Rick Ross "Mastermind" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Wed, 05 Mar 2014 09:19:05
For Rick Ross, Mastermind makes good on the title's promise.
Miami's own king puts together the ultimate album of his career thus far, lifting the hip-hop crown for himself in the process. Rozay manages to construct a comprehensive body of work that includes the genre's biggest names, while personally rising to the top. As far as rap records go, that's some real genius right there—the ability to feature the best-of-the-best and still shine on your own.
In many ways, Mastermind highlights the best elements of his sound. "Rich Is Gangsta" flaunts that signature airtight flow over soulful production and gospel hums as he boasts, "I gave the Cartier to Wale. Then, I gave Meek Mill the Range Rover. Told Warner Brothers the game's over". "Drug Dealer" Dreams" and "Nobody" featuring French Montana take a trip into the darker side of the hood with raps as quick as an itchy trigger finger and just as fiery. Meanwhile, "The Devil Is A Lie" brings Ross and Jay-Z toe-to-toe for a devilishly catchy single. "War Ready" feels downright militant from Tracy T's gruff hook to Jeezy's rough and tumble cameo. It's a bruiser for sure.
On the other end of the spectrum, "In Vein" with The Weeknd seeps right into a bedroom-ready futurist R&B romp that's infinitely seductive, while Melanie Fiona enhances "Walkin' On Air" with lithe soul. However, the two final tracks seal the deal. "Sanctified" sees Kanye West and Big Sean deliver inspired and impeccable verses between a Motown hook as Ross owns the beat. Everything leads up to the blood-soaked tears of "Thug Cry" where Rozay and Wayne claim hip-hop supremacy once and for all with a timeless gem.
Mastermind is everything you hoped for and more. It's a hip-hop landmark.
What's your favorite Rick Ross song?