On August 8, 2006, one of the most prolific hip-hop artists ever—but especially of the last ten years—was officially birthed. Rick Ross released his debut album Port of Miami and started his ascension into hip-hop’s upper echelon. In the new documentary Rick Ross: Port of Miami, airing tonight on REVOLT TV, we go in-depth with Ross himself, DJ Khaled, and the album’s producers to celebrate the project.
“Port of Miami is a classic. It’s a classic,” DJ Khaled vehemently says in the doc. “If you don’t say it’s a classic, you played yourself, you just a straight ‘they.’”
Ross himself divulges in the film that he wasn’t thinking a decade down the road while recording the LP; the Carol City native just wanted to make “a dope ass album” and honor his hometown by putting his city’s name in the album title.
“I think it was just [that] I hustled,” he said, explaining how, as a new artist, he was able to secure superstar guest appearances by the likes of Jay Z, Lil’ Wayne, Jazze Pha, and J.R. Rotem. “Everybody knew it was real. Everybody who ever came through Miami, saw Rozay, E-Class. They seen the whole squad. If they was really rockin’, they was gonna rock with us. We salute that. We’ll never forget that.”
Of course, Ross was sizzling at the time on the strength of his breakout blockbuster single “Hustlin’” and was so in demand to do shows because of it, he had to balance recording with a rigorous performance schedule. In fact, Rozay laid most of his vocals for the album while having to battle losing his voice.
“He recorded Port of Miami with no voice throughout that whole process,” DJ Khaled said. “Because he was booked seven days a week and Ross ain’t no regular performer. ‘Hustlin’’ is a hype song. He used to come to my crib, record something, jump in his car, catch a flight, do some shows. Come back, land, right after the airport come straight to the studio.”
After such a huge hit, Ross says he definitely felt pressure while working on the LP.
“I sure did. I love pressure and the first time I felt it, I became addicted to it,” Ross describes in the special. “It’s like, ‘Is this what pressure is? When everybody looking at you and wants more? Well I got you. I’ma come through.’ And that’s what it’s about: delivering. You really the art and the music. It’s like, ‘Yo, you under pressure.’ That’s what it is when you have to have [the album] in by certain time. That’s when I work best.”
Rick Ross: Port of Miami airs tonight at 11pm ET on a special version REVOLT TV’s “The Gate.”