Since the rapper’s debut, many have wondered of a possible connection, since the artist not only bears the name of the former kingpin, but also sports a similar beard and cites stories of extensive drug and criminal activity in his rhymes.
Now that the rapper, real name William Roberts, has been confirmed to have worked as a correction officer, the original Ricky Ross tells AllHipHop.com that he attempted to steer his rap counterpart away from public embarrassment.
“After seeing all the stuff that has been going on with the Correctional Officer (William Roberts) that stole my name, [it] makes me think back to a year and a half ago when we spoke,” Ross explained to AllHipHop.com. “I tried to talk to him like a big brother and let him know to be you, and that he couldn’t be me. And that if he wanted to rap the lifestyle that he couldn’t frame it based on my life.”
Roberts has repeatedly denied that he based his music persona on the real Ross’ criminal exploits.
Ross, who today regrets the actions that helped destroy his community and land him in prison, can only shake his head at the unnecessary predicament Roberts has put himself in.
“How different his life would have been if he would have taken my advice,” Ross reflected. “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”
In the early and mid 80’s, Ross controlled most of the Los Angeles drug trade, and had ties to the Iran-Contra scandal due to his suppliers.
In 1996 Ross was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to purchase over 100 kilos from a federal agent.
He successfully appealed and had his sentence reduced to 20 years.
Ross is scheduled to be released on August 13, 2010.
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