Miami Hip-Hop star Rick Ross continues to face challenges in his career, after a hearing yesterday between former drug baron Freeway Ricky Ross and Warner Brothers Records.
Lawyers for both sides squared off in court yesterday (December 6), over a ex lawsuit over the name Rick Ross, and the alleged usage of the former drug barons image.
In March of 2012, Freeway Ricky Ross lost a $10 million trademark infringement case to the rapper, born William Leonard Roberts III, when a judge ruled that Freeway Ricky Ross had waited too long to file his complaint against the rapper, resulting in a dismissal of the case.
But Freeway Ricky Ross won an appeal in July of 2012, on the grounds that Freeway Rick was legally entitled to pursue a claim against Warner Brothers, since Rick Ross and Maybach Music Group are distributed by the label.
A new lawsuit was immediatley filed against Warner Brothers for false advertising, unjust enrichment, and unfair business practices, resulting in the hearing yesterday.
Yesterday, trial dates in the case were set for January and the case is slated to go to trial in early 2013.
According to Freeway Ricky Ross, he has received support from hip-hop mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, who actually showed up at one of the court hearings earlier this year, to reveal on record that he officially spoke to rapper Rick Ross about the case.
“The reality is I want justice done. I know that he took his name and image from my life and believe he is unfairly profiting off my story,” Freeway Ricky Ross told AllHipHop.com in an exclusive interview. “At one point Suge Knight came down to the hearings earlier this year and specifically laid it out to all of us, including all the lawyers, that he spoke to William the rapper directly. Rozay (the rapper) said clearly he talked to people that were around me when I was dealing and studied me in taking on my image and name.”
Just yesterday, Rick Ross was forced to cancel two concerts in Greensboro and Charlotte North Carolina, due to security concerns, after threats of gang violence on the Internet has appeared over recent weeks.
Members of various factions of the Gangster Disciples around the country have taken issues with Rick Ross’ usage of Larry Hoover’s name in his hit song “B.M.F.,” as well as his use usage of the gang’s six-point star.
“This guy (Rick Ross) just doesn’t have the right people around him to explain the streets, and then say that when you violate someone just address it as a man,” Freeway Rick Ross told AllHipHop.com. “You need to say that it wasn’t intentional or nothing like that. It’s ok to apologize and make things right with a real agreement out of respect.”