Factor in Rick Ross (finally) coming clean as the former correctional officer that he once was, his beef with 50 Cent, and most recently, a feud with porn star Brian Pumper; and the so-called “Boss Of Miami” still doesn’t seem to be deterred (publicly at least) as he releases his third album in three years, Deeper Than Rap.
Although his “cocaine lord” aura might be a little tarnished due to aforementioned events, Ricky still fills up the project with larger than life tales, mixed in with the drug paraphernalia content that initially helped to put him on the map.
This time around, his supporting cast includes artists like Foxy Brown, John Legend, Avery Storm, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nas, T-Pain, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke and Trina.
With all those names doing their best to assist the heavy-bearded rapper in rebuilding his image, things get underway with the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League-produced ‘Maybach Music 2’ featuring Kanye West, T-Pain, and Lil Wayne.
After everyone finishes the discussion about their individual stacks, Ross goes from land to water on ‘Yacht Club,’ as he talks about traveling the seven seas and how your girl would love to accompany him.
Nas comes in on ‘Usual Suspects,’ which is a rags to riches story, instead of Ross’ typical riches to more riches theme. ‘Murda Mami’ features Foxy Brown, as they both run their Bonnie & Clyde/Mickey & Malorie routine.
Ricky replaces the money talk with gun talk on ‘Gunplay.’ Over the track provided by The Inkredibles, Ross compliments the title of the song with relatable content, “Bullet in my head/bullet in my chest/yeah they want a n*gga dead/they envy my success.”
One of the few songs that Ross goes alone is ‘Valley Of Death,’ (which doubles as one of the strongest records on the album). On it, he opts to go with subject matter that normal people can relate to rather than talking about $20,000.00 mortgage payments, “Only live once, and I got two kids/and for me to feed them, I’ll get two gigs.”
Rick Ross doesn’t stray off course, and stays in his comfort zone with additional offerings like ‘Rich Off Cocaine’ (feat. Avery Storm), ‘In Cold Blood,’ ‘Bossy Lady,’ (feat. Ne-Yo), and ‘Face’ (feat. Trina).
“The Boss” doesn’t break any monumental ground on Deeper Than Rap, as he stays in the same vein as Trilla and Port Of Miami.
His cartel king/über-rich persona took a beating this year, which makes some of his material hard to swallow, but then again, he isn’t the only Hip-Hop star to super-over exaggerate his or her lifestyle (i.e. the current financial problems that plague Scott Storch, Method Man, Xzibit and Lil Kim).
So with that said, you can either take him for what he is: Either the person who can back up his stories of trafficking while sleeping on piles of money, or someone who lives vicariously through the chronicles of people like the “real” Ricky Ross—the choice is yours…