Monday, May 11, 2009


The XXL Editors received this letter from Louis Vuitton concerning the May 2009 cover of Rick Ross.

Dear Editor:

We were dismayed to see the cover of the May 2009 issue of XXL Magazine, which features a photo of Rick Ross wearing a pair of sunglasses prominently featuring counterfeit Louis Vuitton trademarks. Because the photo has generated considerable confusion among your readers and Louis Vuitton customers among others, we feel it is important to clarify several points.

The first is that the sunglasses Mr. Ross is wearing were not made by Louis Vuitton, and in fact, are counterfeit. Louis Vuitton did not grant permission to Mr. Ross or to whoever did make the sunglasses to use our trademarks. The second is that no affiliation, sponsorship or association exists between Rick Ross or XXL and Louis Vuitton. The third is that counterfeiting is illegal.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to correct the confusion.

Michael D. Pantalony, Esq.Louis Vuitton Malletier

Friday, May 01, 2009

Former Drug Kingpin, Ricky Ross, Returns To Society A Better Man

For Immediate Release...Texarkana, TX...On Monday, May 4th, Freeway Ricky Ross will finally be released from prison after serving 20 years for being a “drug kingpin.” The real Ricky Ross over saw a Los Angeles based multi-state drug operation in the early 1980’s, which earned upwards of $2 million dollars per day at its height. After L.A.P.D. set up a sting operation to bring him down (The Freeway Taskforce), Ricky finally turned himself in, weeks after a rogue police officer attempted to set him up and murder him in an alley. Ricky was sentenced to prison and released in 1996. After 6 months, his former cocaine distributor, who was working for the CIA (unbeknownst to Ricky), asked Ricky for a favor—it turned out to be a set up, and in 1996, Ricky Ross was sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating the purchase of over 100 kilos of cocaine from an undercover federal agent.

Ross’ sentence was later reduced through appeals and after a series of explosive articles by the late Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb wrote a three part series titled “Dark Alliance” for the San Jose Mercury News, which investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had allegedly smuggled cocaine into the U.S. that was then distributed as crack cocaine into Los Angeles and funneled profits to the Contras. Webb also alleged that this influx of Nicaraguan supplied cocaine sparked and significantly fueled the widespread crack epidemic that swept through urban areas in the US. According to Webb, the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by the Contra personnel, and further alleged that while Ricky was sentenced to a harsh prison term, his Nicaraguan cocaine distributor was placed on the payroll of the CIA.

That news series turned into the best-selling book, “Dark Alliance,” that blew the lid off of the alleged CIA complicity in the importation of cocaine into the US, creating the exceptionally profitable, and damaging, crack cocaine epidemic spread through many inner city neighborhoods. Congressional Hearings, in the late-90s, found the book’s facts to be true.

As Ricky Ross’ story reads like a page-turning novel or a blockbuster film, it has inspired rappers to name themselves after him, style themselves after him, and even retell his stories as their own exploits, gaining international success. Although a pawn in a bigger scheme, Ricky realized that the damage done to inner city neighborhoods was unacceptable. He has devoted himself to making a difference in his community by teaching financial literacy to urban youth and teaching legal ways to financially empower themselves. When Ricky first went to prison, he was illiterate—the educational system in South Central L.A. had failed him, even though he went on to become a multi-millionaire savvy at numerous legitimate businesses, and a tennis pro. Reading a book a week during his lengthy incarceration has since made Ricky wise beyond his years.

Ricky oversaw an empire that reached numerous states and that is rumored to have brought in millions of dollars a day at its height. His plan is to return to society and accomplish that again, but this time through legal means. Upon Ricky Ross' release, he is focusing on:
• a book and a film (currently seeking deals for both),
• a new record label in conjunction with industry legend Wendy Day,
• a Foundation to help innercity youth at risk,
• a reality TV show,
• his social networking site, that he built while incarcerated
• speaking engagements to share his story and experiences

A film crew is following Ricky’s release from prison and his trek across the country to a halfway house in California where he will interact with, and impact youth in juvenile detention centers along the way. Already the topic of one of the most successful episodes of BET’s American Gangster series (1st Season), the real Ricky Ross is a cultural icon and hero in communities across the US. Now he is able to make positive moves with that status.

Ricky can be reached at or through his social networking site He will be available for interviews beginning the week of May 11, 2009.

For more information, please contact Wendy Day at 404.474.1999 or