#4 - Rick Ross: God Forgives, I Don't
Rick Ross is a master at art imitating life. After more than 11 years in the game, Ross has always rapped about a lavish lifestyle, an ever-expanding drug enterprise, beautiful women, expensive cars and exotic vacation destinations. As the years, albums and mixtapes went by, the raps became more extravagant. As his popularity grew, his life slowly started to resemble his lyrics (the short stint as a corrections officer notwithstanding).
When the time came to drop God Forgives I Don't, his fifth studio album, Ricky Rozay seemed bigger than life. A true testament that persistency pays off, Ross released a masterpiece filled with big beats, big lyrics and braggadocios tales. The women and vacation spots are more exotic. The cars are foreign. The bank account has grown.
With an all-star line-up that includes Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Andre 3000, Usher, Ne-Yo and Ricky's MMG counterparts, God Forgives I Don't is a wild ride through the eyes of the bawse. It's always a good thing when other rappers freestyle and remix a song, which was done repeatedly with the Wale and Drake featured buzz-worthy "Diced Pineapples." The heavy-set rapper is surprisingly light on his feet on the bouncy Pharrell-produced "Presidential." Rick Ross is at his finest on "3 Kings." With the help of uber rich Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, the three rappers lyrically exude extravagance like true kings.
In the midst of boastful raps, Ross gets pleasantly serious on "Ashamed" when he raps, “Went from walking on gravel, now I’m riding on vogues / 50 M’s in the bank, I get me 200, I’m gone / Still so close to the hood, I’m ashamed to say / All the money in the world can’t take this pain away / It’s just another story at the campfire / Court side seats with the franchise / I think about my niggas doing 25 / Shining bright, who am I for you to criticize?”
God Forgives I Don't is balanced with loud and brash beats and lyrics and smoothed-out songs. Rozay has an ear for beats unlike anyone else. When lyrics falter or seem repetitive, the beat carries the song to the finish line. Production is handled expertly by various producers including J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Jake One, Rico Love, Cool & Dre, Cardiak and more.
God Forgives I Don't is an opulent yet dirty look at a rapper who's life is now imitating his art.