Carbone, Cohibas, and Cups
Fantasies about hanging out with the rap star Rick Ross might normally be set somewhere with strippers, magnums of champagne and an endless supply of blunts, but tonight we're headed to the Greenwich Village hot spot Carbone (owned by Beautiful People Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone), where we're meeting up with Ricky Rozay while he's in town to promote his new album Mastermind. It may not be a smoky private room at Scores, but there is something weirdly appropriate about breaking bread with the Teflon Don at a three-star Italian restaurant straight out of a Rat Pack flick.
Shortly after we arrive, there's a flurry of activity by the door: it's Ross and his crew, which tonight includes DJ Khaled, as well as Ross' publicist Gabe and manager Gucci Pucci.
Kanye and Rick
We all sit down and, as plates of focaccia, prosciutto and aged Parmesan come out, we begin to notice something highly unexpected: Rick Ross is not touching any of it. Turns out the Boss is on a diet. "I've been eating like a bawse for a long time," he tells us. "Now I want to eat clean." While we dig into lobster pasta and steak, he opts for fish and salad, sipping on water straight out of a Sizzurp cup with his bearded mug stamped on it. We chat with the rapper about his health regimen (no carbs, no dairy) and other surprisingly wholesome topics like his favorite Miami steakhouses (Houston's, Prime 112), his kids (he has a son and a daughter) and SoulCycle (he isn't familiar).
(L-R: CC Sabathia, Kanye West, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Gucci Pucci)
But despite the very ordinary conversation, there are constant reminders that we're dining with a very unordinary man. Throughout the evening, the rapper holds court at our table while a steady stream of people come by to pay their respects. Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. Def Jam honcho Shawn "Pecas" Costner. And even Yeezus himself, who stops by wearing his "mink dragging on the floor," his style guru, #Been #Trill's Virgil Abloh, at his side. And those are only the people we notice. Throughout the night, the entourage in the restaurant seems to subtly expand and contract around the Boss like some sort of Maybach Music Group amoeba while several SUVs idle outside. Chains are shown off. Cohiba cigars are sniffed. There are so many rounds of musical chairs that by the time dessert comes around we don't even notice that -- unlike his conspicuous entrance -- the Boss has quietly left the building, heading out into the night to enjoy those cigars.
Rick Ross' sixth studio album, Mastermind, is out now.