Slacker was recently offered the chance to spend the day in a New York City studio with Rick Ross, one of the biggest names in hip hop (and a collaborator with everyone from Dre to Kanye to Lil Wayne). As luck would have it, I just happened be vacationing in the Big Apple on the chosen day…here’s what happened:
I tend to be nervous meeting artists. Mainly due to the crippling social anxiety that comes with it. So when I agreed to be in the studio with Rick Ross, I mostly wasn’t thinking. He’s huge, literally and figuratively, and I wanted to make a good impression. By good impression, I mean that I did not want to annoy him.
How do these recording sessions work? Slacker rents a studio (in this case, Audio Engine, a lovely space in Manhattan), an engineer is present to record the session, and my only purpose is simply to make sure everything goes well. It’s a low stress affair, but you couldn’t tell by my demeanor. After being a fashionable five minutes behind schedule (he called ahead though!), Rick enters holding bottles of wine proclaiming, “The boss ALWAYS bring gifts!” So, the engineer, Melissa (my friend and photographer), and myself all received bottles of Rick Ross’ rosé. Isn’t that lovely?
For the next 30 minutes, Rick held court putting wide smiles across everyone’s faces in the studio, from his entourage to the record label representative. He’s a spellbindingly charismatic and electric guy. He had the entire room hanging on his responses. It was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever been a part of, because it’s the best of what you hope for in these situations–an artist being comfortable and sharing a part of themselves you normally don’t get to see. Usually it’s up to the staff to make the artist feel comfortable, but in this situation the reverse was true. I was nervous: he made me feel relaxed. Maybe it was the secondhand smoke.
I learned a lot about Rick that day. What his favorite musical group was, who his first childhood crush was, and oh yeah, what he’d want for his last meal. He’d just want to eat one thing (you’ll have to listen to find out) and I completely agree with him.
After the session was over, Rick tried to keep a straight face as we posed for photos, but upon being called “adorable,” all bets were off. He even let me wear his gold chain, which I think actually weighs more than my brain. It was a great experience, and I have to mention that the rosé was pretty good. Boss, even.