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Freshjive x "Freeway" Ricky Ross: Nobody Beats the Biz
Celebrated by some and condemned by others, the legacy of "Freeway" Ricky Ross is a tale of ambition, excess and devastation. Largely responsible for spreading the crack cocaine epidemic throughout Los Angeles in the 1980's, Ross built a drug empire that functioned similarly to a Fortune 500 company. Establishing crack houses throughout the city, Rick earned the nickname "Freeway" from the numerous properties he owned along the 110 Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles. Earning over $600 million in his career, the entrepreneur managed to grow his empire to epic proportions all while being illiterate.
In 1996, Ross was arrested and sentenced to prison, although his story didn't end there. Following his arrest, Ross became the subject of further controversy when he was linked to Nicaraguan exile and cocaine trafficker Oscar Danilo Blandon. With Oscar being an informant for the CIA and tied to the Iran-Contra debacle, many believe the connection supports the conspiracy that the U.S government was responsible for spreading crack cocaine into poor African American neighborhoods throughout the U.S.
Now free and out of prison, Ross has embarked on re-appropriating his own name, which was pirated by the famed Miami rap artist, Rick Ross.
We highly recommend reading Dark Alliance by Gary Webb for an indepth account of the history of the crack epidemic.