Rappers say a lot of things. And sometimes a lyric can spark outrage, controversy, and more. Such was the case recently when Rick Ross imagined himself to be “Big Meech” and “Larry Hoover” in “Blowing Money Fast” a new single from his newly released album, Teflon Don. While many listeners may see it as purely a good line, or another example of Hip Hop’s fascination with gangster culture, others took the comments to heart in a way that few could understand. While Big Meech and Larry Hoover exist in name only to the majority of Hip Hop consumers, the two figures are friends, fathers, associates, and leaders to select groups of people and for them, Ross’ words had a direct impact.
Rick Ross’ reference to Larry Hoover took on a new life when Ross visited the windy city last week. For those unfamiliar, Chicago is the home of Larry Hoover, who has been serving jail time since 1973 and is currently serving his sentence in Colorado. While Ross has said that his mention of Hoover was a tribute to someone he views as a political prisoner, his reference to Hoover alongside other references to drugs, and violence did more to hurt Ross than help him. Larry Hoover Jr. and others sought out Ross during his stay in the city to talk about to him about the line, as well as explain why such a reference is an unwanted one. Following Ross’ visit, Larry Hoover Jr., Jim Allen, and Gator Bradley all spoke to RubyHornet to explain their problems with the reference.
Jim Allen told us, “Hoover is very remorseful for the things that he’s done as well things done through the street organization. A lot of that goes back to him and we’re trying to change that around and push peace instead of negativity.” Allen, just like Larry Hoover Jr. as well as Gator Bradley, were all taken aback by Ross’ reference. Most importantly, they felt that Ross brought up Hoover’s name out of context, linking with a lifestyle he no longer lives nor supports. Jim Allen continued, “Larry Hoover Jr. and Jim Allen are pushing peace. That’s the message Larry Hoover is pushing. When his name is mentioned in songs connected to crime, it tarnishes what we’re doing out in the street. There are people all over the country that hear Rick Ross’ music and when he mentions Hoover’s name he makes it seem that this is the life they’re living in the present, which they’re not.”
Larry Hoover Jr., Larry Hoover’s, son echoed Allen’s sentiments telling us, “[the reference] is a big deal because he didn’t contact anybody before he did it. It was the fact that he was associating his name in a bad light. He came to town and we reached out to him to right the situation… As long as everyone is a man of their word, everything is fine. He got the understanding that it’s not good to use [Hoover's] name in the context that he used it. That’s as far away from where we are as ever.”