Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rick Ross - Mastermind (Album Review)

Release Date : March 4, 2014
Label :  Maybach Music Group / Slip-n-Slide Records / Def Jam Records

After some delays, Ross finally releases his sixth studio album, Mastermind. And it features some great production as his previous albums. On the Black Metaphor produced "Rich Is Gangsta" Ross boasts "Elevators like Frank's on Scarface/ New Presidential had that pavé/Like a G, I gave the Cartier to Wale/Then I gave Meek Mill a Range Rover/Told Warner Brothers that the game's over". He also takes a little jab at Curtis Jackson "For me to move forward from here on I need 50/ I ain't talking 50 Cent neither nigga, haha". I'm surprised Ross even mentioned 50s name since that beef was like 6 years ago. Moving along, "Mafia Music III" is a reggae tinged gangsta joint featuring Sizzla and Mavado, and produced by the underrated Bink. "War Ready" featuring Jeezy and Tracy T is a dope song too. Its good to see that they put the beef aside and finally did a collab.

"In Vein" featuring The Weeknd definitely has single written all over it. On another note, has anybody noticed that every rap song that The Weekend is featured on it sounds more like it was his song? (Juicy J's "One of those days", French Montana's "Gifted"). The soulful "Sanctified" featuring Kanye West and Big Sean is another stand out from Mastermind. Ye delivered in his verse while Sean held down the hook. Ross samples some classic Hip Hop songs on Mastermind too. "Nobody" featuring French Montana and Diddy is a cover of Biggies "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)". Ross even borrows Big's flow on the track. "What a Shame", which also features French, borrows some lyrics from Camp Lo's "Luchini" and  ODB's  hook from "Shame on a nigga". And "Thug Cry" featuring a focused auto-tune less Lil Wayne samples Souls of Mischief’s "93 ‘Till Infinity".

Mastermind also has its share of flaws. Jay Z steals the show on "The Devil Is a Lie" by addressing the illuminant theories and Barneys controversy. Ross' verse was forgettable."Dope Bitch" (Skit) was supposed to be funny, but it ends up falling flat. And "BLK & WHT" was a disaster. Was Ross actually trying to sound like (400 Degreez circa) Juvenile on the hook? Seemed that way to me. Not to mention the Trayvon Martin line he used on there. That's a case when trying to be clever goes wrong. I know he didn't mean any harm, cause he was one of the first people making tributes to Trayvon, and he showed love to his parents as well. He could of been more direct with the line though. Flaws aside, Rozay continues to prove why hes a Mastermind in the rap game. You ain't gotta like it, but you gotta respect it.



Stalley - Honest Cowboy (Review)
MMG - Self Made Vol. 3 (Review)
Rick Ross - Hood Billionaire (Review)

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