Rick Ross hasn’t read his new memoir.
“Everything I said, I lived so I didn’t have to read it,” the 43-year-old rap star tells PEOPLE of his autobiography Hurricanes, co-written by Neil Martinez-Belkin and out Sept. 3. Even so, “I think it’s a triumph,” says Ross. “Everybody don’t admit rising from failure.”
Hurricanes takes readers on a gripping journey through Ross’s childhood growing up in the ’80s in the crime-ridden neighborhood of Carol City in Miami Gardens, Florida— to his rocky road to stardom and the many perils and controversies that came after.
From his beefs with 50 Cent and Birdman to surviving drive by shootings and back-to-back seizures, “My life is really a movie,” says the “Hustlin'” and “Maybach Music” rapper. “That’s why I speak the way I speak in my music.”
The inspiration for writing his life story came after Ross’s March 2018 headline-making hospitalization for a major seizure (rumored to have been a heart attack at the time). It’s an event the star describes in shocking detail in his book, and says gave him a new perspective on life.
“When I woke up in the hospital and I had so many people around me, so many homies, it felt like I was in V.I.P. or some s—,” he says with a laugh. “But it was more like ‘Damn, we gotta do some special things.'”
What landed Ross in the hospital, was a slew of bad health decisions, including drug abuse. “It was the codeine,” he says of the prescription opioid cough medication he’d began using recreationally. In the book he describes drinking large quantities of prescription cough syrup to try and cope with stress.
“That mixed with the things I was drinking, the other drugs I was doing, and on top of not resting. [I don’t think] one particular thing would have killed me. But everything combined?”
He also blames his last hospitalization on refusing to follow his doctor’s orders. Ross, who has suffered a few other scary seizures in the past, had been prescribed medication. But, he says, “I went I don’t know how long without taking the medication to prove to myself ‘I’m stronger than these other people this s— was diagnosed for.”
As a result: “I ended up back in the hospital in a worse condition.”
The star claims that while his condition was extreme, he did not suffer a heart attack and he was never placed on an ECMO machine (used to support the function of his heart and lungs) as it was being reported at the time.
Now a year since the ordeal, the star says he is no longer abusing codeine, takes his medication and has overhauled his diet and lifestyle. “I cut the sodas out and I drink a lot more water. That, adding in some vegetables and I get a lot more rest.”
He’s still as busy as ever, with his 10th album Port of Miami 2 out now and working on the upcoming sequel to Coming to America (his sprawling mansion is being used in the film). Despite the many hardships he describes in Hurricanes, “There’s nothing for me to complain about,” says Ross. These days, “I’m just living and being much more genuine.”
Hurricanes by Rick Ross and Neil Martinez is available Sept. 3 in bookstores and on Amazon.com.