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Rick Ross-Deeper Than Rap

April 25, 2009
Rick Ross-Deeper Than Rap

Rick Ross-Deeper Than Rap

So it’s finally here, after all the videos, disses, tell all books, allegations,  and no it’s not a political campaign, it’s the release of Rick Ross’ eagerly anticipated third album, Deeper Than Rap.

His feud with 50 Cent threatened to overshadow the release of this album, and at points I even thought it was going to, but the album release went off without a word from Curtis Jackson, and apparently it’s selling extremely well(over 100k units since Tuesday).

The music itself is pretty good, with production from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, DJ Toomp and Ne-yo, and features like hip-hop heavyweights Lil Wayne, Kanye West and T-Pain, but overall the album lacks a consistant run of good tracks, and if I’m honest, it lacks a real standout track.

The opener, Mafia Music, is the track that started all the nonsense with 50 Cent,  here Ross spits his rhymes for the full track with no chorus, and his rhymes are standard street raps, which Ross seems to do without too much trouble.

One of the few good tracks on the album is Maybach Music .2, and for once T-Pain is pretty bareable here. Also, a welcome change here sees Kanye and Wayne ditching the auto-tune in favour of just going back to the old mic’ and rhyming. The beat is arguably the best bit about the song; it’s soulful, it has nice drums and the crescendo of brass instruments show signs of a throwback to Jay-Z’s Blueprint album. Not a bad thing at all.

Ross enlists crooner John Legend for Magnificent, again this has a more soulful approach while Ross spits his standard swagger raps. The video is a cheesefest, but the sample the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League use is excellent(Angela Bofill “Gotta Make It Up To You).

Arguably the best track on the album, Usual Suspects, features rap god Nas, the beat here is addictive, and again, Ross spits his braggadocio raps here, limosines, swimming pools, music all present in the first verse. Nas though, offers his usual deep and personal rap with a hint of street knowledge.

As much as I want to hate this track, I can’t help but like Rich Off Cocaine,  it has a great hook, beat, but again, Ross raps about kilos and “condos on venice beach”. I’m beginning to think Ross might only be capable of rapping about money, drugs and women, but he has a slight reprieve with the line “vacation to Haiti,It nearly broke my heart, Seein kids starve”, although I think it might be too late for him to become a concious rapper.

Lay Back offers one of the wildest hooks about, Robin Thicke sounds like one of the Beegees, but the beat is decent, although it’s very similar to alot of what’s going around just now(See Akon and T-Pain).

Gunplay featuring Triple C’s Gunplay again throws me right back to the Blueprint by Jay-Z, the bass is almost a direct lift from the opener off Blueprint, The Ruler’s Back, this is one of the weaker tracks on the album lyric wise, but the beat carries it.

The tracks featuring Trina, Foxy Brown and Ne-yo are pretty much standard rap, not worth going into much detail, but one of the best tracks on the album, Valley of Death, is another slice of soulful production, something that Ross seems to have an ear for. Here he attacks his enemies whilst talking about coming up in the rap world.

This album is pretty much what I expected; full of Gangster and cocaine raps, but with Ross’ nice flow over choice beats, it’s been done before miles better(see the aforementioned Blueprint), but it’s not a bad thing to try and emulate a classic hip-hop album. Worth a punt.

Rick Ross Feat. Nas-Usual Suspects

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