Rapper Rick Ross was involved in a car crash in Florida in the early hours of Monday (28Jan13) after he was allegedly targeted in a drive-by shooting as he celebrated his 37th birthday.

Police in Fort Lauderdale have confirmed the Hustlin' hitmaker, real name William Roberts, was a passenger in a Rolls Royce that was showered with "dozens" of bullets at around 5am local time.

None of the shots hit the car, but it crashed into an apartment building as Ross and a female companion tried to get away.

No injuries have been reported and no arrests had been made as Wenn went to press.

Ross, who grew up in nearby Carol City, had marked his birthday with a meal at the Floridian restaurant prior to the incident.

Local reports suggest the rapper is currently helping police with their investigation.

It is not yet known if the shooting is linked to a Chicago-based gang known as the Gangster Disciples, who allegedly threatened Ross' safety in a video message posted online last year (12).

In the footage, members demanded the rapper write a cheque for their founder, former gang leader Larry Hoover, if he wanted to press ahead with two performances in North Carolina in December (12). The gigs were subsequently scrapped and Ross blamed promoters for cancelling the shows before pulling the rest of his U.S. Maybach Music Tour dates, insisting it was the result of an "apparent lack of organisation and communication" by event bosses.

Detectives in Chicago, Illinois launched an investigation into the YouTube.com clip last month (Dec12) to determine if the threat was credible.

Meanwhile, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has reached out to the rapper via Twitter.com, simply writing, "Prayers for Rick Ross..."