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Are You Not Entertained?!? Rick Ross “God Forgives, I Don’t” Album ReviewPosted by Nathan S. on 08/01/12 | Filed under Opinion, Rick Ross, Album Reviews
I've included some select paragraphs from my DJBooth review below, hit the link at the bottom of the page for the full thing. Feel free to tell me what a fucking moron genius I am in the comments below and we can really break down "God Forgives, I Don't". Let the debate begin.
Rick Ross isn’t a rapper. Or rather, rapper is only one job title on his increasingly large resume. At this point Ross is more cultural institution than he is artist. What started as William Leonard Roberts II is now Ricky Rozay, a rapper who’s also a label boss, a viral video producer of prolific proportions and a living meme. He’s a living, breathing symbol of excess, a brand as powerful as anything corporate America has ever made, proof that a lie told enough times, with enough conviction, can become the truth. In this sense he has more in common with Diddy than Kanye or Jay. Ross possesses an innate sense of showmanship, a seemingly endless capacity to entertain, and his music is really only the real estate he’s built his unstoppable Maybach empire upon.
As I wrote in my review of "Self Made 2", no one has mastered the art of marketing and promotion in the digital age better than Ross. He’s turned MMG into a finely tuned machine designed to feed the internet’s insatiable appetite for headlines, with himself at the center. While this ability to be a constant presence in our browsers is his greatest strength, when it comes to his new album "God Forgives, I Don’t", it’s also his greatest weakness. While the Bawse has clearly taken some extraordinary measures to elevate his fifth studio album above the fray, its release feels like just another day in the life. When Kanye dropped "MBDTF", when YeHova dropped "Watch the Throne", when Drake dropped "Take Care", even when Frank Ocean dropped "Channel Orange", those felt like moments in history. Ironically, we’ve become so accustomed to Ross as a daily presence in our lives that it’s harder for him to create that sense of the extraordinary.
And to be clear, there are some extraordinary moments on "God Forgives". Ross’ vision is clearly on the long term – how many other rappers could have put together a track like "3 Kings"? Other than Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, not many, although Jay would have never let another rapper take more than half of a track on his own album. The same holds true for the Andre 3000-assisted "Sixteen", a record that’s immediately a big deal because, you know, a new "3 Stacks" verse is as rare as spotting Rick Ross in a yoga class. Like Jay on "Kings", Andre walks onto the Ross’ track and makes himself comfortable. By the time the eight minute "Sixteen" has come to a close Rozay’s opening contributions feel like a distant memory. You could consider these marks against Ross, hip-hop has a long history of deducting points for getting killed on your own sh*t, or you consider the strongest proof yet of Ross’ confidence. His priority is putting great songs on his albums, even if that means taking a backseat to a guest artist for a few minutes. He’s not worried, no one’s managed to pull the spotlight off Ross for very long yet.
See Also: Andre 3000 Will Make You Forget Rick Ross Exists on “Sixteen” (Listen)
See Also: Yes, Nas’ “Life is Good” is Hip-Hop’s Newest Classic Album (Album Review)