A YouTube video released by gang members warning rapper Rick Ross to stay out Charlotte has forced the cancellation of two dates he was scheduled to headline this weekend in North Carolina.
Ross was to appear with rappers Meek Mill and Wale for Maybach Music Group’s tour dates Friday in Greensboro and Saturday in Charlotte. WCNC in Charlotte first reported death threats online from The North Carolina Chapter of Gangster Disciples were causing serious concern before today’s announcement.
Live Nation will begin refunding tickets Friday. No specific reason was cited for the cancellation, but the gang was upset that the rapper has used the name of one of their founders – Larry Hoover – and the gang’s six-pointed star to promote himself.
(The cover of Ross’ recent mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah, features the rapper’s face inside of the Star of David).
Born on Chicago’s South side in the late 1960s, the Gangster Disciples are one of the biggest street gangs in America, and they’ve even seen their reach spread internationally.
According to Stars and Stripes, gang art has been tagged on armored vehicles, barricades and bathroom walls in Iraq, and on bases across the globe. In 2005, a U.S. Army sergeant died from injuries suffered during a Gangster Disciples initiation at a park near his base in Germany just weeks before discharging.
Ross is one of the biggest names in hip-hop today. The rapper scored his fourth No. 1 album in August after God Forgives, I Don’t sold 218,000 copies its first week topping the Billboard 200 charts. 2006’s Port of Miami, 2008’s Trilla, and 2009’s Deeper Than Rap all landed the rapper in the No. 1 spot.
The rapper is no stranger to beef.
There is the ongoing court battle with the real Freeway Ricky Ross, a heralded 1980s Los Angeles drug trafficker turned literacy foundation leader, over his name.
There was his beef with rapper 50 Cent, which saw the Forbes list artist vow to ruin his life for fun before taking the mother of one of Ross’ children on a shopping spree and filming it.
There was his October tussle with rapper Young Jeezy at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta.
The rapper has even continued to do monster numbers despite The Smoking Gun leaking photos and information in 2008 exposing Ross as being a correctional officer in south Florida for 18 months before his rap career exploded.
Before I started at FO, I wrote a 2010 article explaining that Ross makes bulletproof music despite a back story full of holes, and that sentiment largely holds true.
The MMG boss has turned blows to his authenticity that would’ve ended to careers of most rappers into an even higher profile, building a music empire that’s arguably one of the strongest in the genre.
Musically, he’s coupled gritty, gangster lyrics with sparkling imagery and a flair for the dramatic. There’s little argument that Ross is one of the foremost tastemakers in the industry at combining elements that speak to listeners on a street level but maintains viability to a wider audience. The scary part has always been his extravagant and exaggerated lyrics are delivered through a persona that’s entirely believable, and frequently lands him in hot water.