With a tip of the cap to Danny Boyle and A Way Between Voice and Presence, we take a deeper look at the alternately painful and joyous recollections that led to the construction of Rick Ross' verse on Ludacris' “Southern Gangsta.” Little known fact: Ross' boss qualities are purported to be the inspiration for Slumdog Millionaire's, Javed, the underworld overlord of Mumbai.

 “I Got a Letter From the Government today. I opened it, read it, it said, 'we are hustlers.”


Circumstances behind Ross receiving this government missive: It begins just like any other day at 3:00 p.m in Ross' palatial South Beach estate. Devouring his third lunch, Ross feasts upon several Cornish game hens, four quarts of Powerade, and a cornucopia of thinly sliced diamonds. In order to pass the time, he opens mail with a garish gold letter opener, his hirsute image embroidered onto the handle.

Expecting it to be the tax rebate finagled by his father, Miami certified public accountant, Mordechai “Four Fingers Up” Ross, young Ross is pleasantly surprised to see that his United States-sanctioned permit to hustle has been granted. He had almost forgot that he had applied. While over 1.3 million apply to hustle yearly, only 1,000 are admitted. Thankfully, Ross' extensive government experience made him an attractive candidate–as did his surprisingly nimble, walrus waddle, a move viewed by dance gurus as a logical successor to “the hustle.” Ross also possesses a very large Pete Rose baseball card collection.

“Had a Lexus at 18, Picture That”


Circumstance: After desperately beseeching his parents for a Saab, Ross took matters into his own hands and spent his Bar-Mitzvah money on a used Lex. Though he was not Jewish and never actually attended Hebrew school, the always canny Ross parlayed his Semitic surname and West Palm Beach propinquity into $6,000 in cash, $3,000 in bonds, via a Scarface-named celebration at the Hyatt Regency Miami.

“Had a Chevy With Pictures on It, From Pitching Crack”


Circumstance: Above picture taken during Ross' psychedelic dragon phase, characterized by a glut of Peter, Paul, & Mary LP's, peyote, expensive shaves, and trips to Trina's house for some combination of the three.

“Bitch, I Know Haitians, We Speak in Creole.” haiti07-2.jpg

Circumstance: Ross spent his early years as a child impersonator of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, the late Haitian strongman. A favorite of then-ruler, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” and his wife, Michele Bennett, a grammar-school aged Ross had a popular but short-lived television program on Haitian televison. Entitled, Baby Grand Patron,” the show was a feeble rip-off of Webster. It was broadcast in both French and Haitian creole.

 “I Got 20 Cars. Why exaggerate? It costs Five Grand Just to Fill The Gas Tank”


Circumstance: Ross hasn't filled up his gas tank since his great y2K incident (will be disclosed at a later date). Accordingly, he hasn't been informed that gas is currently hovering around $2 a gallon. DJ Khaled, who moonlights as Ross' butler and auto-fleet manager, has yet to inform Ross of the decline. He is thought to be pocketing the difference.

 “Love the Marble Floor, Got the Greek Pillars”


Circumstance: This refers to a reprobate realtor who peddled the Parthenon to Ross. Thus far, the Grecian government has refused to regognize Ross' claims to the property.

 “I Used to Serve Shake, Now I Serve Steak”


Circumstance: A reference to Ross' purchase of Miami Beach's lone Steak-N-Shake restaurant. In his later teenage years, Ross rose up the corporate ladder, from fry cook to Milkshake Maven, a position where he designed cocaine-themed concoctions. The Scarface campaign would prove to be Steak-N-Shake's least popular ever.

“Keep Jewish Friends, The Latest Benz” barmitzvah-11.jpg

Circumstance: Ross' patronymic ties with the Hebrew people extend beyond mere limbo and freestyle rap competitions that he won at Bar and Bat-Mitzvah's all across Dade County. They extend further than his love for smelt fish, gold, and smelt goldfish. It concerns his deep love of Talmud, his adoration for the Yiddish language, the way it weaves itself into the vivid impressionism of his poetry. Mazol tov, Rick Ross. L'chaim.

LA Weekly