The head of the unflammable Maybach Music Empire, half of the Bugatti Boys and perpetual hustler Rick Ross has released his new mixtape yesterday. As to be expected it’s filled to the brim with dramatic, synth-heavy beats, has the biggest features money can buy (Nas, John Legend, Diddy) and is, when taken in moderation, hilarious.
Back when Ross was beefing with Fiddy something surprising happened. While Fif had succesfully squashed Ja Rule’s career like a bug and made him a laughing stock in rap, similair tactics backfired all of a sudden when he used them on the big lumbering guy with the coarse voice who proclaimed himself a drug kingpin. It was revealed to the world Rozay was about as far from a kingpin as you could get, the guy used to be a C.O. Now, we’re all familiar with exaggeration in rap, but most assumed that while many crack rappers where never that deep in the game they at least had been in the game at all. Rick seemed to take his inspiration from the convicts he met during his nine to five though, something that’s considered dry-snitching by many. So with accusations flying and all these unwritten laws of the rap game broken, everybody was looking at the rapper the blogosphere now dubbed “the cop” to see what his next move would be. With people taking turns guessing who would drive the final nail into the coffin of his career, Rozay made a move that would ultimately comfortably catapult him into the stratosphere of rap stardom; He turned it up a notch.
Sure, everybody knew the stories where fabricated, so what was left to stop him from turning these fabrications into the most magnificent pipedreams imaginable? He went from a low-rent Jeezy, a sub-par crack rapper indistinguishable from his peers if not for his recognizable voice, to the Willy Wonka of crack rap. Now everybody wants to take a peek into the MMG hit factory. If you’re gonna tell an unblievable story, at least make it an enjoyable unbelievable story, he seems to have concluded. People accuse him of farfetched Illuminati ties? Embraced into the narrative and referenced on the very first line of this tape. Moving further and further away from anything having to do with the name in his passport and more and more into the territory of a larger than life Scarface persona who can’t seem to loose, it’s becoming increasingly hard to notice wether Rozay is paying tribute to or actively lampooning the character he portrays. He does seem to be enjoying himself a whole lot while straddling that fine line, and why shouldn’t he? He’s wearing $100 socks, one on each leg.
The over the top fantasy character Rozay has become turns out impressive bangers with regular intervals and actually has some ridiculously funny lines in his anthemic lyrics. Still, it’s jarring to see the fabricated character of Rozay stand along rap veterans who often inject autobiographic elements in their writing and talk about keeping it real, turning themselves into some kind of weird metatextual metaphor about the dichotomy between their rapper and ‘real’ personas in the process. Personally, the MMG bangers can get my head knodding from the first rising synth to the final “HWUHH!” but a full-length album is too much for my taste. It’s somewhat of an audio equivalent to Mickey D’s, and while it tastes good as long as it lasts and fills your stomach for a night out on the town, eating too much of it and too often will screw you up seriously, offering very little of substance. Besides, there’s way too little variation on the menu for it to stay interesting over a longer stretch of time.
Still, by fully investing into his obvious fabrications, Rozay turned at least one part of it into reality. It’s hard to say how long the entertainment value of the rather one-sided trick will last, which makes branching out and using his current fame to spearhead a roster of artists with diverse demographics under his banner, a smart move. Right now though, his own songs are still bringing home some serious bacon and if Rick plays his cards right, he might just be rich forever.
DOWNLOAD: Rick Ross – Rich Forever (mixtape)