Posts Tagged ‘Rick Ross’

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Artist: Rick Ross

Album: God Forgives, I Don’t

Release Date: July 31, 2012

Record Label: Maybach Music Group/Def Jam

In the Summer of 2010, it could be said that Rick Ross was arguably on top of the Hip-Hop world. He was coming off the hinges of dropping Teflon Don: an album that intensified on the luxurious Maybach sound that he christened and ran with an unstoppable force of boasting and bravado. Within the past year he went to recruit the likes of Wale, Meek Mill, and Stalley into his growing MMG conglomerate and felt as if the train wasn’t stopping anytime soon. Then on October 2011, Ross suffered a seizure while flying to Memphis, causing a halt into the release of God Forgives, I Don’t. As if that wasn’t enough, the first two singles from the album didn’t catch as much traction as he would have hoped. Still, despite the health issues, push backs, and restlessness, Rozay persevered and bounced back with the eclectic Rich Forever mixtape, speaking as tough and ferocious as ever. It would have you thinking at first glance that Ross didn’t lost a step.

And now with the storm subsided, the MMG Boss delivers an album that reflects the high and low points of the entire process. The intro “Pray For Us” provides an excerpt of Omar Gooding praying in the background from John Singleton’s Baby Boy, interestingly setting the tone for a solid start. “Pirates” brought a feel that was reminiscent of Deeper Than Rap with the victorious horns in the background and Ross calmly speaking on his lovely drug endeavors. The best verse on this album didn’t even come from Rozay himself, as Jay-Z willingly took the crown with ease on “3 Kings”. (Niggas couldn’t walk in my daughter’s socks/Banksy bitches, Basquiat). That’s how much of the early portion of the album felt: Sitting in an expensive yacht with a fine Dominican chick with Cocaine Mountains. It is the fitting sign of a larger-than-life drug kingpin.

As it comes to no surprise, the best stuff came from Ross’ in-house producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League with their orchestrated symphony and seamless transitions. The lush and expansive build on “Maybach Music IV” was almost suffocating, as the backdrop elevated Ross and Ne-Yo to top form. From that to the superfluous “Sixteen”, a 9-minute grandiose highlighted by the superb Andre 3000 verse with the passion that hasn’t been heard since “Da Art of Storytelling Pt. 4”.

Where this album falls flat is when it gets into the trap of misplacement and inconsistency. Fumbles such as “Hold Me Back” and “911” sounds like Ross’ last-chance attempt at reclaiming the former glory of “B.M.F.” with the string of “lady tunes” producing an array of hit-and-miss with it leaning to the latter. The good out of it was the melodic “Diced Pineapples”, topped with an enticing hook from Drake over looping, piano keys. All of it creating a sweet delight of a love song and could have been even better if Aubrey would have had a verse.

As I listen to this, it feels that Ross is really comfortable in the position that he’s in now. Not much of complacency as he is constantly working, but he has taken a time-tested formula and is milking for all its worth. It only makes me wonder how long he can go this way during his regime. But as the old saying goes, “If it’s not broke, then why fix it?”

Rating: 7/10

Highlights:

  • “Pirates”
  • “3 Kings”
  • “Maybach Music IV”
  • “Sixteen”
  • “Diced Pineapples”