Rick Ross' audaciously titled "God Forgives, I Don't" is one of the most anticipated albums of the year, armed with some of the biggest features in the game. Those searching for bangers will not be disappointed as Ross oscillates between letting his stellar features shine, and commanding tracks on his own.
On the night before Christmas two-thousand and ten, a black Santa grunted an album would come. A year and a half later he delivered the goods. God Forgives, I Don’t is now played in everyone’s hood. Some coal deserving kids are crying the rest of us are celebrating. Up to this point Rick Ross has yet to produce a platinum album domestically, and though this is a feat few rappers will ever achieve, Rozay sounds ready and able. With a projected 200k in the first week he’s on pace to, and the albums fifteen tracks are a testament as to why.
Beginning with Sweatpea’s prayer it gets cinematic immediately. Designed to be theatrical the album plays out like a Scorsese film with Tarantino flair. “3 Kings” declares its protagonist’s early ambitions, and alongside Dre and Jay, Ross discusses the spoils of swinging a scepter. It’s a braggadocios and bawdry record which Jay rides out proudly. Rozay then goes solo on “Ashamed.” Cool & Dre re-imagine a classic while the Boss talks about the American drug dealing dream. This plot line gets orchestral for the fourth chapter of “Maybach Music.” The J.U.S.T.I.C.E League returns to direct the symphony and Ne-Yo plays a powerful supporting role. Herein Ross delivers some of his best lines: “Such a breath of fresh air/ Get a blowjob, have a seizure on the Lear,” and “I’m a Mike Tyson type of; typewriter sniper; double-M lifer ‘til a nigga pay the piper.” The reference runs deeper than rap.
The same can be said about the Andre 3000 assisted “Sixteen”, where Three Stacks takes the subject matter way beyond bars. The tempo is taken way beyond aggressive with the single, “Hold Me Back”. While this banger gets ignorant its arrogance is infectious. It’s that hunger we know him for, and on “So Sophisticated” it echoes alongside Meek Mill. Backed by a heavy beat, Ross boasts like an elder brother that rap has blessed his boys which it certainly has. On “God Forgives, I Don’t,” Wale waxes poetic, Omarion croons fantastically, and Stalley gets his just dues.
Despite the golden features Ross remains the leading man. Songs like “Amsterdam” and “911” display how his lyrical prowess has improved while the subject matter remains similar. Nevertheless, like any award winning actor the Boss knows how to swoon an actress. “Touch’n You” shows another side of the main character, one destined to be appreciated by his female audience.
“Diced Pineapples” is perhaps the best all around record this outing. Armed with T-Minus audio, aided with Drake on the chorus, and filled with MMG swag the tune is flat out incredible, but it’s the story behind the music that makes it memorable. Ricky stated the inspiration for it came when he had to eat healthier. Every morning he awoke to diced pineapples and ate while he pondered. Perhaps he still does. Perhaps tomorrow’s plate will still have him thinking; thinking about what an outstanding album he’s made.
You can cop the entire album on iTunes.