As hot as 50 Cent and G-Unit were back in the early 2000’s, Rick Ross and his MMG family are the 2012 equivalent; everything they touch, whether it be albums, mixtapes or guest verses, seems to light up like the fourth of July. Enter Ricky Rozay’s latest mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah.
Already catching heat from members of the Jewish community over the title – rapper Shyne recently spoke out about it – the 19-track offering plays more like a collection of throwaways than a mixtape premiering a host of MMG bangers. Not hosting any new hot-off-the-press joints like his previous mixtape, Rich Forever, the mixtape hears Ross spit lazily over other people’s beats [G.O.O.D. Music’s ‘Clique’ and 2 Chainz’s ‘Birthday Song’], his own recycled beats [‘911’ and ‘Presidential’] or resubmitting tracks from his gold selling God Forgives, I Don’t LP.
When the tracklisting leaked a few days prior to its release, the internet buzzed about another Rick Ross and Drake joint titled ‘Us’. Originally a Lil’ Reese record, the remix, featuring the two previously mentioned heavyweights, is the type of lyrically lacking joint that mirrors Chief Keef’s ‘I Don’t Like’; which is another joint that Ross decides to hijack on this tape. As catchy as Keef’s breakout single, the main draw on “Us” is without doubt the anticipation of hearing what quirky wordplay Drake’s going to come up with – “New deal on the table, look like ‘bout like 10 miller/ Shout my lawyer man, he a contract killer.”
A real lackluster moment comes when Ricky teams up with Slab on ‘Bands’, which hears the two of them jump on Juicy J’s ‘Bands A Make Her Dance’. Keeping the original version’s Lil’ Wayne verse, as well as the official remix’s 2 Chainz verse, it might as well have just been the original track featured on the tape.
Rick Ross is a very hit and miss type of character. The younger generation enjoys his music more for his drug cartel storytelling capabilities, while the older generation can appreciate his not-always-on-display clever punchlines. Not featuring much of his MMG family – only newcomer Rockie Fresh and singer Omarion come out to play – the non attendance of Wale, Meek Mill and Stalley doesn’t help Ross on this occasion. You’re only as strong as the team behind you, and if you have no team behind you what are you left with?
All in all the lack of creativity on The Black Bar Mitzvah is easily apparent. It’s obvious now why Shyne was so against the title; it had nothing to do with religion but more to do with the tape doing nothing to ignite listening pleasure in any size, shape or form. With a few tracks coming off as bangers simply because the original version was of such a high standard, those listeners unfamiliar with the original versions might mistake those in question as Rozay’s very own creations.