Rick Ross is a rapper and CEO of Maybach Music Group. Not too long ago, he released “Rather You Than Me“, a star-studded album filled with expensive thoughts and gun-toting lyrics.
This is Ross’ ninth studio album, and we can agree that his wisdom and wishful thinking are two ingredients that make this project noteworthy.
“The phrase Rather You Than Me speaks to a n***a’s natural instinct to survive. What also makes [the title] and the album genius is that there’s a beautiful side to this as well. For instance, ‘I would rather you than me enjoy this fine glass of Belaire.’
There’s so many different ways to say it that can make this unique, but the title is speaking to the survivalists, the ones that refuse to lose. For me to put together what I consider to be my magnum opus, I had to work with certain names, and those certain names you know very well. We all shine bright. It’s not about me making records to satisfy a track list.”
Rick Ross – “Apple of My Eye” (ft. Raphael Saadiq)
Ross, who used to view himself as a fat ugly ni^^a who wouldn’t be anything, now feels out of place in a room full of failures. His lyrical growth is obvious, and Major Nine’s production is reminiscent of ‘90s Funk/R&B. The mood is laid back with choppy drums beating to Beanie Sigel’s “I Feel It in the Air’ vibe.
Ross injects his thoughts about Meek’s & Nicki’s breakup, “I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki, instead of beefing with your dog, you just give him some distance.” But the questionable, “I’m happy Donald Trump became the president because we gotta destroy before we elevate,” had us scratching our heads. Ni^^a what? Anyhow, this is a dope track and we will bump it again.
Rick Ross – “Santorini Greece”
Ross realizes that his success doesn’t exempt him from being crucified like Christ or anyone else. But one thing’s for sure, success gave Ross the ability to travel the world, and the bragging rights to say that he put Santorini, Greece on the map.
Ross mentions, “These ni^^as don’t believe in God,” after prophesying their demise and saying his bank account done caught the holy ghost. We conclude that Ross is blessed, and with blessings comes great responsibility.
The laid-back Bink!-produced track dissolves within Ross’ melodic flow. And lyrics like, “I’m Michael Jackson to the rich ni^^as / That leather jacket, baby, with the 6 zippers,” or, “My money long, you know I’m out your reach / Only fat ni^^a jogging on the beach,” is the reason why Ross is one of a few emcees who has the ability to give you lyrics with visions on the side.
Rick Ross – “Idols Become Rivals” (ft. Chris Rock)
After letting the first two songs marinate, Ross adds a plot to the scene and pens a letter to Birdman, the CEO of Cash Money Records. If Tupac’s “Against All Odds” is the most real sh^t ever written in hip-hop, then this song is not too far behind. Ross airs out the rap mogul’s dirty laundry while taking him to the cleaners at the same time.
Lyrics like, “Catholic record labels, ni^^as gettin’ raped, boy Birdman’s a priest, moans in his synagogue,” or “Damn, Stunna, I loved you, ni^^a, How the f*ck, ni^^a, you touched half a billion, ni^^a, and your team starvin’?”. Some of the most real lyrics of Ross’ career.
Black Metaphor’s track is laid back and Ross’s melodic flow is hypnotic. Also, Rick Ross reaches Godfather’s status when he chooses to stick up for DJ Khalid, BG, Lil Wayne, Mannie Fresh, etc.
Rick Ross – “Trap Trap Trap” (ft. Young Thug, Wale)
Ross turns up the pulse and takes us on a trap journey with Young Thug and Wale. But unfortunately, Ross talking about trapping isn’t stimulating and doesn’t contribute to the momentum gained by the first three songs. Quite frankly, Ross already established his trapping legacy on his first album.
Now, it just sounds repetitive, causing our emotional attachment to depart temporarily, especially when Wale raps, “I ain’t nothing like them trap guys,” got us questioning the lineup, even though Wale delivers a dope verse. If the first three songs brought us to the third eye or crown chakra, then this song took us down to the solar chakra.
