Why do I keep listening to Rick Ross? Sure, Mastermind had “The Devil Is A Lie (feat. Jay-Z),” and “Sanctified (feat. Kanye West & Big Sean),” but last November’s Hood Billionaire might have been Ross’ most forgettable project to date. I can’t name one track off of Hood Billionaire, and I can only name those two off of Mastermind.
Teflon Don back in 2010 might have been considered a hit, but I have only really ever enjoyed Rick Ross twice in my life. Once on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a seemingly magical place where even people like Rick Ross & Cyhi the Prince can have amazing verses, and on the soundtrack for Django Unchained, with the bad ass chorus of “100 Black Coffins,” that could have only worked since it was Ross, which is still perplexing but its awesome cinematic moment helped me let it slide that time.
I think Rick Ross likes money. Like, I’m pretty sure, let me know if I’m wrong, but based off the lyrical content, I think that he’s really into his wealth. Sarcastic of course, but it’s interesting how I’ve never heard Rick really rap about anything else. It’s like the R. Kelly mindset, where every song has to be about sex in different euphemism’s, but every now and then you’ll get a “Love Letter,” or “Backyard Party.”
Track one here on Black Dollar, technically a mixtape but it doesn’t really matter what’s a mixtape or what’s a studio album in rap anymore, is Rick Ross’ version of R. Kelly’s “Love Letter.” Titled, “Foreclosures,” the track, as Jayson Greene of Pitchfork put it, “offers the welcome surprise of hearing Ross treat money as something that eats away at relationships and breeds distrust, instead of green rectangles he enjoys tossing out of helicopters.” It’s a nice talk of the realities of royalties, mechanicals, and publishers, but it wasn’t enough to save us from the rest of the mixtape.
The real shame of Black Dollar, or Rick Ross albums in general, is that beats to tracks like “Money Dance,” can exist but get the treatment of Ross & a long\pointless The-Dream chorus. I may never really enjoy Rick Ross, mainly because I just don’t see the point to his rapping other than for the wealth, since he’s never really said anything profound in my eyes. He has a unique voice, then when excited, can probably make for some good choruses like on “100 Black Coffins,” or his killer verse from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but unless we’re about to hear another “Devil in a New Dress” soon, then my opinions of Rick Ross will probably remain the same.