On this day, July 21, in hip-hop history...

Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

2008: Questions revolving Rick Ross' alleged past as a cocaine trafficker intensify after The Smoking Gun secures information confirming the rapper was, in fact, a correctional officer.

After Rozay vehemently denied having worked as a correctional officer—which was originally spotlighted when Media Takeout posted images of the rapper graduating from the Department of Corrections as a 19-year-old—TSG served some definitive proof in the form of personnel records from DoC spokesperson Jo Ellyn Rackleff.

In the records, we can see that Ross became a prison guard in December of 1995, at which point he was given a salary of $22,913.54. He resigned from his post at Dade County's South Florida Reception Center in June 1997. Although Rozay's social security number is obscured in the document, TSG notes that it is identical to that of Ross, whose government name is William Leonard Roberts II.

At the time, Rozay was in the midst of a beef with 50 Cent, who had a field day after the release of the photos and continued mentioning the Florida rapper's correctional officer past for years to come.

For his part, Rozay, who initially claimed that hackers were responsible for piecing together the photo of him at the DoC graduation, eventually came around to admitting it was him in the photo. The rapper seemingly spoke on the matter on his Mastermind song, "Rich Is Gangsta."

In the lyrics, the Teflon Don alludes to the legal decimation of his gang of drug-runners being the reason he decided to take on his job as a correctional officer. "Feds tore apart the squad, nigga/That's why I had to play the part, nigga/That wasn't me, it was a job, nigga/It gets deeper, that was just a start, nigga," he raps.

While many believed Rick Ross rap career would be imperiled by the revelation that he was once a correctional officer, it turns out that he would only grow in popularity as he went on to collect a few platinum plaques and plenty of critical acclaim.

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