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Mace & Crown | July 25, 2017

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Rick Ross Wants to Show Norfolk Who’s Boss

Destiny Webb | Contributing Writer

Rick Ross, aka “Da Boss,” came to Norfolk and gave the city a one-night show. The 41-year-old, Maybach Music Group mogul, performed at the Ted Constant Convocation Center last Saturday night. The Florida rapper first debuted his talents back in 2006 with the release of his first album, “Port of Miami.”

The concert began like any other rap show. There were a couple of generic acts and a disk jockey to keep the audience occupied. The crowd wasn’t too impressed with the unknown opening acts, most likely because there was an older audience. 

The DJ played “Children’s Story” by Slick Rick, and the crowd rapped every lyric without skipping a beat. They also played LL Cool J’s “Doin’ It,” and even I two-stepped to that. When they took it back to the late ‘90s with Juvenile’s “Back that Azz Up,” that’s when it got crazy, and a twerking bonanza took over the stands.

As the DJ played throwbacks, Rick Ross proved to the audience that he is a savvy businessman. People began walking on stage to set up cardboard cutouts of Rick Ross, Wale, Ciroc and Belaire Rosé. The host even passed out a couple of bottles to the crowd. I was surprised that they didn’t start passing out hot wings, because not only is Ross endorsed by those liquor companies, he also owns several Wingstop locations.

Once they were done setting up their props, Rick Ross was finally ready to hit the stage. While strolling on stage, “I’m a Boss,” played behind him. That was the perfect song to start with because being a “boss” is what he’s all about. His voice was commanding yet smooth. He wore a black jumpsuit with white Adidas and looked fly from head to toe. I immediately noticed how much weight he lost in the last few years, as he looked healthy and in shape. He had a lot of energy and two-stepped between songs.

I found myself really enjoying the music and remembering words to songs I hadn’t heard in years. Hit after hit, he performed many of his earlier records that remain classic southern hip-hop songs today. Songs like “Everyday I’m Hustling,” “B.M.F” and “All I Do Is Win” blasted through the speakers and all of the lyrics came to me like they never left. Women twerked on stage during “Pop That,” and weren’t shy about doing it.

He slowed down the music and played songs catering to the ladies in the crowd. “Do You Mind,” “Diced Pineapples” and, Grammy-nominated song, “New Flame” flowed through the speakers.  

Switching over, he performed a few songs from his new album “Rather Me Than You,” which is his ninth studio album. Released on March 17, the album includes hip-hop bangers like “Trap Trap Trap,” and also includes songs about his personal life. In “Apple Of My Eye” Ross says “I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki,” referring to the messy break-up between his protégé Meek Mill and rap superstar Nicki Minaj.

Rick Ross gave one more plug at the end of the show to promote his businesses and artists before people started exiting the stadium. I wish he had connected with the crowd more, rather than just running through his song catalog, but Ross had a good show.