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  • Rick Ross "God Forgives, I Don't" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars

    Tue, 31 Jul 2012 13:59:32

    Rick Ross "God Forgives, I Don't" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars - Exclusive by ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

    Rick Ross Photos

    • Rick Ross - BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY - JULY 26: Rick Ross attends the Russell Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation:15th Annual ART FOR LIFE Benefit Sponsored By BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin at Fairview Farms on July 26, 2014 in Bridgehampton, New York.
    • Rick Ross - WATER MILL, NY - JULY 26: Robert Kraft (L) and rapper Rick Ross attend the 15th annual Art for Life Gala hosted by Russell and Danny Simmons at Fairview Farms on July 26, 2014 in Water Mill, New York.
    • Rick Ross - WATER MILL, NY - JULY 26: (L-R) Robert Kraft, Russell Simmons, Ming Lee Simmons and Rick Ross attend the 15th annual Art for Life Gala hosted by Russell and Danny Simmons at Fairview Farms on July 26, 2014 in Water Mill, New York.

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    Rick Ross Videos

    • Rick Ross ft John Legend - "Free Enterprise"
    • DJ Khaled - Do You Mind

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    God Forgives, I Don't sees Rick Ross raise the bar for hip hop at large once again.

    It's as gritty and guttural as Port of Miami, but the MC has come a long way since then. He's evolved into a vivid and vibrant storyteller on par with Nas and Biggie Smalls. An ominous orchestra introduces "Pirates" as a slow piano melody builds. Ross stomps through a classy beat announcing, "At this point, I'm just trying to survive" and affirms that it's "time to get richer than Trump". The bombast of the music is trumped only by Ross's airtight flow and clever rhymes. God might forgive, but Ross doesn't have to. The game is once again in his grip—rightfully so.

    Alongside Jay-Z and Dr. Dre, Ross rules a '70s-style beat that could've been jacked right from the Shaft soundtrack. Hearing Ross alongside those two icons illuminates just how potent, powerful, and punishing of a rapper he truly is. He matches their legend with enough swagger of his own. "Sixteen" drops a bluesy guitar lead after some lyrical mastery from André 3000 and our hero.

    Album standout "Hold Me Back" pumps up on a staggering chorus that's meant to be bumped as loudly as possible. It's an anthem locked and loaded with real, righteous bravado and heart. "Diced Pineapples" treads new territory of soulfulness, while "Ten Jesus Pieces" thrives on confessional street poetry.

    Ultimately, this is Ross doing what he does best—making cinematic and raw rap music. He's as unforgiving as ever on one of the best albums of 2012.

    Rick Florino
    07.31.12


    Have you heard God Forgives, I Don't? Get it on iTunes!



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    Tags: Rick Ross, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, André 3000, Nas, Biggie Smalls

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