the real possibility of economic success for anyone are being heard.

Learn more about the Freeway Literacy Foundation, Rick Ross’s nonprofit, focused on education here.

Purchase his book, Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography from Amazon.

Visit the Official Site

I’m a Copywriter; So Why Am I Interviewing Freeway Rick Ross?

Seems like a legitimate question, right? Well, to be honest I still don’t know the answer. Perhaps it was a little bit of the reporter in me- wanting to scoop the story first. Or maybe it was the community activist in me, wanting to learn and share the message of someone with such an intriguing mission. I seriously don’t know why I took hours of precious freelancing time so that I could possibly write a controversial article.

Maybe it’s because deep down, we all want to do something that makes an impact to the World. That was my motivation behind joining AmeriCorps, I wanted to do something. However doing something with writing is not always so straightforward. How do you truly impact society with words? I guess you’d have to say some truly impactful things.

And that is probably the reason why my interview is still sitting on my hard drive- full of jewels of information that I eagerly want to share. I have no problem saying some impactful stuff- I just don’t know who to say it to, and when I do I want to make sure it counts. So for the last week my interview sits in a folder, while my mind races with ideas on the best ways to share it.

I don’t have this problem when I write copy. The medium is clearly defined: a website, an email, a Facebook post, etc. All I have to do is merely translate the brand’s message into words a target demographic can understand. But what do you do when you have the message but struggle with determining the correct medium?

Write a blog post about it?

So hopefully, I will figure this out soon, and can add another published piece to my collection. (Before his next movie is released…) In the meanwhile, enjoy the introduction from my interview.. it may give some idea about what’s in store:

Listen to the Intro Here