William Leonard Roberts II (professionally known as Rick Ross) was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and raised in Carol City, Florida. After graduating from Miami Carol City Senior High School, he attended the historically black college Albany State University on a football scholarship. Roberts worked as a correctional officer for 18 months from December 1995, until his resignation in June 1997.
Prior to releasing his debut single, “Hustlin'”, in 2006, Ross was the subject of a bidding war, receiving offers from Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment and Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc., until signing a multimillion-dollar deal with Jay-Z on Def Jam Recordings. Ross released his debut album Port of Miami through the label later that year, debuting at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, with sales of 187,000 units during the first week.
Outside of his solo career, Ross was a lead member of the hip hop group Triple C’s, alongside Gunplay and Torch in 2005. Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group in 2009, on which he released multiple studio albums including Deeper Than Rap (2009) and Teflon Don (2010). Many populair artists have signed to Rick Ross through the Maybach Music label, including Meek Mill, Wale, and French Montana, among others.