Rick Ross “Richer Than I’ve Ever Been” Review

Written by on December 16, 2021

In hip-hop, longevity is usually seen because the mark of a king. Flanked by boisterous newcomers and an ever-changing musical palette that may go away an artist redundant inside a second’s discover, standing tall for many years isn’t any simple feat.

Averaging one album each two years ever since 2015’s Black Market, Rozay has unassumingly moved from being within the combine as one of many style’s primary drivers to one thing nearer to the legend standing that others have been afforded throughout his prime run. Now eleven albums into his profession, the Maybach Music Group mastermind is in an fascinating place, within the sense that, whereas he doesn’t appear fairly as distinguished as he as soon as was, he additionally doesn’t need to be. 

Rozay’s 2021 effort Richer Than I’ve Ever Been is a feature-length exhibition of the truth that not solely is he solidified in his place as an artist with a hall-of-fame worthy catalog, he’s additionally delighted to be occupying that area, and feels that he nonetheless has extra to provide.

“If I wasn’t making music that was higher than nearly all of every little thing that is out, possibly I might think about it,” Rozay informed GQ when requested about the prospect of retirement. “However… you understand, I am a novel particular person. And I let the streets dictate [when it’s time for me to retire]. However I am a hell of a person, and my hustle remains to be unmatched.”

As for the course of the challenge, the MMG mogul promised “some crispy, classical Rick Ross,” and all in all, that is what he delivered. The one potential situation is, to get to it, you must wade by way of some experiments which, whereas price endeavor, don’t fairly stick the touchdown. 

Starting with the voice of prolific South Florida drug kingpin Willie Falcon, document opener “Little Havana” invokes Falcon’s story of
“constructing Miami” as we all know it, to attract parallels to Rozay’s personal journey by way of hip-hop.

Adorned within the sprawling, luxuriant manufacturing that followers at all times yearn to listen to Rozay over, it’s a monitor that feels as if he’s surveying his personal, self-governed kingdom. Amid self-effacing claims that his “greatest flaw is an absence of modesty,” the emergence of The-Dream on the hook reveals that his potential to hyperlink up with R&B stars and discover widespread floor stays in place. 

Opting to sequence the album in a approach which means a lot of the document’s marquee tracks are on the front-end, “The Pulitzer” might characteristic much less bombastic manufacturing than we’ve come to count on from Timbaland, however it’s no much less the proper canvas for Ross to effortlessly circulation over.  

And in one other dream match-up for followers of coke rap excellence, Ross’ first dalliance with Benny The Butcher on “Rapper Estates” doesn’t disappoint. With each males buying and selling quotables over lavish manufacturing from Vinylz, Coleman & Boi-1da that befits their tales of sprawling compounds and hundred-strong automobile collections, any notion that Rozay would permit himself to be outshone by the chief of the BSF is shortly distributed with.

Declaring that he’s “on the fork within the street, which approach, Hov or Ma$e?” Rozay means that exiting stage left has actually crossed his thoughts. However when he’s on this form of glowing type, it’d be laborious to think about that it’s greater than a passing thought.  

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However as triumphantly because the document begins, there are moments the place Rozay’s imaginative and prescient doesn’t fairly come to fruition in the way in which that he’d hoped.

On the Wale and Future-aided “Heat Phrases In A Chilly Phrase,” the jazziness of the instrumental from Bink veers off the overwhelmed monitor of recent hip-hop manufacturing in a approach that’s commendable and daring. But whereas Ross and his former MMG signee discover their very own crevices to slot in, the top product remains to be a little bit disjointed, with Future sounding palpably uncomfortable over its heat horns and scattergun percussion.  

Elsewhere, his makes an attempt to diversify are additionally suffering from a sure clunkiness. He vies for a brand new membership smash with a document like “Wiggle,” which is dominated by its fired-up, nostalgic manufacturing from Don Cannon and Lyle Leduff. Whereas Dreamdoll undoubtedly holds nothing again and makes use of the monitor because the star-making flip that it could possibly be, Ross’ husky brogue feels exterior his consolation zone.

All through his profession, Rozay has at all times had an innate potential to make use of beats and melodies to create music that feels as if it ought to soundtrack the climactic moments of a criminal offense epic. And certain sufficient, each “Made It Out Alive” and “Outlaws” add to this canon. 

As Blxst croons about arising “from nothin’ to every little thing that I requested for, from meals stamps to stamps on the passport,” it feels like a abstract of the Rick Ross narrative as we’ve come to just accept it. Whereas on “Outlaws” Jazmine Sullivan gives a heart-wrenching lament for individuals who can’t go away the nook behind. 

That includes poignant reflections on the street that so many inner-city children stroll (“most dopе boys been a pallbearer”), the monitor is pushed residence by 21 Savage as he rebuffs any snobbishness or gatekeeping of the style, rhyming, “I do not wanna hear yo’ opinion about what’s hip hop, 30 hangin’ off of my bridges, n***a that is hip-hop.”

Alongside the suitably melodramatic sound of “Imperial Excessive,” one other spotlight emerges when Rozay makes a uncommon segue into political terrain with “Marathon.” Constructed round an beautiful, orchestral beat {that a} younger Kanye would’ve been pleased with, Rozay fleshes out the bottom lined on September 2020’s call-to-arms of “Pinned To The Cross” as he spits,

George Floyd was face down as you n****s stood round it

Did your little FaceTimes, left the neighborhood astounded

Motive why I bought dope, I simply desire a approach round it

BMs and my gold ropes, let you understand I made allowance

Throughout “Marathon,” and the challenge as a complete, Rozay’s abilities as a author stay entrance and heart, with Rick regularly dropping two or three verses with out ever feeling like he’s operating out of conceptual steam or overstaying his welcome. 

Now firmly again on monitor, Richer Than I’ve Ever Been ends triumphantly with “Hella Smoke” that includes Wiz Khalifa. Decked out in regal, bass-driven sonics from Bobby Keyz and Fuse 808, it’s a monitor that takes away any of the combativeness of youth in favor of contentment along with his place.

Labeling himself “Berry Gordy at 40,” the nearer proves that when he’s on his sport, Rozay stays in rarefied air. 

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Supply: HotNewHipHop

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