One of my favorite rappers, Rick Ross’s pen game (and beat selection) is nothing short of immaculate. He absolutely makes luxury rap that belongs in a Maybach. We all are in a Maybach when riding around to Ross, that’s how powerful I feel his music is.
“In a room full of failures I feel out of place…. I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki, instead of beefing with ya dawg you just give him some distance…. I’m happy Donald Trump became the president, because we have to destroy before we elevate,” are some of the lyrics that melt over the simmering soulful production by Chad Nine on track 1. Chad Nine is a former Miami Hurricane defensive linemen.
Before I continue, I have to say that Rick Ross has dropped so many good tunes over the years. His body of work has been really solid, and what’s more important to me is the gems/knowledge he’s bestowed upon us during that time. Not saying I always have to learn from the music, but man it can’t be ignorance in every track on the whole album. These gems show me that Ross is a student of hiphop and his culture. Well aware of his surroundings and history, Ross is one of the few artists able to perfectly blend consciousness with fly talk.
Beginning of Verse3 on Santorini Greece…
Onto Idols Become Rivals, a lot of people were stuck on this track. Ross goes after Birdman a lot harder than he did on Black Market (he sends shots damn near the whole album). On this record he brings up Trick Daddy (probably because of his Breakfast Club interview), Birdman’s fake watch (maybe more depth to this, a fake watch foreshadowing you been a fraud), Mannie Fresh, BG, Turk, Lil Wayne and DJ Khaled. He says some shit.
Though the album is a little feature heavy, it doesn’t take away from it at all. I wish Isa Muhammad was on the album and Chris Rock played a bigger role. I think Ross could’ve cut She On My Dick, and replaced it with a, She On My Dick Interlude, narrated by Chris Rock, leading into I Think She Like Me instead. It’s somewhat redundant to have She On My Dick leading into I Think She Like Me because the subject matter is similar. Plus his last album had a track titled Dope Dick, which is indeed dope. Just my two cents though.
Wale spazzed on a track that also featured Young Thug, an interesting combo. And after hearing Powers That Be? We definitely need a Nas executive produced by Rick Ross album. Nas gliding over Rick Ross picked beats has a lot of classic potential. Ross is down with the idea but Nas shut down the rumor, however, he left the door open for it so it’s still possible though a reach. Nas and Rick Ross have good chemistry together, but Jay Z and Ross feels better, what happened with that photo of them (plus Rockie Fresh) in the studio?
If memory serves me correctly, someone tweeted Ross if this had something to do with the new album and he replied 👀 … it may very well still be on the way.
Drake’s “playlist”, More Life, also dropped this weekend. Off the first straight-through listen (and a few plays here and there), More Life has some tracks but as a whole is average. I was more impressed with the features and production than Aubrey himself. Jorja Smith, Skepta, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2Chainz, Young Thug and Kanye West stood out.
Some of the island/tropical sounding songs are definitely going to be hits, and with how everywhere the album is, his tracks will have placements in various markets. Truly, an excellent strategy.
You just never know what’s going to happen with Young Thug on the track and that’s why he’s amazing, so diverse. Thug sounds clearer than ever on that Sacrifices track with 2Chainz where, of course, 2Chainz kills it. Thug sounded clearer because of this opportunity or the mixing engineer? Chainz always kills the guest verse, he is a bit underrated I would say. Then toward the end of the album we are blessed by the GOAT. Kanye really brought some old Ye vibes on Glow. Kind of Graduation like. I think this is where we all thought TLOP was going. I definitely thought so when I heard Ultralight Beam at the Yeezy Season 3 premiere.
A theory is that when TLOP was still So God Help Me, it was going to be a personal album. I.E. All Day/I Feel Like That, Only One, Wolves Yeezy Season 1 (@ 8:28), however somewhere along the line the relationship between Hov, Tidal and Kanye soured and we got TLOP. Maybe that’s the reason for the rants? Just tired and fed up of the industry politics?
My issue with Drake still remains, he continues to reuse the same formulas to succeed. Those late night/early morning venting rap tracks, R&B samples, flow snatching and wave riding. He really an island ting now huh? I would love to hear him take a chance and push himself outside of this comfort zone. It’s hard to deny the numbers, he’s a good artist but I cannot listen to him for long. I’ve never been a fan like that, he’s just not for me. Maybe if he tries something new I would feel different. His subject matter and singing doesn’t move me. The singing is cringeworthy and the lyrics doesn’t seem genuine, but he’s moving so it’s hard to argue why he isn’t #1 right now. More Life is better than Views though.
Someone mentioned his career would be interesting to examine when it’s over. The numbers are hard to deny. Drake is at the top of the mountain without a clear classic, how will we view him in 20 years time? Does his “hits” hold longevity? It doesn’t look like he’ll slow down any time soon.
Below is a link to all the producers that worked on Rather You Than Me, via DJ Booth, one of the best blog sites out.
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