Rapper, entrepreneur, and music mogul Rick Ross has single-handedly redefined the world’s understanding of being a boss.
“I said it when I came into the industry in ‘06, ‘Everyday I’m hustling.’ I’m the biggest boss,” said Ross who blessed the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of the Culture, while speaking on the “In His Zone” stage. The executive continued, “It wasn’t just the title of a record. It wasn’t just bars. That was something that I really meant. And 15 years later, for everybody that’s followed my path, they understand it.”
The businessman has a strong sense of self and personal vision, but this would have meant nothing without the grit and determination to chase, and most importantly achieve his goals.
In a conversation led by ESSENCE Ventures President & CEO Caroline Wanga, Rick Ross goes deep, sharing how he continues to grow his empire and what it means to be a boss in the current market. The discussion was essentially one of two Black bosses bossing up.
“How did you know you wanted to be a boss?” asked Wanga.
“Imagine being young, not having much, but knowing you deserve the finest.” The Maybach Music CEO continues, “I knew whatever it is we want, we were going to make it happen.”
Look at the rapper’s portfolio, and to say that he “made it happen,” seems like a gross understatement. Rick Ross has actualized his dreams.
Today, Rozay has an aggressive portfolio—he is the owner and CEO of the Maybach Music Group; the founder of the Rick Ross Annual Car and Bike Show (the event is hosted at his home, which he calls “The Promised Land”); a Wingstop franchise owner; a partner with High Tolerance cannabis company; and an author for two books, amongst other enterprises. But he absolutely loves real estate and says that’s where he focuses a majority of his investments. “God’s not making any more land, you’ve got to buy that,” the rapper quipped.
Through all of his ventures, the Miami-raised rapper has learned several valuable lessons. First is resiliency.
“Taking losses comes with coming up. You won’t become number one without taking those losses, without scraping your knees, without falling over. That’s what comes with the game.” The mogul continued, “You’ve just gotta win much more than you lose.”
Another lesson from Rosay is to remain a student. He goes on to pay homage to Sean “Diddy” Combs from the “In His Zone” stage. The artist says that Diddy is a mentor to the entire music industry. Rick Ross reflects on Combs’ contributions to popular culture.
“What he did for hip-hop, being a young entrepreneur, watching him create his label, watching him create Bad Boy. My favorite artist, RIP the legacy—B.I.G. forever.” Ross continued, “From the fashion clothing line, the colognes, the Cirocs. He gave me a blueprint and as you can see I’m running with it.”
Ross shared an additional lesson about being a boss: To be a boss, everyone on your team must win. “That’s the only way you’re going to remain on top.” He continued, “I measure success by how many people you bless.”
As for insights for forthcoming bosses, Ricky Rozay draws from his faith. After all, with faith, there is no room for fear. “Let’s keep God first. Let’s remove all the fear we got—the rejection of failure. Because if you don’t try to do whatever it is that’s on your heart and your heart is just going to sit heavy, and you’ve rejected yourself.” Ross continued, “You got to forgive to make room for the blessings.”
Full panel recap video below –