After a decade in the game, nine albums and a couple of classic mixtapes, Rick Ross‘ latest shows that he still has something left in the tank.
Many like to say that Hip-Hop is a “young man’s sport.” But that statement is relative. We can’t sit here and act like emcees over the age of 30, and sometimes 40, still aren’t out here selling out tours, dropping solid albums and most of all, being a much-needed voice of reason in a time where rappers are free to just rap the first thing that pops up in their head and put it out unedited and at times, unfinished.
After 10 years in the game, Rick Ross is now considered aan OG or a “big homie.” He’s put in the years of work, stayed true to who he is and has paid it forward by giving rappers like Wale, Meek Mill and others a platform to succeed when the rest of the industry was still scratching their heads about them. However, when one reaches this point of their career, they have to start making some decisions about the music they put out. Should they show their maturity and age by leaving certain sounds and topic alone to focus on grown man sh*t?
Should they show their maturity and age by leaving certain sounds and topic alone to focus on grown man sh*t? Should they stay trapped in the image they introduced themselves to the world in? Can they continue to compete in the “young man’s game?”
Rick Ross’ latest album Rather You Than Me answers all of those questions. Granted, some answers are better than others, but he still at least responds.
He opens the album with the Raphael Saadiq-assisted “Apple Of My Eye” where shows flashes of his Teflon Don-era genius, especially on the last verse when he raps:
I’m happy Donald Trump became the president
Because we gotta destroy, before we elevate
Real shit, look at me inside the white house
With a pocket full of weed inside the white house
Dead presidents tattooed on a nigga chest
U.S. treasury addressing me, mad at my address
Own the biggest residential pool is the US
Drake and Kanye can invite every bitch they ever met
Finger fuckin’ bitches in the holy water
Then I go an tell what happened to my only daughter
So her daddy told it to her firsthand
Never perfect but its not just bout them purses
But so far, line from this song that’s drawing the most attention is the one where he speaks on the position he was put in during Meek Mill’s beef with Drake and eventual break-up with Nicki Minaj:
I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki, instead of beefing with your dog you just give him some distance
We all make mistakes, lets not be to specific
You rather be a killer than be statistic
He follows this up with the soulful “Santorini Greece,” which sounds like the music that Ross should be making all of the time, which is followed by “Idols Become Rivals” where he goes at Birdman for his shady business practices.
After that he trades in the lush production and returns to the heavy bass “BMF”-like sound for three songs straight with “Trap, Trap, Trap,” “Dead Presidents,” and the very direct “She On My D*ck” featuring Gucci Mane.
Through the rest of the album Ross sounds the most comfortable that he’s been in years. Probably because this is the first work he’s put out where he was just that, comfortable. Hood Billionaire was a rushed album that he put out to keep his label afloat while Meek Mill was in jail, and Black Market came out as just got out of jail himself, which was followed by court dates and his last days at Def Jam. So needless to say, Ross had a lot of stuff going on while trying to create.
With Rather You Than Me, he shows that he’s still capable of making his greatest music when he is able to focus on just that. He also shows that he can adapt and work with artists like Young Thug and make them enter his world instead of the other way around. The best quality about the album is that Ross expresses himself like a grown man and not resorting to emotional outbursts. From the way he handled his issues with Birdman to how he addressed his current relationship with Drake on “Triple Platinum.”
After a solid ten years and great batting average, it’s time that Ross start entering your G.O.A.T. conversations.