Rick Ross Opens Up About His Youth And Being A Class Clown To Mask His Insecurities
"I was a jackass and I don't think it was because I wanted to be, but [because] I didn't know the answers to the questions."
January 28, 2022 at 8:30 pm
There's no denying that Rick Ross is among the biggest bosses that you'll see thus far, but he didn't become a multi-hyphenated businessman all on his own. In his book, The Perfect Day To Boss Up: A Hustler’s Guide To Building Your Empire, released on Sept. 7, Ross broke down the many ways he's navigated entrepreneurial life amid the pandemic while offering sound advice to aspiring CEOs.
In chapter twelve of the book, Ross emphasizes the importance of bosses remaining students of the game. He touches on a time when he missed out on an early opportunity to purchase stock in Wingstop because he was not knowledgeable. Had he known better, Rozay says he could have made a lot more money during the pandemic.
“There’s a wisdom that you gain from these losses, through these experiences,” Ross tells AfroTech in an exclusive interview. “I wanted to put the book together from the perspective of the back of the classroom looking front, versus being in the front of the classroom, looking back.”
And speaking of classrooms, Ross admits that he wasn't the most studious kid in his youth.
“I was a jackass,” says Ross who graduated from Miami Carol City Senior High School before attending the HBCU Albany State University on a football scholarship. “Without a doubt, I was a comedian, I had a good sense of humor. I was the funny dude and all that. And I don't think it was just because I naturally wanted to be, but [because] I didn't know the answers to the questions and all the stuff [the teachers were] writing on the wall. That might've been my way to cover that up because I never understood, I never learned my multiplication still to this day.”
“So when you imagine, when they began going into pre-algebra a=e, that s**t was like a whole 'nother language to me. I just wanted to walk out of the god damn…'What are you talking about? A=E? What is this?' I knew right then, while I was sitting in the math class, I wanted to learn how to be a great speaker, because when I'm speaking to somebody I don't want them to know my shortcomings in my other areas. So, that's what made me become a writer and I think that's why I'm an author now,” he continued.
According to Ross, growing up in Carol City, Florida played a huge role in wanting a life of entrepreneurship for himself.
"Me walking back and forth to school every day in Carol City, I noticed the people who had the nicest homes were people who worked for themselves, whether they had a landscaping company or they had a roofing company, or a plumbing company, I knew I wanted to have something that I worked for myself," says Ross. "I knew as a youngster, I never wanted to be a dentist. I never wanted to be a doctor. I never thought about none of that. I knew I would either play football or I would be doing something on my own. And that's what I did."
What many don't know is that Rick Ross was a star athlete in high school and upon graduating, received a football scholarship to Albany State University, an HBCU in Albany, Georgia. Unfortunately, Ross' football plans were short-lived and he chose to chase his true passion—music.
"I followed football as long as my heart would allow me," he tells Afrotech. "I got a scholarship to Albany State University and once I got there, the same thing came back and said, 'Rozay, you're not going to work for nobody. You wasting your time,' And I walked away from it right then."
Despite his mathematical shortcomings and ditching his Plan A for Plan B, Rick Ross is obviously doing quite well for himself. He's co-written two best-selling novels, has six #1 albums, is a franchise owner of 25 Wingstop locations, a franchise owner of Checkers and Rally’s restaurants, has a partnership with spirits brands Luc Belaire and Bumbu, has his own men’s hair and beard grooming line, is in partnership with Rap Snacks and Verzuz, and the list goes on. So, if this business mogul could go back in time and give his 20-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
"Save all that money, man. Save all that," he says.
"I saw some good days. I saw some bright days, but when you're a youngster, you feel that's going to happen every other day," he continues.
And if 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have taught us anything, it's that the inevitable can (and will) happen.
Check out the full interview with Rick Ross below.