Whilst many titles in Hip Hop continue to be disputed (King of N.Y., King of the South) the crown of “Boss” remains on the head of one Rick Ross. Since his arrival via the Port of Miami in 2006 Ross has reached the lofty heights akin to one of cinema’s notorious figures, Tony Montana. With ferocity in his musical output and surviving 50 Cent’s onslaught, the Teflon Don LP no longer sits merely as another Rick Ross album but as an important release which echoes anticipation similar to classics of yesteryear.
Teflon Don sees Ross’ boastful, abrasive style of rap attack the signature sounds of producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, No I.D., Kanye West, Danja and Clark Kent amongst others almost in a bid to prove he really is the top dog. On that very theme, the anthemic production of “I’m Not A Star” allows Ricky Ross to play ‘Baws’ as the joys of his fast lifestyle are celebrated in all its glory.
A somewhat average opener is then followed by one of many brilliant collaborations on the album; “Free Mason” is a hands-to-the-sky-middle-finger-to-all salute which has John Legend take care of hook duties as Jay-Z delivers a timeless verse.
Rick Ross ft. Jay-Z x John Legend – “Free Mason”:
If John Legend’s vocals weren’t enough, Cee-Lo’s powerful lungs add more emotion to the moving “Tears Of Joy”. The next installment of the now legendary “Maybach Music” series follows, where the dream team lineup of Jadakiss, T.I. and Erykah Badu does great service to the already esteemed Maybach legacy.
With “I’m Not A Star” being the only track where Rozay goes solo, it could be imagined that the guest spots may clutter the album. But all the superstar additions do is add to the hunger of Rick Ross’ verses – just check his verses on “Live Fast, Die Young” featuring Kanye West.
The tracks “MC Hammer”, “B.M.F” and “Super High” featuring Ne-Yo sit well on the album despite having already featured on the Albert Anastasia EP – but even if some find the mixtape tracks played out, the empirical “Aston Martin Music” alongside Chrisette Michelle and Drake truly makes up for any repetition (although the extended mix with Drake’s verse should have been added).
In just under 50 minutes of music, Rick Ross has delivered one of the standout albums of the year. A brilliant score which balances epic beats with champagne compositions and lush choruses, The Boss has re-ignited the mafioso rap genre with a quality which many have chased for years.
Whilst some may think it’s fifteen minutes too short or congested with collaborations, Teflon Don speeds way past the consistent mark and enters into brilliance territory – a feat which will will be hard to top for the rest of the year.
Teflon Don is out now via Maybach Music Group/Def Jam.