Freeway Ricky Ross sat down with AllHipHop.com to discuss today’s court ruling, which saw him lose the rights to his own name, to rapper Rick Ross.
Freeway Ricky was in court today (March 29) during a hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where for the second time, a judge dismissed a trademark infringement lawsuit surrounding the name Rick Ross
“Basically they’re saying [I waited too long], I should have filed a lawsuit five days after I got out of prison,” Freeway Ricky Ross told AllHipHop.com in an exclusive interview.
“I feel that the law has let me down,” Freeway Rick said. “I feel not only have they let me down, but they’ve let down the black community as a whole.
“You have these people going around portraying us in an image that’s not what we are,” Freeway Ricky Ross told AllHipHop.com. “I didn’t sell drugs so I could sit in everybody’s face, drive around in a Rolls-Royce and wear big gold chains. I sold drugs because I was poor, illiterate, didn’t know any better and had no other opportunities.”
Since 2008, Freeway Ricky has been vocal in his accusations that Rick Ross had co-opted his name and former lifestyle, to earn millions of dollars.
Today’s ruling marks the end of the bitter legal battle, which began in federal court with a June, 2010, $10 million lawsuit against Rick Ross (born William Leonard Roberts), Jay-Z, Def Jam, Universal and others.
That lawsuit was dismissed in November of 2010.
Freeway Ricky Ross refiled his lawsuit in California, in hopes of settling the matter in state court.
Now rapper Rick Ross, born William Leonard Roberts, owns the trademark to the name Freeway Ricky’s real name, Rick Ross.
According to Freeway Ricky, he will adjust his business strategy moving forward, since he cannot use his own name.
He admitted that his past association with the drug trade was nothing positive.
He had planned to take his past and use it to steer children away from drugs and gangs, which he still does through his Freeway Foundation.
Freeway Ricky said that the Rick Ross’ lyrical content was completely against his own morals and values.
“They talk about murder and mayhem as if it’s a sport and that’s not what we are about and that’s not what our people are about.”