Rick Ross – God Forgives, I Don’t (BT Review)

Written by The Rap Up. Posted in Spotlight, TRU Brain Trust


Published on July 31, 2012 with No Comments">No Comments

Despite Kanye’s best intentions, rap’s undeniable summer blockbuster is here. Wether it’s a fast-paced action stomper to go along with your popcorn or a thrill-less dud stabling over its own plot holes will now be revealed. But whatever the case may be, in the Untouchable Words of Maybach Khal: DEEZ BLOGGAS WON’T HOLD ME BACK! DEE TWITTUH CAN’T HOLD ME BACK!

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

- Mark 11:24

Rozay lives in a realm wholly his own, completely separated from reality and spoken into existence by the perpetually sunglassed Don himself. But on God Forgives, I Don’t Rozay doesn’t seem content with merely topping his own persona once more, he’s crafting an album with everything. There’s the song for the ladies, for the clubs, for the high-brow rap fan, for everyone really, though with barely anything to connect it all, resulting in an album that’s all over the place. When Ross stays close to the outlandish luxury rap and bullying crack fantasies that made him rise to prominence it works, when he strays from this base however, the songs tend to fall flat. The religious imagery seems more inspired by The Godfather III than any personal experience, merely there to further color between the lines of mafioso rap. That needn’t be a problem if the picture being painted is engaging enough, but beyond the glossy exterior, God Forgives, I Don’t leaves few thrills to discover.

Given the caliber of Rap I post over on rockthedub, you’d think I wouldn’t fuck with Rawse’s music, especially after he was outed as a liar. But then I step back and realize – these niggas are doing more rapping about flipping birds than actually flipping birds anyways, so there’s a degree of poetic license that goes into this. When I put on that new Ross LP? I’m looking for tough talk over dope beats. And for the better (first) half of this album, that’s what we got. Nothing is hitting like “Pirates” in this lane right now, with ignant fodder like “Hold Me Back”, “Ashamed” and “911”. There are some missteps, though, with “Diced Pineapples” and “Touch’n You” really souring the overall feel of the second half of the album, but interesting diversions like the mighty “Sixteen”, with Andre3000 dropping mad gems, or Pharrell’s mesmerizing instrumental on “Presidential”. Ross knows how to stack an album like a journey, and sometimes he has to let me out of the whip like Doughboy did for Tre, because I don’t want to see how all stories end.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will like its whole life
believing that it is stupid.”
People credit that quote to Albert Einstein. I’m not going to reinvent the
wheel here. I’m going to let Albert Einstein review Rick Ross’ new album.

Remember when your basketball team got crushed by 40 points in the first round of the playoffs and your coach walked in, teary-eyed and told you how proud he was of you because you gave it everything you had? Remember that US Army commercial that told you to “be all that you can be”? God Forgives and I Don’t is the musical representation of that thought. He took his favorite styles, stories, movies, and brands and patched them together into a masterpiece. What? Yes, a masterpiece.

A piece of work, crafted with mastery, GFID is Rick Ross at his Rickiest and Rossiest. If you wanted 2pac, you came to the wrong place. This certainly isn’t Public Enemy. But if you wanted the album that typifies what this artist is about, you will not be disappointed. The list of guest stars shows loyalty to both his team and his quest for a Billboard chart-topper.

Justice League production crafts the perfect milieu for his lavish expressions of urbane bravado
ostensibly attained with visionary ambition and through his pain in striving. Sure, we know that isn’t his
true background. But he delivers it as if he believes it and as though he expects us to as well. His lyrical
style has continued to evolve and his ear for production has yet to disappoint. Rick Ross, doing his best
Rick Ross impression, has just delivered the essential guide to himself.

Maybe the continual flood with the MMG brand is what held Rick Ross from creating goodness this time around for God Forgives I Don’t. There were some good spots here (Ten Jesus Pieces, Ice Cold) and there (“Maybach Music IV”, “Hold Me Back”) of usual Rawse schtick but a lot of missteps (anybody else rapping besides Rawse). However Ross provided the best pseudo gangster rap star lines of his career. EVERYBODY ELSE IS SUPERFLUOUS. IMO, Rich Forever was a better tape. Adding jams from Rick Forever only confirms that for me. There’s some replay value but overall it doesn’t live up to the title and the hype.