Tattooed with pictures of AK-47s, Miami's six-foot, 300-pound rap figure known as Rick Ross embraced his city's reputation for drug trafficking. While Atlanta and Houston artists were establishing their cities as Southern strongholds, Ross aimed at putting Miami back in rap's national spotlight. Ross had a brief stint on Suave House before he ended up on Miami's Slip-N-Side, but he didn't release solo material until 2006. Once "Hustlin'" caught the ear of a few executives, a bidding war ensued; Def Jam signed Ross to a multi-million-dollar deal. Released in 2006, Ross' Port of Miami went to number one on the Billboard album chart. His follow-up, Trilla, followed in 2008. ~ Cyril Cordor
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