Last weekend was the premiere of the off-Broadway revitalization of Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman, directed by lesser-known reality star sister Kecelia Kardashian and performed at the Players Theater on MacDougal street. Though the classic role of Willy Loman was originally slated to be played by Paul Giamatti, schedule conflicts with American Splendor 2 caused the star to drop. The production had limited time to find a new leading man, causing them to search for talent in unlikely places. Enter: Rick Ross's Face Chain. Looking to break into New York's theatre scene, the chain— which is comprised of yellow and black diamonds arranged to precisely resemble Rick Ross's own sunglasses-clad face— jumped at the opportunity to portray the tragic central role in Miller's classic, learning the part in just three weeks.
I caught up with Rick Ross's Face Chain after the final curtain of night two. After turning down my offer to grab a drink (Ross's Chain is sober since '08), he agreed to be interviewed over coffee at the Esperanto Cafe around the corner.VICE: So, again, great show man. Really great performance.Ross's Chain: Thanks, thanks.Coffee too hot?Just waiting on it to cool down. Wish I had something to nibble on—you should come here in the mornings. They make an awesome danish.Yeah?Yeah. I used to come here every morning. My first day of rehearsal I came in here, bought pastries for the entire cast and the director. I think I was trying a little too hard. [Laughs.]Let's talk about your director. How is it, working with a Kardashian?Probably not what you'd expect. [Laughs.] Kecelia's great. She really is. It threw up a few red flags initially—like, woah, which sister is doing this? But once you look past the name, you can't argue with her vision. I figured anyone who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Sarah Lawrence has to kind of know what she's doing.She's as smart as she is tan, huh?She's a very serious, very talented director. Appearance has nothing to do with it.No, no, it doesn't. So let's talk about you. What brought you from Miami to New York?Well, I'd done some regional theatre around Miami, but that was a few years ago. Getting kind of bored around the house.Rick Ross's house?
My house. That I shared with Rick Ross. I'm living in Fort Greene at the moment.Can you tell me a little about life with Rick Ross?I'd really rather focus on the play.Are you and Ross not on good terms?No, no, we’re cool. He came up to see the show last night. He sat with my girlfriend and Kecelia's partner Amy. We got lunch.Did he support your decision to leave Miami?There was nothing to support really. He's got his thing, I've got mine. He's the Teflon Don, you know, I'm Willy Loman. He's got other chains.Like that chain of himself wearing a chain of himself.Fuck that guy.What?Next question.Did you leave Miami to set yourself apart from some of Rick Ross's other jewelry?I left Miami because I wanted to make great theatre. And because you can only eat so many gold-flecked marshmallows in one day.Gold marshmallows? They make those?For Ross they do. He's the Bawse. He roasted that shit over MC Hammer's bankruptcy filings once.Damn. And you weren't interested in that kind of thing?It's like I said, we're different people. And that's not say I haven't enjoyed some of the perks of living with the Bawse. Like, Maybachs as pool toys? Best Fourth of July ever. But I can't do the whole "elephant seal fighting ring in the basement" thing 24/7. Ever tried to sleep through the death rattles of the number two ranked warrior elephant seal?I haven't.Tusk grinding against tusk, tusk puncturing blubber…it's a fucking mess. Always stains the mink rugs. But Ross can always get new ones, and that's cool. He's got an image to maintain.
You think Ross does that to protect his image?I mean, that's his thing. He is who he is. But when I go out for a smoke and see all the waterlogged Maybachs and elephant seal corpses and half-finished VSOP kegs on the curb for trash day I think, you know, this isn't my thing. I need another creative outlet.So you couldn't keep up with the lifestyle?I didn't want to. I'm not from the streets like he is. Ross listens to what the streets tell him. And it's taken him a long way. But sometimes the streets have very specific, very expensive demands. Like last August when the streets told him to commission a three-story replica of Mount Rushmore with the presidents' faces replaced with his likeness—except Roosevelt—carved out of unobtanium and placed in his front yard.I thought unobtanium was a plot point in Avatar.It was, once.Is that when you decided to leave Miami?You wanna know what the final straw was? I was down on level 6 of the basement picking up the day's haul from the Keebler elves—they also make a great Danish—and I must've made a wrong turn at the Den Of Souls, because I wound up in this huge fucking, like, graveyard of cars.Like a junkyard?No. No, because if it were a junkyard, the cars would be junk. These were Rolls Royces, Lambos, nothing cheaper than a Benz, just scattered around, some stacked on top of each other, just parked wherever. Hundreds of them. All totally drivable. And you know what Ross said later when I asked him what the deal was? They were out of gas. They were out of fucking gas. And Ross, you see, Ross doesn't know how to pump gas. He forgot immediately after he made his first million. And he refuses to ask how— I told him Ross, I'm your chain, trust me, it's easy—but he wouldn't do it. Because he's the Bawse. So he just buys a new fucking car when the last one runs out of gas. Every time. I bought my ticket to New York that night. Don't you see? I couldn't be around that anymore. I couldn't live like that. Don't you fucking see?