I recently came across an interesting article that was released a few days ago by The New Yorker. The subject of choice happened to be about Rick Ross’ critical rise in the Hip-Hop ranks and the merit of how he got to where he his. The author, Sasha Frere-Jones decided to narrow in and dissect a few of Ross’ bars off of his latest mixtape, Rich Forever and gives a deep analysis of how Rozay’s lyrics are more fictional than anything.
Listening to Ricky Rozay’s music, Frere-Jones wonders where the truth is in his storytelling. The focus of her argument is that Ross often flaunts about living this lavish lifestyle and being fabulously wealthy, but can offer no concrete details about his life in the drug game. As Frere-Jones says, Ross’ storytelling is more “filmic than anything. Ross may represent the final abandonment of hip-hop’s mandate to keep it real.”
An interesting story to read if you have the time. Check out a couple of the story’s highlights.
-Ross has become a respected rapper by depicting the life style of a boss, or a don, two words that he loves. He never cares to unpack the morals of the drug trade—what he revels in is the security and relief of being fabulously wealthy. This is what his voice sells, the way Sinatra once sold an implacable but supple kind of confidence.
-Take “Triple Beam Dreams,” from “Rich Forever,”…Ross says rather than raps, “It’s time to take it to the other side, the side you gotta watch A&E cable television for, homie, but we live this shit.” It’s telling that he invokes watching television before relating an allegedly personal story.Nas is nimble and concrete in his memories: “My junior high school class, wish I stayed there / Illegal entrepreneur, I got my grades there.” By contrast, Ross sounds uncomfortable; his standard drawl, which is both booming and restrained, is rushed, and his lyrics are a little, well, filmic: “Before you sell dope, there’s shit you gotta learn, nigga / Home invasions, duct tape.”