Former drug lord “Freeway” Rick Ross has been fighting since 2o1o to get MMG founder Rick Ross to stop using the name. His case was over ruled in 2010 by a judge who said that Freeway took to long to file his complaint in court when he knew that Rozay had been using the name since 2006. Freeway didn’t give up and brought the case to an appellate court but he didn’t have much luck there either. While the former drug lord really was about that life, the new judge ruled that MMG’s Rick Ross’ tales are “synthesized” and therefore not a duplication of Freeway’s life. The judge said:
We recognize that Roberts’ work — his music and persona as a rap musician — relies to some extent on plaintiff’s name and persona. Roberts chose to use the name ‘Rick Ross.’ He raps about trafficking in cocaine and brags about his wealth. These were ‘raw materials’ from which Roberts’ music career was synthesized. But these are not the ‘very sum and substance’ of Roberts’ work.
The judge added that Rozay’s celebrity persona is not that of an impostor:
Roberts created a celebrity identity, using the name Rick Ross, of a cocaine kingpin turned rapper. He was not simply an impostor seeking to profit solely off the name and reputation of Rick Ross. Rather, he made music out of fictional tales of dealing drugs and other exploits — some of which related to plaintiff. Using the name and certain details of an infamous criminal’s life as basic elements, he created original artistic works.