EXCLUSIVE: Rick Ross Talks Empire Building & Rebranding

Rapper and entrepreneur opens up about franchising, conquering the business world

Rick-Ross-rapper

Rick Ross (Image: File)

Rick Ross might have dropped nearly one 100 pounds in weight, but the man still appears larger than life with an even bigger, ultra magnetic personality.

The self-proclaimed “Bawse” of all bosses is the consummate businessman. After his own record label Maybach Music Group propelled him on the single lane to moguldom, Ross a.k.a “Ricky Rozay,” now has entrepreneurial supremacy in his cross hairs.

His charge into the business world include a host of franchises, his record label and several other business ventures.

He sat down for an exclusive with BlackEnterprise.com at Def Jam Records for a two-part discussion about his 25 Wingstop franchises, his new investment in mCig, a new herbal electronic cigarette, and Belaire champagne, the Bawse’s bubbly of choice.

BlackEnterprise.com: You became a household name and brand fairly quickly after exploding on the scene in 2006. Were you already a business man at heart? And if so, how did that help accelerate the process?

Rick Ross: You know, I always felt I was. Even when I wasn’t I always thought I was a business man. I was 13 years old when I felt I had the entrepreneurial spirit. I just wanted to be out, I wanted to be around people and just make things happen.

You have various businesses, side-hustles and money-making ventures of that nature. Plus, you were a closet entrepreneur until you blew up. Can you give us a list and talk about the business projects dearest to the Bawse?

Everything I’m part of is dear to me because when I decide to partner with something it’s because I believe it’s the best, something I’m a fan of anyway, so, and I keep it close to me. But with that being said, [it's been] most definitely Wingstop, and I’m a huge fan of Belair Rose, Ciroc, and mCig, which is the best e-cigarette company. I just love when I can bring something to the table or a brand that I’m a fan of and maybe I can introduce that brand to our culture. That’s something that I love to do.

What attracted you to mCig?

You know, I’ve been working out lately. I’ve been trying to get a little healthier. I lost a little weight and this is the best I’ve ever felt. I’ve been an avid smoker for years. Every time you see me, I’m either blowing a big cigar or inhaling some smoke. I just think that’s what’s next. That’s what’s next for me if I’ll really take this health thing serious. I’ve gotta ease my way out of the smoke game, and I think this is the best way for me to do it.

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What about the nicotine patch?

Nah. I ain’t gonna do the patch (laughs). With the mCig, it doesn’t actually burn. It just produces the vapor. It’s not actual smoke that you’re inhaling, so it’s a better thing.

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  • JAMES

    Glad to see the Brothers becoming business minded. I hope they help change the (thug) mindset of the inner city community to a more progressive area of living and life.

  • dadumdee

    “You became a household name and brand fairly quickly after exploding on the scene in 2006.”
    Dumbest comment ever. If I stole some notorious person’s name, persona and resume, I’d be household name too. Freeway Rick Ross made that name a household name, William Roberts is just an unhealthy opportunist who used to imprison other Black men for a living. Now he’s getting rich making music that encourages Black men to imprison themselves.