ATLANTA (AP) — For Rick Ross, it's been a juggling act for the self-proclaimed "bawse."
The Grammy-nominated rapper is set to release his eighth album, "Black Market," on Dec. 4, but his life is busy with more than just music.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, 38-year-old Ross touches on several topics, from releasing music to his ongoing beef with 50 Cent to the issues between his signees, Meek Mill and Wale.
AP: You've released so much music in the last two years. What has motivated you?
Ross: I'm just reminding the culture, reminding the streets exactly the boss' position, and why I'm the biggest and will remain the biggest.
AP: What do you want listeners to take away from 'Black Market'?
Ross: 'Black Market' is the purest representation of me at my most comfortable form. The music is soulful and layered. It's sophisticated, but it's street.
AP: It seems like you've found your groove musically.
Ross: I'm in the most comfortable place in the music that I make. Depending on the moment, it determines the type of music that I make. This album was much more precise.
AP: You've lost nearly 100 pounds. Are you still being healthy?
Ross: Yes. I'm at my lowest weight right now as we speak.
AP: How much do you weigh?
Ross: I'm right around 275.
AP: You and 50 Cent had an exchange on social media recently. Why do you think he continues to attack you?
Ross: You ever ask yourself that?
AP: I thought the beef was a done deal, but it keeps coming up...
Ross: Is it beef?
AP: Yes. People still look at it as beef.
Ross: Are you aware of his current financial status?
AP: 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy this year.
Ross: And when companies and corporations usually file for bankruptcy then, what?
AP: You tell me.
Ross: You do that when it's over. It's called 'when it's over.' So rest in peace. R.I.P. Other than that, we are running around New York City (50 Cent's hometown) as we speak. The excitement in these streets for the new album, I'm dropping new remixes, I've been in the game since '06 and nobody has ever stepped on one of my sneakers. Not one, ya dig. That speaks for itself.
There's a lot of talking and tweeting in this industry, but who really getting money? Don't ever get it twisted. You see Jay Z, you see Puff Daddy, and right around there somewhere, you see (Rick Ross) is in the starting lineup. We put new chlorine in the pool weekly. It's a lot of distractions that's meant to distract you from staying focused. In the majority of the time, the distractions aren't even worth it, especially when you have single-handedly torn something down that you've once respected and admired to the point where they are nothing. I think that's the testament to the MMG (Maybach Music Group) brand, as we continue to grow, sign new artists, create new ventures, our net worth has only tripled in the last three years. I think for young entrepreneurs, that is what's important. Not no flossing (stuff), but on some keeping your lights on long-term type-of-(stuff). Let's remain creative with no boundaries.
It doesn't matter which state you are from, what gang you're in or country you are from. Let's put some big thinkers together and make something that'll last a lineage. That's what I'm about. My homies are giving promotions, we're empowering people. We are not firing and tearing down. We're not chasing behind actresses. We don't get our booties licked. We live by principles. It's a certain code of ethics. As men in our position, there will be problems, there will be disagreements, but as ... kings, it's certain things we don't do.
AP: There was some friction between your label mates Meek Mill and Wale. How is their relationship now?
Ross: It came and went. When things have potential to (become) something that's a problem, then I may get involved. ...I know in 10 years, they will be the same executives, if they are no longer artists, giving the next generation the right input. ...My job is to make sure they don't take it (too far) ... which will never happen. I put my life on that.
AP: There have been talks of your broken engagement with Lira Galore. Can you clear that up?
Ross: This is what I'm going to clear up: I'm happy and I'm living. That's what it is. Rozay is so happy. That's what life is about, being happy.
Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jonathan-landrum-jr