Rich Forever – Rick Ross – Review
In my most recent review, of Raekwon’s Unexpected Victory, I called the Chef “probably the most gangsta rapper in the history of gangsta rap.” I still stand by that statement, but if we refine our focus from “history of gangsta rap” to “group of the ten most influential rappers in hip-hop today,” we can apply the statement to Rick Ross and throw the “probably” into the Atlantic Ocean strapped to a pair of concrete blocks. Rich Forever, the most significant hip-hop release of 2012 so far (sorry, T.I.), reaffirms Rozay’s status as the master of the street album and sets the bar ridiculously high for any subsequent “pre-album” mixtapes from other rappers.
At 79 minutes plus, the tape definitely runs a little long. However, when someone’s giving away this many great tracks for free, a little filler can be tolerated. Ross starts the proceedings off with a bang(er), “Holy Ghost,” which besides featuring another standard-meaning-excellent hoarse, shouted-word chorus from the Bauce, proves that Ricky Rozay is still the master of rhyming a phrase with itself and still having it be awesome: “My teacher told me that I’m a piece of shit/Seen her the other day, driving a piece of
shit.” On a side note, I cannot recall one rapper singlehandedly rendering another one completely obsolete the way Rick Ross has done Young Jeezy.
Even though Rich Forever is, as its master of ceremonies calls it, “the appetizer” for the upcoming-and-already-delayed God Forgives, I Don’t LP, it absolutely does not lack for quality guest spots. Among the highlights is John Legend on the title track, a track that stands out and functions in much the same way as MMG underling Wale’s “Ambition” did on Ambition.
Perhaps THE highlight of the tape is the duet on the very next track, “Triple Beam Dreams,” featuring “Best Rapper Alive,” “Comeback of the Year,” and “Greatest Lyricist of All Time” candidate Nas. In what may surprise some but can be denied by none (except the most passionate H8ers), Rozay holds his own with one of the G.O.A.T., snagging the “Most Hardcore Gangster Line of the Year” honors for now with, “Fucking bitches that be giving up your whereabouts.”
“Stay Schemin’,” the penultimate track, features guest appearances from Drake and French Montana. The Canadian emcee, who is apparently set to release an entire tape entitled YOLO sometime this year with Rozay WTT-style, might or might not but definitely does spend 28 bars adding fuel to the fire of his ridiculous beef with Common, which is apparently all over Serena Williams. Yeah.
Rich Forever is a mammoth tape that, despite some unavoidable filler, continues Rozay’s pattern of releasing free street albums chock full of bangers suitable for the radio. I doubt that none of them were good enough to make their way onto the upcoming LP’s tracklist (actually, I bet some will)., but as I said before in my review of TM103, I am now more than ever expecting God Forgives, I Don’t to be one of the highlights of 2012.
Rick Ross – Holy Ghost (Feat. Diddy)
Rick Ross – Rich Forever (Feat. John Legend) [NEW]
Rick Ross – Triple Beam Dreams (Feat. Nas) [NEW]
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