It's a L.A. story seemingly far from Studio City and Hollywood lots. The story of a one-time drug kingpin who emerged from prison still very much an entrepreneur but stripped of criminal intent and, somehow, renewed with optimism. In the new issue of Los Angeles magazine, profile writer Jesse Katz tracks Ross’ complicated navigation of life, possibly with hopes of truly making it in Hollywood.
Katz writes, "[Ross] had grown up on 87th Place, where it dead-ends at the Harbor Freeway, which is how he earned his nickname: Freeway Rick. It was not uttered in awe, at least in the beginning. To be poor and illiterate in the shadow of the 110 was to be a junky-ass freeway boy. Later, when he emerged as the first crack boss of the cataclysmic 1980s, after he went from slanging $25 rocks to wholesaling $1 million loads, that moniker sounded like a Southern California joyride: slick, agile, unfettered, one step ahead of the law."
What influences steered Ross in a new direction - before he was thrown into prison? How did he come to terms with the pain wrought by crack cocaine? Why does his name and his image still sell? Is it enough to make someone in Hollywood buy it?
Rick Ross AKA Freeway Rick, former drug dealer; entrepreneur with a clothing business and record label at freewaysocialmedia.com
Jesse Katz, writer; profiled Rick Ross for Los Angeles magazine; byjessekatz.com