Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The Irony of Rick Ross: Conscious Rappers, Step Yo Game Up
The album that I have been anticipating the most this summer is from a guy who regularly says head-scratching shit like, "Larry Hoover dove off the mountaintop and turned into a golden eagle!" --the hell does that even mean? This is also the same guy whose goons damn near stomped me out a few years ago.
Nevertheless, Rick Ross' Teflon Don is undoubtedly the album I've been looking forward to the most this year-- more than Big Boi's, more than the Roots, more than Em, and more than my Sensitive Ass Love, Drake.
Why do I look forward to an album from a rapper who talks incessantly about cocaine, money and dead Italian gangsters who would probably refer to him as a spook if they ever crossed paths with his obviously confused ass? Simple.
J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League production.
...And all of the other producers who copy them. I'm not even mad about that because it makes them step their game up. (The Inkredibles also had some dope production on the last album too).
It's amazing what some live instrumentation can do. If these guys could hook up with a dope as singer and songwriter like maybe Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, Jahiem (with a writer of course), Tweet, Chrisette Michelle, Jasmine Sullivan, or the like they'd be on some Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes-ish shit for real with their story-telling production. Hell, even if they hooked up for an entire album with a really good rapper--Big Krit, Bobby Creekwater, J. Cole, Blu...
I can't lie though, just because you have a dope beat doesn't mean you know what to do with it, and for that I will give Rick Ross' misguided ass some props. Dude knows how to ride a beat and his presence on the mic is notable. He knows what to do on a track, thereby making his cocaine-dream lyrics secondary to everything else that's going on with the song.
Then again, Killer Mike pointed out, he's one of the only rappers who was talking about Haiti before the earthquake, and still continues to...:
"...Look at Haiti people dying 'round the clock, I send $100,000 but that's another watch..." -Live Fast, Dy Young feat. Kanye West
No, he's not Stic.Man, but damned if that shit ain't jamming.
And that, in a nutshell, is the irony of Rosei (or however the hell he spells his new silly ass moniker). As unbelievable as it is, dude makes music for grown folks. That's why people like Chrisette Michelle, Erykah Badu and John Legend will hop on tracks with him, even though the features are odd as hell. Jamming music is jamming music--and it works. It's just ironic that the most jamming shit these days is coming from a guy named after a renowned crack dealer. I'm gonna need these so-called conscious rappers to step their game up.
"Maybach Music 3" feat. TI, Jadakiss and Erykah Badu