(TMZ) Rick Ross Wins His Name was a top 12 pop story of March 2012: Rapper Rick Ross can keep his name, thanks to an L.A. County Superior Court judge who shut down a bid from former drug dealer "Freeway" Rick Ross who tried to hoard the name.
"Freeway" Rick Ross had filed suit against the rapper, claiming ownership of the name. In fact, the rapper has strongly intimated in his songs his name was inspired by the drug dude.
In the song "Hustlin" for example, Ross makes several references to large-scale drug dealing -- despite what Freeway says ... the rapper never dealt drugs in his life.
But the judge today ruled "Freeway" Rick has no case, and threw the lawsuit out. "Freeway" Rick Ross tells TMZ he's pretty bummed out about the judge's decision ... saying, "I got hit in the stomach today ... I feel s**tty."
Ross adds ... "[Rick] had nine high profile attorneys and I had three volunteer non-high profile attorneys. I had no money to get the big name lawyers so I couldn't go in there with a monster team like him."
He concludes, "The world knows the truth ... that [Rick] stole my identity and shame on him that he won't give it back. I hope to appeal this because you shouldn't be allowed to steal someone's identity and get away with it."