William Leonard Roberts II (born January 28, 1976), known professionally by his stage name Rick Ross, is an American rapper and entrepreneur.
In 2009, Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group, on which he released his studio albums Deeper Than Rap (2009), Teflon Don (2010), God Forgives, I Don't (2012), Mastermind, Hood Billionaire (2014), Black Market (2015), and Rather You Than Me (2017). Ross was also the first artist signed to Diddy's management company Ciroc Entertainment. In early 2012, MTV named Ross as the Hottest MC in the Game.
William Leonard Roberts II was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and raised in Carol City, Florida. After graduating from Miami Carol City Senior High School, he attended the historically black college Albany State University on a football scholarship. Roberts worked as a correctional officer for 18 months from December 1995, until his resignation in June 1997.
In his early years at Suave House Records, Roberts initially made his debut under the pseudonym Teflon Da Don. He made his recording debut on the song "Ain't Shhh to Discuss" on Erick Sermon's lone album for DreamWorks, Def Squad Presents Erick Onasis. In the mid-2000s, he changed his name to Rick Ross. He derived his stage name from the former drug kingpin "Freeway" Rick Ross, to whom he has no connection
After being signed to Suave House Records, former label for rap duo 8Ball & MJG, he eventually signed a deal with Slip-n-Slide Records, which has been under the Def Jam label since 2006. While signed to Slip-n-Slide, Roberts toured with fellow rapper Trick Daddy and made guest performances on other Slip-n-Slide albums.
Previously worked for eighteen months as a prison guard.