Rick Ross playing ‘No Games’

Rick Ross
Rick Ross performs at The Orpheum in Boston on Nov. 14 and at the Beacon Theatre in NYC on Nov. 15.

Since 2006, Rick Ross has been instrumental in bringing attention to rappers like Wale, Omarion and Meek Mill with his Maybach Music Group. But for his next album, “Mastermind,” due out Dec. 17, Ross will be instrumental in bringing something different to his own tracks: instruments.

“We’ve been in the studio with Jay Z over the summer,” Ross says. “The studio conversation that came up was it was most definitely time to end the two tracks.”

By “two tracks” he means laying one vocal track over another track of prerecorded beats. For “Mastermind,” he’s increased the number of tracks by 1,500. Well, sort of. His backing band, dubbed 1500 or Nothin’, is a collective of producers, players and artists who have worked with some of hip-hop’s heaviest hitters.

Why the sudden change for the Miami rapper?

“On my first five albums, I pretty much stayed away from the live element,” Ross says. “I kept it gritty, I kept it dirty, I kept it street. It’s time for that next level.”

Though 1500 or Nothin’ do not appear on “No Games,” the lead single from “Mastermind,” they are coming on tour with him.

“It’s most definitely a lot more work, most definitely a lot more time,” Ross says of working with so many musicians, “but it’s something I feel my fans deserve.”

He says having a band backing him has changed his perspective on the live experience.

“I’m in between the crowd and the band,” he says. “It’s a feeling I can’t wait for.”

1500 or Nothin’ are everything
Ross says he traveled more than 1,500 miles to find his new live backing band.

“I was looking for a band pretty much over the last year,” Ross says. “I had been looking, of course, in Miami, and in New Orleans I saw a lot of great talent, but the best was this band.”

The L.A.-based 1500 or Nothin’ include keyboardists Larrance Dopson and Lamar “Mars” Edward, guitarist Charles “Uncle Chucc” Hamilton, drummer Brody Brown and songwriting ace James Fauntleroy. The members have worked with Jay Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Keisha Cole, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake.

The 1500 or Nothin’ lineup will expand from eight to 12 players for the live shows, Ross says.

“Not only is it the music,” he says. “It’s about the mood.”

The Boss says sorry
Ross has had his share of drama. He’s been in the middle of lawsuits, arrests and beatdowns, and he was possibly the target of a drive-by shooting in Florida earlier this year. As his profile has risen, so has attention to his rhymes. In the spring, he made a reference to date rape on a track. A furor ensued and he was dropped as a spokesman for Reebok.

Ross was apologetic after the flare-up.

“To the young men who listen to my music, please know that using a substance to rob a woman of her right to make a choice is not only a crime, it’s wrong and I do not encourage it,” the rapper said in a statement.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.