Rick Ross – “Dead Presidents” (ft. Future, Jeezy, Yo Gotti)
Ross goes lower to the root chakra and brings in a drug-dealing line up to support his trapping movement. But the drug-dealing references and gun-toting accolades blow a huge black cloud over Rather You Than Me, an optimistic album that Ross created to showcase his happiness of seeing other survivalist enjoying the finer things in life.
So, every time a dark thought or a dire situation is inserted, it defeats Ross’ higher purpose for the album. We would’ve appreciated this song more if it was on another project with a trapping theme.
Rick Ross – “She’s on My D*ck” (ft. Gucci Mane)
More ni^^a sh*t, money-bragging, ego-driven chick-snatching by materialistic means, cramped on top of a dope, hard-knocking track produced by Beat Billionaire, keeps the momentum going horizontally when it should be moving vertically north towards Ross’ original script. This song has a mediocre theme and suffers from a lack of creativity in the chorus, but the beat saves the song. [usr 3.0]
Rick Ross – “I Think She Like Me” (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)
Ross probably heard us yelling, “Stick to the script ni^^a,” because he restores order over J-Pilot- & C Gutta-produced track.
Ross raps with a Barry White vocal tone, “I once got no allowance, now I got the crown. I said I was The Boss, nobody made a sound. Really had to see them things, this level storytelling. Who else could flip a chorus into 40 million?”
Ross wins here, and he wins big. One of the best in the business to talk that talk and Ty Dollar $ign comes through in the clutch.
Rick Ross – “Powers That Be” (ft. Nas)
Now in storytelling mode, Ross enlists lyricist Nas to help him usher his concept. The lyrics are on point but the fullness of the song is lackluster. We expected more, but only got a few firecrackers igniting, roman candles busting, minus the major firework show. It felt like an appetizer. You know? If you eat enough, you might be too full to finish your incoming meal.
Rick Ross – “Game Ain’t Based on Sympathy”
Ross reminisces about his past over a dope soul-inspired track with a groovy/psychedelic loop that blends in naturally with Ross’s deep monotone.
Ross brings us into his childhood, “Renovating the ghettoes, moving me elsewhere / Daddy didn’t see pension, they took his healthcare / Affordable housing and they fed us welfare / Showed us Tony Montana, teachers couldn’t care less.” Ross also preaches about the catastrophe that’s happening in Chicago, “Gang violence ongoing, let’s fight our own wars / Chicago been out of hand, the city lost its soul / Funeral every weekend or either you cremated / Homie’s son, he been murdered, he didn’t seem faded.”
We can listen to Ross rap for hours, especially if he’s talking about conscious issues.
Rick Ross – “Scientology”
As the momentum, gradually rises back to the crown, Ross flows over a dope, wonderland of sounds track produced by Bink! & The Youngstars. Like going up an elevator, Ross took us to a destination that we didn’t know existed.
Lamborghini Doors – (ft. Meek Mill, Anthony Hamilton)
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Ross’ decision to follow in the same direction as “Scientology” was the right one because Ross’ and Meek Mill’s chemistry is heartfelt. Since the momentum is moving upwards towards the sky, it’s fitting when Meek said, “We coming up like them Lamborghini doors.”
Triple Platinum – (ft. Scrilla)
The prayer at the beginning does the album justice; and when Ross said, “Me and HOV back and forth like I’m triple platinum,” we saw how far Ross had come, and how far he still must go.
Newcomer Scrilla adds a memorable verse, “Ramadan once a year, my sacrificial payment / Stone thrown at my Jesus piece, help me Lord / But tempt me, kill my Judas with a platinum sword / A king, but I’m punished with a crown of thorns.”
Maybach Music V – (ft. Katt Rockell & Dej Loaf)
Ross and Dej Loaf rap over an airy/dreamy track produced by Beat Butcha & Buda & Grandz. More expensive thoughts and money spending don’t hurt the momentum if the topic is about the finer things in life.
Summer Seventeen – (ft. Yo Gotti)
In conclusion, Ross ends the album on a gangster note. And the Beat Billionaire-produced track is hard as steel and bump-worthy. We love the theme, “I want my ni^^as rich by summer seventeen”, a wishful thought like that is what ‘Rather You Than Me’ is all about—everybody eating.