Before I begin, here’s a quick disclaimer:
Ross is my homeboy. Like G-Shit, that’s my dawg. With that being said, I promise this will bean unbiased review. Ok. Maybe a little biased.
(cue Maybach Music girl)
This past August, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Rick Ross’ Port of Miami 10th Anniversary concert. Concert was LIT AF by the way. It hadn’t hit me until midway through the show how fast those ten years passed. It seemed like just yesterday Khaled was playing “Hustlin” on 99 Jamz byke to byke to byke to byke. That night I was introduced to Dade County’s own Rick Ross. “Hustlin” is still my favorite song to this day. Fast forward eleven years and Ross is back with his ninth studio album Rather You Than Me. I didn’t know what to expect with this album seeing as I wasn’t a fan of Ross’ last album Black Market. Once I heard the album’s second single “Trap, Trap, Trap”, I knew Ross was coming with heat.
Known for wearing Miami on his sleeve, Ross continues the trend right out the gate with the album’s opening track “Apple of My Eye”, produced by University of Miami football player Chad Thomas. Thomas, who goes by the name Major Nine, delivers a soulful track filled with saxophone & piano riffs. I hope this track isn’t only known for Ross admitting that he warned fellow Maybach Music rapper Meek Mill about his now ex-girlfriend Nicki Minaj. It sets the vibe of the album.
The lavishly produced “Santorini Greece” precedes the album’s most controversial song “Idols Become Rivals”. Ross calls out Cash Money CEO Birdman for his alleged mishandling of Lil Wayne’s Carter V album, as well as other shady business practices. “Idols” samples Jay-Z’s “Where Have You Been”, which finds Jay and Beanie Sigel firing shots at their absent father. Ross uses this same tactic as he explains how he lost all respect for Birdman.
The tone of the album cranks up with the next three tracks. First is “Trap, Trap, Trap” featuring Young Thug and Wale. Funny how Ross calls out Birdman, then uses his artist on the very next song. Next is “Dead Presidents” featuring Future, Jeezy, and Yo Gotti, followed by “She On My Dick” featuring Gucci Mane. It was DOPE hearing Ross link up with artists he’s made bangers with before. All three will slap hard in your car as you head to Wingstop to pick up a ten piece. All Flats.
Ross’ ability to make any kind of track is evident on the second half of the album. For the ladies he has “I Think She Likes Me”, another club record with “Summer Seventeen”, and then on “Powers That Be” and “Game Aint Based On Sympathy”, he’s just spitting bars. The Maybach Music series returns with the Dej Loaf assisted “Maybach Music V”.
Very few give Ross the respect he deserves as a lyricist. There aren’t many rappers that can paint a picture the way Ross can. On “Triple Platinum” Ross tells the story of growing up in Miami’s inner cities. He explains the choice that many teenagers have to make after they finish high school. Sell drugs or go to college. Going back to “Idols Become Rivals”, Ross compares Birdman’s business dealings to the Catholic Church Scandal when he raps:
“Catholic record labels, niggas getting raped, boy, Birdman’s a priest, moans in his synagogue, Publishin’ is a sin, repent, forgive me Lord”
The highlight of Rather You Than Me is the album’s production. Nobody has an ear for beats like Ross. On “Scientology”, “Lamborghini Doors”, and my personal favorite “Santorini Greece”, Ross spits over a variety of instrumentation. The jazz saxophones, various piano hits, and lush strings perfectly compliment Ross’ flow and Boss persona.
Rather You Than Me is DOPE. Point. Blank. Period. With the production and features, we get another classic “Ross” album. This album definitely ranks in the top half of some of Ross’ best work. I’ll put it in the conversation with Teflon Don and Deeper Than Rap. I could’ve done without all the Chris Rock interludes. They weren’t funny and were rather annoying. Also wasn’t a fan of Nas’ verse on “Powers That Be”. I got the feeling Nas had that verse stashed away and just sent it over to Ross. My least favorite of their collabs. This is one project you can put on and let it play from top to bottom.
What are your thoughts on Rather You Than Me? Let me know down in the comment section. Follow us on IG @HennCrediblyDope and remember to always…
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