By Kelly Dearmore
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By Lauren Drewes Daniels
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It was that fateful meeting at The 808 when Ruiz asked the young men point blank what they were setting out to accomplish, what their goals were. Slim and his fellow MC Paris Pershun responded without hesitation by jumping to their feet for an on-the-spot a cappella performance to show her what they were capable of. It was then that Ruiz became the first person to realize: These guys are something special. A.Dd+ soon realized they'd stumbled on something special, too, someone with much more to offer than a MySpace photo.
Ruiz has never let her gender be much of a factor in her professional life.
"I've never really struggled in this industry, at least not knowingly, because I'm a woman," she says. "I'm sure it's benefitted me, and I'm sure there's been a negative side to it that maybe I just don't know about, but I've never felt like it was a barrier."
Before long, Ruiz shifted her focus from The 808 onto managing A.Dd+ full-force. She taught herself Pro Tools to record them when no one else would. Over the course of the next five years, she was their primary funder, coach, production seeker, tour van driver and anything else they needed.
"She put in some work. She worked harder than all of us, really. Even to this day, she still just works, man. For no reason at all other than she wants to," Picnictyme says. Ruiz brought him in to produce A.Dd+'s mixtape When Pigs Fly, which is now a Dallas classic.
"When she succeeds, Dallas succeeds," says Michelle McDevitt of New York PR firm Audible Treats. "No one can deny that Rosalinda's involvement with A.Dd+ is the reason why they're one of the hottest rap groups to come out of Texas right now. She set them up with a very solid foundation. And because of A.Dd+'s success, the country as a whole is starting to take more notice of the Texas rap scene."
By 2012, however, tensions began to arise between the duo and Ruiz over creative and managerial control. In particular, Slim and Ruiz had begun to butt heads over the future of A.Dd+. It came to a breaking point one day last October.
Paris, Slim, Ruiz and her longtime boyfriend and business partner, Detroit rapper/producer Black Milk, had gotten together to record the duo (on a beat coincidentally titled "Over"). We may never know what happened in that studio session — both parties are tight-lipped about the details — but one thing we know for sure is that the A.Dd+ camp would never be the same by the time it was done. After years of steering the ship for Slim and Paris, Ruiz decided it was time to go her own way.
"I thought we were going to be together until the end," she says. "It had nothing to do with the music. It had everything to do with how I perceived them as men. That was important to me. They were never just a money-maker to me. They were people that I cared about, very much. I loved them, to the extent that I would sacrifice my family — my future family — to be with them. At some point it got to be too much, and I had to get used to the idea of my everyday thing coming to an end. It was the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me."
Though it affected her deeply, parting ways with A.Dd+ didn't slow her down much. Since then, she has put her skills to work behind Dallas DJ and production supergroup Booty Fade. She is also currently in the early stages of forming a record label, Computer Ugly, with Black Milk.
"You may have talent or good ideas or whatever, but it doesn't matter if you don't work," says Zac Crain, senior editor at D Magazine. "I think some folks think they're entitled to things, or they rest when they hit a certain level. But I've never seen that out of her. I think what you see now [in the Dallas rap scene] is everyone hustling — and I mean that in more of a Joakim Noah kind of way — and she's definitely a part of that."
Hustling is still what Mama Rosa does best. So if you do work up the courage to introduce yourself, you better start your search far away from the VIP section. She's more likely to be behind the merch table, selling Booty Fade T-shirts. There's no time to rest.
Not a bad write up, just feel its a little past due and out of date. Sound more like a break up story then an actual piece on her being a spark behind the Dallas hip hop scene. What happened with here & A.Dd+ should have been left behind closed doors and not used to draw readers. No disrespect to her, for she has accomplished alot and was in fact a big spark for the scene. Just dont exactly agree with how this was portrayed.
@TheReal It's called journalism. It's a good story. How she started with A.Dd+ is a good story and what she plans on doing is a good story and the breakup with A.Dd+ is an important part of the story. Has to be in there. It's just good reporting.