Album Review: Rick Ross Is A "Mastermind"

Rap is a fickle mistress but Rick Ross has found a way to tame that beast.

Rozay. Smokin dat herb.

Rozay. Smokin dat herb.

The beats that flow throughout the album scream of something more contemporary when compared to the rap kids like today. No more of that Trinidad James, street rap. This is gangsta rap, yo. Wait. Those are the same thing. I can’t really tell the difference. I’m so bad at this.

This new attempt at being a serious artist feels new for Ross. Before, he was just saying things in all of his songs; possibly trying to seem cool. But this outing is different. There are snippets of 911 calls about gunshots (“Shots Fired”) and a man screaming about truth (“Nobody”) that bring a sense of realness to the album. Ross talks about how difficult his early life was.

Look at that 1000 yard stare. I wonder what he's thinking about...probably dinner.

Look at that 1000 yard stare. I wonder what he's thinking about...probably dinner.

Now that the Teflon Don himself is changing up his rap game, he’s starting to use lines like “Switch the Benzo for the Enzo/Back to the Benzo when the ends low.” A song with Kanye West and the beautifully voiced Betty Wright has West confessing his sins and Wright singing her heart out.

This album is something of an enigma. You can see Rick Rozay trying his darndest to get back to hardcore rap but there are points where he falls back into “radio” territory. The pieces of the puzzle are all here, some of them just don’t fit.