Rick Ross‘ run at Def Jam Records, which ranged from his 2006 breakthrough hit “Hustlin” and debut album Port of Miami, to releasing three albums in the last 2 years, including 2015’s Black Market–one of the better opuses in the MMG headmaster’s catalog–has come to an end, as Ross has reached a deal with L.A. Reid to sign with Epic Records (no word yet on what this means for his MMG artists, like Wale, Meek Mill, Rockie Fresh, Stalley, and Omarion, who are all signed to Atlantic Records, and Gunplay, who is still with Def Jam).
After signing with Def Jam in 2006 via a deal with then Def Jam imprint Slip-N-Slide Records, Ross went on an impeccable run, solidifying himself as a viable solo artist with both selling and imperial power, releasing three consecutive Billboard 200 number one albums to start his career, notching a Top 20 hit in the process with his T-Pain-featured “The Boss.” Five of the eight albums he released as a Def Jam artist would go on to debut at number one, and none would debut on the Billboard 200 any lower than 6, a considerable feat for an artist to achieve with one record label over the span of a decade. The Miami rapper also became a mogul, signing Wale and Meek Mill to his Maybach Music Group imprint–housed under Warner Bros. until 2012, when they moved to Atlantic Records along with the rest of Warner’s Urban roster–in 2010, then adding Stalley, Omarion, Rockie Fresh, Fat Trel and Tracy T in subsequent years to join Gunplay, who’d been working with Ross since the late 90’s. Outside of Ross’ albums, MMG has produced three Billboard 200 number one albums, two from Wale and one from Meek Mill.
There are no details yet on exactly what type of contract Ross signed with Epic, but it will be interesting to watch his career progress as he enters the second leg of it, especially now that he’s reunited with L.A. Reid, who stepped down as Def Jam chairman in 2011.