Rick Ross is back with his new mixtape Rich Forever, released on his own boutique label Maybach Music Group (MMG). Rick Ross grew to fame in the summer of 2006 with his hit single Hustlin. Weaving the story of a whale of a drug dealer Hustlin helped Rick Ross become a star on the way to selling over 800,000 copies of his debut record Port of Miami. Since his Freshman effort, Rozay has stuck to his breadwinner and constantly rapped about dealing large (think Scarface) amounts of coke and driving around in the finest of whips. Ross calls this persona he’s created The Boss, and it’s the most over the top character going. Though we all know Ross has nothing to deal, isn’t from the street, and was even a correctional officer at one point (ahhhh)The Boss still creates a damn fine sound and continues it admirably on this mixtape.
The first thing to notice on this album is the length and quality of the work. At 20 tracks long with a grand theme including skits, seamless transitions, and multiple re-occuring threads this mixtape feels more like an album than something given for free. Beats are done by a number of producers including such heavyweights as JU.S.T.I.C.E. League, The Beat Bully, and Lex Luger continue the quality theme.
The guest appearances are, for the most part, matching the production: top notch. They are primarily artists from Ross’s own label including Wale, Stalley, and Meek Mill (who is just killing it). Other spots are carried by some of the biggest names of the past few decades with Nas, Birdman, and Puff Daddy. Diddy really shines in this outing doing some nice spoken word on the intro Holy Ghost and a superb verse on New Buggati. Honestly didn’t believe Diddy had much left in him after all these years.
The only disappointing effort comes from, who else, French Montana. The newcomer continues to mess things up even when given a gem of a beat by Lex Luger. Ross is trying to spotlight his own by given French the chorus but it should have been left by someone who can actually rhyme.
One of the many highlights of the album is the song Ring Ring ft Future. The song combines a dramatic staccato string backbone with a playful penny flute melody. The song even brings out some stock trumpets in the last 8 bars. To match the beat Future has a unique voice on the chorus. Not settling to be a dime a dozen ultra smooth, copy pasted sound Future actually sounds likehe’s putting some emotion in his lines. Though the content is generic as ever it’s a welcome change from the John Legend dye.
Rick Ross, himself, shines on the tape. Ross’s rich (forever) baritone is perfect for just gliding over the big body beats supplied. His ryhmes can only be described as satisfying. They aren’t quick, nimble, or insightful but they are sometimes clever and they absolutely bang. Poured over with true swagger, you’ll find yourself growling the words along with the boss on the very first listen.
He Knockin’ on the Door Don’t Let the Devil In!
My Dope be Shinin’ Like It’s Yella Diamonds
Flipping Bricks Counting Money So Repetitious
I Nigga Cheese Drippin, I like my Nachos Hot
Rich Forever is exactly what everyone has come to expect from Rozay. Stellar production, a wonderful voice, and great spots. The quality of this album really puts it a notch above other tapes that have came out recently. This is easily the best so far of 2012 and is a early contender for mixtape of the year. The real question is if a tape from The Boss is this great, what will his upcoming album God Forgives, I Don’t show.
Top Tracks: Holy Ghost, Fuck Em, New Bugatti, King of Diamonds, Ring Ring
Direct Download: Rick Ross – Rich Forever