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CMU football player Romello Ross talks rapping, tattooing


Romello Ross (Courtesy Photo | CMU)

Between football games, Detroit senior Romello Ross is hard at work far into the night working on rap songs, painting or tattooing.

People’s experiences are infused into all of Ross’s work, he said. While sitting with clients and tattooing them, he learns their stories and becomes inspired for future artwork and music.

He currently has two released rap albums, “Fr Distime” and “The Playing Field," with another one on the way. The coming album is his first studio effort, and it will be released later this year.

For Ross, rapping evolved from slam poetry competitions, where he was a multiple-time slam champion. He released some of his poetry online with a beat, and due to a good reception, he decided to stick with it.

“I’m trying to figure out what more creative things I want to do," he said. "I just got to start writing the beat.”

In addition to being a rapper, he is also a tattoo artist. Ross began tattooing after talking to a tattoo artist in Mount Pleasant. The artist explained to him that the best way to begin was to offer free tattoos and just go for it.

“So I got a (tattoo) gun … (and) tattooed on myself a couple of times, and then it took me beyond that,” he said.

Being able to work with people in a close and personal environment creates the inspirational atmosphere that aids Ross in his creativity.

“You get to learn a lot about people because a lot of people want to get artwork related to their life,” he said.

Ross doesn’t really balance his hobbies – he’s always up at night doing some form of “creating,” whether it's writing lyrics, painting or drawing.

“A day’s wasted if I’m not creating,” Ross said.