According to a letter posted by the magazine's editors on the XXL Web site, a spokesperson for the luxury-goods maker recently contacted the mag to inform them that Ross was sporting knock-off shades on the "Rick Ross Up in Smoke" cover.

"Dear editor," the letter began. "We were dismayed to see the cover of the May 2009 issue of XXL magazine, which features a photo of Rick Ross wearing a pair of sunglasses prominently featuring counterfeit Louis Vuitton trademarks. Because the photo has generated considerable confusion among your readers and Louis Vuitton customers, among others, we feel it is important to clarify several points.

"The first is that the sunglasses Mr. Ross is wearing were not made by Louis Vuitton and, in fact, are counterfeit. Louis Vuitton did not grant permission to Mr. Ross or to whoever did make the sunglasses to use our trademarks. The second is that no affiliation, sponsorship or association exists between Rick Ross or XXL and Louis Vuitton. The third is that counterfeiting is illegal."

A spokesperson for Ross could not be reached for comment at press time. posted an interview Tuesday (May 12) with the man who supplied Ross with the sunglasses, Jacob Bernstein, a.k.a. "The Sunglasses Pimp." Bernstein says the glasses were authentic Louis with some of his own designer augmentations.

"It's the same thing as buying a Rolls-Royce and having it tricked out," Bernstein explained to the Web site. "Just because the product has been customized by me doesn't take away from the fact that the frames are authentic Louis Vuitton Millionaires."