By dropping his newest mixtape Black Dollar, Rick Ross added another great addition to his line of releases, album and mixtapes alike. It always seems to be that mixtapes hit harder than albums (remember Rich Forever?), but let’s divert our attention back to Ross’ albums for a minute.
Over the past ten years, Rick Ross has released seven studio albums, and that’s not even counting his Self Made compilations or numerous mixtapes. Every album has hit the top 10 overall, with five of the seven hitting #1 overall. Pretty impressive stuff.
Ross has now sold millions of records, and it’s for good reason. Each record is a unique step forward in the boss’ brand of luxurious gangster rap. It’s tough to rank the records, but we got down to the bottom of it. Feel free to drop your order in the comments section, and let us know how our ranking matches up with yours.
Hood Billionaire (2014)
Hood Billionaire (2014)
For some reason, Rick Ross decided to drop two albums last year: Mastermind in March and Hood Billionaire in November. The latter of which lacked production from one of Ross’ best collaborators J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and was his least successful album ever released, commercially.
Hood Billionaire is good, but it isn’t a great album. “Movin’ Bass,” produced by Timbaland and featuring Jay Z, didn’t quite live up to its marquee, while the Big K.R.I.T.-assisted cut “Brimstone” would prove to be one of the record’s high moments. Even the album art was underwhelming, almost unabashedly copying 2 Chainz’s Based On A T.R.U. Story.
The first 2014 LP from Rick Ross was better than the second, but it still doesn’t rank too highly in Rozay’s discography. Mastermind had massive features Jay Z, Kanye West, The Weeknd, and Lil Wayne, along with some more experimental vibes like the dancehall-touching “Mafia Music III.” With a varied amount of production delivered by the likes of Scott Storch, Bink!, Mike WiLL Made It, and D. Rich, the LP hit number 1 overall when it was released. The artwork for this album also appeared to have more time and thought put into it than the LP that followed, with Rozay enlisting artist Mr. Brainwash to create something extremely unique.
Port of Miami (2006)
Port of Miami (2006)
Rick Ross’ debut album had nineteen tracks and a couple strong singles, but ultimately showcased an MC whose talent hadn’t fully been realized, yet. It would take Ross a couple years to drastically step up with the release of Trilla.
God Forgives, I Don’t (2012)
Rick Ross went cinematic for his fifth LP, saying, “I wanted to approach [this album] like Scorsese would have approached a film. I wanted it to be a bold statement, a dark statement and have music to tell the story behind it. It felt like a film.” We certainly think he reached a Scorsese-level of epicness with God Forgives, I Don’t, blending jazz luxury tracks with hard-hitting trap bangers.
The 8-minute, Andre 3000-featured “Sixteen” proved Ross’ ability to experiment beyond anything he’d done before, and he also kept up with one of the most respected MCs to ever enter the game. “3 Kings” with Dr. Dre and Jay Z made quite a statement as well, and if you take into account the fourth part of the “Maybach Music” series, at least half of this album is movie magic.
Trilla and Deeper Than Rap were really neck-and-neck, but Trilla just barely wins out due to a couple of really prime tracks. “Here I Am” is one of the best singles Ross ever released, with a massive crossover appeal that landed him slots on the airwave that are still paying dividends. The debut of the “Maybach Music” series with Jay Z will forever be a benchmark moment in his career as well.
“Luxury Tax” might be the icing on the cake, as Lil Wayne, Trick Daddy, and future rival Young Jeezy all united to absolutely annihilate the third of a three-song J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League production stint. Ross also linked up with Mannie Fresh for “All I Have In This World” and truly came into his own with Trilla.
Deeper Than Rap (2009)
Ross’ third LP might have relied a little too much on guest features, but ultimately was a really, really good album. “Maybach Music 2” was an instant classic as Ross orchestrated the ’09 all-star lineup of Kanye, Lil Wayne and T-Pain for the second part of his revered song series.
Our subject also proved he could keep up with the likes of Nas on “Usual Suspects” and started to pump a serious dose of R&B into his music by inviting Robin Thicke, John Legend, Ne-Yo, and The-Dream on respected tracks.
Teflon Don (2010)
Teflon Don is Rick Ross’ quintessential work. The eleven-track LP finds the perfect balance between his softer and harder sides, and is a drastic improvement from Deeper Than Rap, interjecting a strong amount of luxurious tastes with its release.
With the exception of the first track, each song has a feature, but they’re all so carefully placed. Jay Z and John Legend are on board for The Inkredibles-produced track “Free Mason,” while Erykah Badu, T.I. and Jadakiss come out for the most ambitious “Maybach Music” yet. Chrisette Michelle and Drake bless the softer hit “Aston Martin Music,” and Kanye West both produced and slaughtered “Live Fast, Die Young.”
The back-to-back, Lex Luger-produced tracks put Ross atop of the trap game too, and features from Gucci Mane and Styles P really propelled those cuts into a territory previously unvisited. He smokes good on “Super High,” of which the remix with Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y was both incredible and groundbreaking for those artists, and gets deep on “Tears of Joy” with Cee-Lo. Frankly, there isn’t a bad track on the 50-minute effort, and Teflon Don isn’t only Ross’ finest album, but one of the better records of the past ten years.