Rick Ross has more or less willed himself to the top of the hip-hop heap. It’s not a genre lacking for performers who project themselves as the toughest, richest and most luxurious, and the 36-year-old MC has made such boasts his reality. He’s got a few tidy, self-given nicknames (Teflon Don, The Boss); lyrics almost exclusively focused on drug-dealing and outrageously expensive cars; bulletproof beats; an equally massive snarl; and a trademark grunt (“Ungh!”). In 2012, the rap game revolves around Rick Ross.
You wouldn’t know that from the turnout Thursday night at DAR Constitution Hall, though. The number of attendees was greater than the beefy MC’s weight . . . but it was a shockingly close call. This presented an interesting predicament — how would this king of excess, fresh off being named MTV’s “hottest MC,” function when performing in a mostly empty venue? Playing in front of all those vacant seats couldn’t help but shatter the illusion of Ross as an invincible icon, and during his brief, perfunctory set, Ross balanced out his larger-than-life persona with a bit of down-to-earth likability.