Album review: Rick Ross – 'God Forgives, I Don’t'
The concept of a cinematic rap album has been a popular pet project for many American rappers for some years now, one that’s seldom executed with much success.
Since American rap mogul, Jay Z released his critically acclaimed 2007 album American Gangster, inspired by a crime blockbuster of the same name, other rap artists have attempted to create albums, name them after a hit film and hope something of lustre rubs off.
Ross faced a number of delays in releasing his fifth album, including a series of seizures last year in October which saw him being hospitalised.
However despite this Rick Ross (born William Roberts) returned after his 2010 gold album Teflon Don with God Forgives, I Don’t. The album shares a name with an Italian spaghetti western directed by Giuseppe Colizzi. Ross brings no surprises as he maintains the usual high production quality and diversity in guest appearances.
The album starts with a ritualistic prayer, an ode to a life of crime and extravagant living. 3 Kings, which features Jay Z and the mastermind behind The Chronic is a well produced track where the multimillionaire trio make grand boasts and spiteful taunts at lagging peers.
This time around the rap juggernaut’s Maybach Music label has grown by a couple of members. Rick Ross feature protégé Meek Mill on So Sophisticated, where the young rapper displays similar hunger to that of his boss.
Production of Maybach Music 4 featuring RnB crooner Ne-yo has a more contemporary sound than its classic predecessors and no guest appearance from a rap artist which might leave something to be desired from some fans.
On Sixteen both Rick Ross and Outkast member Andre 3000 push the boundaries on conventional rap verse lengths with compelling storytelling. Amsterdam is another gem on the album that Ross fans will appreciate.
On Hold Me Back, one of the stronger songs of the album, Rick Ross uses his powerful voice to great effect as he makes an addictive venting anthem.
The album’s lead single Touch n’ You featuring Yeah hitmaker Usher might do wonders for Rick Ross’ mass appeal and win him a female fan base.
Ten Jesus Pieces featuring Maybach Music signee Stalley is a priceless celebration of wealth, rap culture and the popular necklace design with the image of Christ on the centrepiece.
The Hustlin’ singer produces more street anthems for his fans to vibe to while making songs with the potential to open Rick Ross up to new listeners.
Rick Ross accomplished a great feat in Teflon Don which may very well be his finest album. God Forgives, while enjoyable cannot hold a candle to its 2010 predecessor, but he can be forgiven for experimenting. It’s just up to the listener to decide whether the movie or the album is better.