Rapper Rick Ross was keeping a low profile Tuesday, one day after his brush with bullets on the streets of Fort Lauderdale.
Though he has yet to comment on the incident, the self-proclaimed “Boss” did what he does best: He rapped about the incident.
“I can’t believe I’m alive,” he said, dropping a rhyme about his near-death experience into a recording by a fellow rapper, Kendrick Lamar, titled B---- Don’t Kill my Vibe. The verse was distributed through social media by his record label late Monday and spread quickly over the Internet.
Police Tuesday released edited 911 calls placed when the gunfire broke out about 5 a.m. Monday on Las Olas Boulevard near Southeast 15th Avenue. Bullets pierced the windows of nearby businesses, including the landmark Floridian diner.
“I just heard a bunch of gunshots go off and a car sped by . . .” said one woman, who identified herself as the Floridian’s manager. “Oh my God, they’re turning around and coming back. I’m hanging up.”
Then a woman calls to report that a car, Ross’ Rolls-Royce, has crashed into the front door of her apartment, next door to the corner eatery.
"I'm sleeping and I hear this screaming and yelling and a crash,” she tells the dispatcher. “There’s a car at my front door!”
“Is there anyone in the vehicle? the dispatcher asks
“No, they ran away,” the woman tells the dispatcher.
Ross, 37, whose real name is William L. Roberts II, posted a link to a news story about the shooting on his Facebook page. His publicist did not return telephone calls.
Social-media sites, however, were abuzz about the incident, mostly skeptical that he was the target of an attempted assassination. Many tweeters theorized the gunfire was staged to help boost his “street cred,” which has been a source of contention in the rap community.
The timing also raised eyebrows, coming just before the Grammy Awards. Ross is nominated for Best Rap Album, and referred to his nomination in the verse released Monday.
Rapper 50 Cent — who knows something about street violence, having been shot nine times in a single incident — declared the shooting a hoax, tweeting, “lol it looks staged to me.”
Ross has feuded with fellow rappers. He admitted to placing Young Jeezy in a chokehold at BET’s music awards last year, and reportedly received death threats from a group called the Gangster Disciples, a Chicago street gang that felt he disrespected one of its leaders by using his name in a song without paying him.
Following the threats, Ross canceled the second leg of his 2012 tour, but denied he pulled the plug because of the threats.
In a move that may have further antagonized the gang, at a concert in Chicago he made producers turn off the sound system as he strode onstage in a $40,000 black Chinchilla coat.
“I told them to cut the music off. I wanted them to just look at me for a while,” he told Miami’s 99 Jamz. “Look at the beard, look at the coat, look at the walk. I’m here to make money.”
The bulky, tattoo-covered rapper, who graduated from Carol City High School and attended Albany State University on a football scholarship, once worked as a corrections officer, leading some to ridicule him for producing urban lyrics that seem to contradict his law-enforcement background.
Fort Lauderdale police were reviewing video surveillance of the scene Tuesday, but released no new details other than the 911 calls.
Witnesses said anywhere from five to 20 shots may have been fired, but they missed Ross, his girlfriend and the Rolls-Royce they were riding in — no small target. Ross crashed the Rolls into some trees, but was not injured. His girlfriend, Shateria Moragne-el, is a native of Maryland who has her own fashion line.
Miami Herald staff writer Nadege Green contributed to this report.