'Hustle' And Flow

When most people think of South Beach, it's supermodels and fashionistas and pastel-colored art deco buildings. But local Rick Ross' Miami is a lot more "Scarface" than "Miami Vice."

When most people think of South Beach, it's supermodels and fashionistas and pastel-colored art deco buildings. But local Rick Ross' Miami is a lot more "Scarface" than "Miami Vice."

Take Ross' breakout hit, "Hustlin." The MC took his moniker from Los Angeles Crip Freeway Rick -- rumored to have introduced crack cocaine to the gang -- and Ross' track is all about slingin' cocaine. With Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart largely populated with catchy, but ultimately lightweight fare, "Hustlin" hits the bull's-eye of hip-hop's infatuation with making something out of nothing.

In a way, that's the story of Ross himself: The MC had rhymed and ghostwritten in Miami's local scene for 10 years, but got his break when "Hustlin" caught on in Miami -- and caught the ear of Shakir Stewart, Def Jam senior VP of A&R, who signed Ross to the label. His debut, "Port of Miami," arrives this week.

"I watched the 'Hustlin' record grow while I was in Miami and brought [Jay-Z] in," Stewart says. "What made Rick Ross stand out was that he's a real lyrical guy. It's not just about the beat and a one-liner."