After the well received Rich Forever mixtape, and recent MMG compilation release of Self Made Vol. II (peep our review here), Rick Ross comes back on his solo game with God Forgives, I Don’t. As he has proven with his previous releases. Ross is equally adept at offering something for everybody.
The first seven tracks are all certified, undeniable BANGERS. “Pirates” showcases Ross at his braggadocios best over Kenoe & Got Koke’s (who?!?) frenzied production (“hallucination of money, while nigga’s stomach just rumble, had to fuck with the Haitians and break a kilo to crumbles”). “3 Kings” featuring Dr. Dre & Jay-Z submits a stellar consideration for song of the year; Hov contributes to his legacy of MURDERING guest appearances (“stuntin’ to the max, I’m so wavy” s/o to Max B!) on a fantastically lush Jake One beat. “Ashamed” has a great soul bounce that would fit right in on any best of Ross playlist.
With the aforementioned tracks, Ross skillfully feeds the gangster rap, lyrical critics, beat junkies, and the ladies. In contrast, the beats, lyrics, and themes of tracks like “Hold Me Back” and “911” are the type of big songs that have dominated Ross’ career, but don’t do him the justice of displaying his full talent as an MC. While this has been the music that helped Rozay’s empire rise, the album could be more cohesive with more J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League contributions and less of Ross’ attempts at capturing his traditional trap-fan base. Before you think we’re “dissing” those songs, we’re not, we recognize the power they will have in clubs this summer…we just know Ross is lyrically capable of more than most artists in the game and want more of it. (Or he could stop putting bangers like “Triple Beam Dreams” featuring Nas and “Rich Forever” featuring John Legend on mixtapes months in advance and saving them for the album instead of making them bonus tracks).
Longtime Ross collaborators J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League bless Rozay with three of the album’s highlights, “Maybach Music IV” featuring Ne-Yo (another classic for the namesake; has there been a better tetralogy in rap music?), “Sixteen” featuring Andre 3000 (do I really need to sell you on this?), and the album closer “Ten Jesus Pieces” featuring the young and hungry Stalley. Cardiak hits Ross with two more slick productions-“Amsterdam” and “Diced Pineapples” featuring Wale & Drake. “Diced…” and “Touch’N You” featuring Usher are sure to keep the ladies and the clubs on fire this summer.
On God Forgives, I Don’t, Rick Ross maintains the established formula on his previous releases. If trimmed and reordered, this is a classic album…he has a few songs you may skip, but just as many that almost everyone will love.
KickRocs Album Appraisal rating: VS+ (for an explanation of the KR appraisal ratings, click here)
Get your copy today, and let us know what you think. To purchase God Forgives, I Don’t head over to iTunes.