Rick Ro$$: Deeper Than Rap (Album Review)

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Deeper Than Rap definitely begins on a high note with the probing “Mafia Music”, acting as a great introduction while Ro$$ throws barbs at 50 Cent (“Curtis Jackson baby mama, I ain’t asking for a cent / Burn the house down, gotta buy another / Don’t forget the gas can, jealous stupid motherfucker”). Next up is “Maybach Music (Part II)”, the sequel to the original version that featured Jay-Z. This time, he enlists Kanye West, T-Pain and Lil’ Wayne and while the sequel is not as great nor soulful as the original, the trio make up for that with sheer charisma as the song oozes energy courtesy of Kanye’s egotistical bars coupled with Lil’ Wayne’s shallow attempts at being clever (“All black Maybach, I’m sitting in the asshole”) and delusions of grandeur (“They see the Biggie, see the Jay, the 2Pac in him”).

The album’s mellow mood continues with “Magnificent”, as Ro$$ continues to paint the lavish lifestyle he lives while enlisting soulful crooner John Legend for hook duty. “Usual Suspects” continues Ro$$’ string of strong album cuts as he goes head-to-head with one Nasir Jones, who in turn shows why he’s “nasty” as well as showing traces from his immaculate debut.

“Rich Off Cocaine” features more production by the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League as well as a guest appearance by Avery Storm, but what shocks the most is that Ro$$ gets conscious with arguably his best bars on the album: (“Vacation to Haiti, it nearly broke my heart / Seeing kids starve, I thought about my Audemar / Selling dope ain’t right, I put it on my life / Chickens put me in position to donate the rice”).

Ricky Ro$$ closes the album with “Valley of Death” and the blaring horns of “In Cold Blood” with the former featuring Ro$$ finally addressing and explaining his past as a correctional officer over a thumping backdrop courtesy of DJ Toomp: “Only live once and I got two kids / They’re for me to feed, damn I’ll get two gigs / I’ll shovel shit, I’ll C.O. / So we can bow our heads and pray over the meat loaf”.

Deeper Than Rap is another extremely strong effort by Rick Ro$$, which features few missteps throughout the album. Similar to Young Jeezy, Rick Ro$$ continues to lyrically step his pen game up (“Kimbo Slice on the pad when I write”) while also enlisting The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League to produce the majority of his album. While Deeper Than Rap is stuffed with many guest features, only those closest to him seem to hinder Ro$$ (i.e. Gunplay on “Gunplay” and Foxy Brown on the God-awful “Murda Mami“). Deeper Than Rap certainly delivers and stands as another excellent notch in the (large?) belt of “the biggest boss that you’ve seen thus far”.

4 mics (out of 5)

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