Rick Ross "God Forgives, I Don't" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Tue, 31 Jul 2012 13:59:32
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.
Have you heard God Forgives, I Don't? Get it on iTunes!