God Forgives, I Don't
If you thought an in-flight seizure would result in a more realistic fifth album from Rick Ross, think again. The album is the aural equivalent of a Michael Bay film.
Everything here, from the widescreen production by Pharrell Williams, Justice League and Jake One, to the superstar collaborations with Dr Dre, Jay-Z and Andre 3000, is all about selling units.
Ross is more of a stylish rapper than a straight-up lyricist, and when the production is as big as his fantasies, the album more than works. In the elegant Sixteen, Ross and 3000 mourn for eight minutes over how a 16-bar verse is just not enough.
In the chant-filled Presidential, a heroic Ross is busy choosing which marble best suits his home needs while the stellar Maybach Music IV finds him stitching rhymes over deceptively difficult soul beats by Justice League.
It is in the opener Pirates where Ross utters perhaps his truest line: "Fascination with fortune, afford me mansion and Porsches." This is Ross's shtick: he became rich rapping about being rich.