The Rapper: William "Rick Ross" Roberts
The Gangster He Named Himself After: "Freeway" Ricky Ross
Good For Business? YES! We know, we know. We made such a big stink in the intro about how rappers who name themselves after infamous gangsters have a harder time selling records than those who use variations of their own name—and then our very first example of a rapper who's done it is Rick Ross, one of the most successful rappers right now! But you have to remember that it took Ross several albums to establish his own identity and get people to buy into it. It eventually worked, but for a few years there, everyone—including the original Rick Ross himself—refused to give Ross credit because he stole his name from a real gangster. Persistence paid off, though, and he's made the name his own in recent years.