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Review: Rick Ross Dips Deeper Into Consciousness on ‘Rather You Than Me’

Review: Rick Ross Dips Deeper Into Consciousness on ‘Rather You Than Me’
 

Rick Ross’ ninth album finds the Miami kingpinin a reflective mood. Musically, he’s drifting through a mid-career malaise. Thebeats he uses are the same worn poles of yacht-rap luxury and trap bangers thathe’s relied on since his 2010 watermark TeflonDon. Lyrically, he’s still capable of speaking truth to power withremarkable clarity. His unexpected shots at Cash Money Records paterfamilias Birdmanon “Idols Become Rivals,” and how he compares him to a pedophilepriest, may have the Internet chattering. But more impressive is how he balanceshis accusations of Birdman’s licentious treatment towards his artists within ananalysis about the fake watches, leased Benzes and overpaid video vixens thatpopulate rap’s glamorous façade. Elsewhere, Ross shouts out Mutulu Shakur on “SantoriniReece,” then adds, “White man love me when I get my bling on/But youhate me buying real estate and foreign land.” He stuffs his rhymes withstray notes about his tough upbringing, and remembers on “Game Ain’t Basedon Sympathy” about growing up on welfare: “I thank God my kids ain’tgotta see that cheese,” he says. Rozay’s newfound social conscience iswelcome growth from the days when he bragged about knowing the real Manuel Noriega, but he’s only woke to a certain point: Rather You Than Me also includes theself-explanatory “She on My Dick,” and on “I Think She Like Me”he drawls, “If a pussy dry, call her Beetlejuice.”

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