Rick Ross, Luxurious Landscaper

Rick Ross is a man of simple pleasures. He enjoys a fast car, a well-rolled blunt, and the clean look of his own freshly mowed lawn. “It’s something I look forward to,” Ross says, outfitted with a big, white cowboy hat and a shiny chain as he sits between two large bottles of champagne. “I have my windows tinted. No one knows it’s Ricky Rozay, the biggest boss. AC’s down to 68 degrees, and I’m cutting. I’m looking for anything on the lawn that’s standing out or looking obnoxious.”

Ross bought an industrial-size John Deere lawn tractor last year to help clear out 280 acres surrounding his estate just north of Atlanta — a property so expansive that he rented it out to serve as the fictional palace of Zamunda in Coming 2 America. Mowing the lawn is a whole-day commitment, taking between six and eight hours each time (and saving himself an estimated seven figures in lawncare costs).

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On most days, Ross remains busy with other pursuits befitting a rap mogul, whether it’s readying new album Richer Than I Ever Been, writing the new book The Perfect Day to Boss Up: A Hustler’s Guide to Building Your Empire, or doing his diligence as a Wingstop franchise owner by helping the chain promote its Thighstop campaign earlier this summer. He sees his lawn-mowing shifts as a meditative break from that daily grind. “When I’m in a tractor, I’m sitting seven feet in the sky, surrounded by nothing but peace: trees, deers, bucks,” he says. “I’m thinking about my children, my investments, my next moves on records. Every hundred yards, I’m seeing something I never noticed before. I’m smoking the best cannabis. It’s a beautiful event.”

Mowing the lawn plays into Ross’s greater ethos of being active in every part of his empire and taking pleasure in the everyday. “To me that defines a boss, remaining hands-on,” he says. “Let’s do it. But cutting grass is just as fun to me as riding an ATV. And I got a fucking warehouse full of ATVs. So you can only imagine how much I love riding ATVs or playing with my dogs or feeding apples to my horses.”

Ross enjoys the cowboy aesthetic he’s taken on tending to his range. Asked for advice on how to pull off wearing a cowboy hat, he confidently responds: “As you step out of the bed and you put your feet down on the towel, you just got to tell yourself you’re the biggest fucking boss. You can put on the ugliest hat you want to and still be beautiful, because I’m a beautiful motherfucker.”

Cutting grass happened to be an early job for Ross as a young kid in Carol City, Florida, a memory that he often reflects on as he tends to his own gigantic yard. “In my Black community, you made paper if you had a successful landscaping company,” he says. “I knocked on your mom’s door and told her if she had $5 I’d cut the grass in the front — just not the back, because I was afraid of snakes. If I had to cut every yard on the block to put some money in my pocket, I’m with it. I’m still that same dude. That’s why I’m still doing it.” 

While lawn-cutting is more of a hobby than a job for Ross, he remains committed to quality, cutting the grass in careful angles and patterns. “I want my shit looking like a golf course,” he says. “When I find a great pattern, I cut it that way four or five times in a row. I just want to try different things, because growing up you just cut the grass straight across. Here I have spots that go up and down along hills, and I love the way it looks when you ride along the hill. When the groove goes along the hill, it’s a beautiful situation. When I do that, it’s like, ‘Damn, you couldn’t even pay for that.’”

At the time of our Zoom call, Ross had yet to name his tractor. One fan online suggested “Morning Glory,” calling back to a phrase he often says during Instagram Live sessions. “Whoo!” Ross shouts, satisfied. “You need to contact that fan so I can ask for permission to name my tractor Morning Glory. Genius.”

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