Though his nickname, Freeway, and his government name, Rick Ross are now used by more famous rappers (the former borrowed, the latter appropriated), anybody who’s anybody knows who the real “Freeway” Rick Ross is. They know that his life as a major drug dealer, ripping and running on the highways of California (meaning of the nickname “Freeway” came from) is the template for most rappers’ personas.
His legendary career as one of the seminal cocaine distributors during the coke-feuled 80’s earned him a life sentence in 1996 after he was busted buying weight in acting operation, which was reduced to 20 years. According to Esquire, “Between 1982 and 1989, federal prosecutors estimated, Ross bought and resold several metric tons of cocaine. In 1980 dollars, his gross earnings were said to be in excess of $900 million – with a profit of nearly $300 million. Converted roughly to present-day dollars: 2.5 billion gross, and $850 million in profit, respectively.” He was set up for arrest by drug lord Oscar Danilo Blandón, who was on the CIA’s payroll. The story is crazy.
More recently, Freeway Ricky has been dabbling in other ventures, but his past is what people want to hear about. For the second episode of Vice’s The Jim Norton Show, the icon stopped in for an interview to discuss his past and present. Snoop Dogg even makes a special appearance. Check out part 1 here.