Does your law class start by listening to “Hustlin’”? What about “Tears of Joy”? Any Rick Ross song playing?
If not, you likely aren’t in Georgia State’s “Legal Life of Rick Ross” course then.
Professor Moraima Ivory starts each class by playing one of the Atlanta rapper’s tracks to put her students in the mindset of Ross the artist — before learning about Ross the business, she told the Miami Herald.
“You get an opportunity to see how he has built this empire that he has amassed,” explained Ivory, professor of practice and director of the Entertainment, Sports & Media Law Initiative at George State’s College of Law, “whether it’s in music, real estate, in brand partnerships, equity, positioning — he has done it.”
Ross, whose nickname is the “Biggest Boss,” stated in a press release: “The ‘Biggest’ meets the classroom. I’ve always been a student of the game, and I look forward to being able to teach the next generation how to keep hustlin’.”
In addition to his music career, including as CEO of Maybach Music Group, Ross is a real estate investor; a franchise owner of more than 25 Wingstop locations; the owner of several Checkers and Rally’s restaurants; partner in Sovereign Brands; and the CEO of Rick Ross Car & Bike Show and the Boss Up Conference.
The class will teach students about the legal contracts that helped to shape Ross’ career, with insight from the lawyers who negotiated them.
The Grammy-nominated rapper isn’t the first Atlantan to be the subject of Ivory’s “Legal Life of …” course. Previous classes have focused on Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Kandi Burruss.
“People have a perception that hip-hop is one big party and they really dismiss the business and the legal aspect of what goes on in the person’s career,” Ivory told the Herald. “There’s no way that these figures — the ones that I studied or anybody for that matter that’s in this career — doesn’t have to learn how to become a businessperson separate from their creativity.”
“I am training the next crop of lawyers to be able to look at these agreements and figure out ways to improve the positions for their clients,” she added.