“Rick Ross” the star-maker, hottest MC in the game (arguably) brings his newest offering God Forgives, I Don’t.
The traditional MMG sound is in full effect, complete with street records and radio friendly girly songs.
Bringing some big name features to the table is another staple in the “Ross” formula, however it only works for him twice on this album. 3 Kings feature Dr. Dre & Jay-Z falls flat due to an uninspired Hov verse. It has plenty of redeeming qualities but one can’t help but say its a let down.
Sixteen featuring Andre 3000 is an absolute gem. Everything comes together on that record and A3K brings more of his abstract lyrical musings and adds some singing on the hook. Andre ultimately becomes the album’s MVP to the chagrin of the album’s star.
When it comes to content “Ross” doesn’t vary at all, its the same topics from beginning to end and after awhile (bout 10 songs in) I kinda clocked out and it became background music. The street records were welcome wake up songs but after that it goes into the girly records and its sleepytime again.
It failed to engage me all the way through. “Hold Me Back”, “So Sophisticated” & “911″ was a nice change of pace in the middle but then it goes right back into his more formulaic sound. The street records were blocked here and maybe they shouldn’t have.
It doesn’t have high replay value to me but its not a bad album, I see how hardcore fans would love it, because its on par with the rest of his material but maybe that is a problem because us casual fans are pretty much “meh” on it altogether. It has what you would expect from “Ross” but adds nothing new to his oft-storied career.
A3K was a blessing to this album. He managed to bring something new, it was a more engaging verse than “Ross” himself spit. I also like the premise of the song and the hook was interesting.
**Maybach Music IV:
Smooth as usual and “Ross” is in his zone on this one as he usually does on his “Maybach Music” song series. Ne-Yo plays co-pilot but its almost a complete retread of the other ones however.
Only really a standout because of Dre & Hov but neither really bring the heat. Dre just isn’t that good a rapper and Jay-Z seemed aloof in his verse. Its a track you get “up” for (as in you look forward to it) but the execution lacks a bit.
So Sophisticated, 911 & Hold Me Back are all thumpers that will, as Mannie Fresh once bragged “Knock pictures off the wall”…if your sound system is strong enough. They are high energy, shit talking, bangers in the same vein as BMF from his earlier album Teflon Don.
Like I said it fails to engage all the way through, its zone out music but I’m not exactly sure you want the audience to zone out as much as a casual fan would for this album.
“Ross” lyricism is the same ol same. Not much variation on his voice or flows with the exception of the street singles. On those tracks he’s not as laid back but more aggressive and forceful perhaps more of that was necessary on other records.
Content is also the same old same. Luxury rap is fine because its what he does best but it got boring after awhile. It seems like some of his verses could be interchanged in other songs and not lose the integrity of either song.
Final weakness is structure. The blocking of songs like the “girly”/trickin songs near the end was a bit of a turn off. This may be a personal slight because I can’t stand trickin/girly records with RNB singers and stuff like that but it takes away from the album to me.
He also blocked the street records in the middle which gives you able 15 minutes of energetic rap but then it goes back to being smooth and non-threatening. By spreading all these out he could have made an album that breaks up monotony in certain places.
All in all I gave it a 71% (regular; 75% deluxe) so its an enjoyable album from a casual standpoint but replay value isn’t there and playing it all the way through more than twice is not likely. Some tracks you will find yourself playing all the time, others are just white noise. A casual fan should find plenty to enjoy and a hardcore fan should be happy with the overall project.