“Epic Records” premiere project by Big Boss, Rick Ross, Ricky Rozay. Hit the wide angles of music industry streets less than 24 hours ago. This ninth studio piece wears a title “Rather You Than Me” and according to Rick it`s going to be his “magnum opus”. A 14-track crowning craft is featured with mega global collabos we sincerely hope will be able to hold up to their shine.
The Track List
1. “Apple of My Eye” Feat. Raphael Saadiq
2. “Santorini Greece”
3. “Idols Become Rivals” Feat. Chris Rock
4. “Trap Trap Trap” Feat. Young Thug and Wale
5. “Dead Presidents” Feat. Future, Jeezy and Yo Gotti
6. “She on My Dick” Feat. Gucci Mane
7. “I Think She Like Me” Feat. Ty Dolla $ign
8. “Powers That Be” Feat. Nas
9. “Game Ain’t Based On Sympathy”
11. “Lamborghini Doors” Feat. Meek Mill and Anthony Hamilton
12. “Triple Platinum” Feat. Scrilla
13. “Maybach Music V” Feat. DeJ Loaf
14. “Summer Seventeen” Feat. Yo Gotti
Real Talk in The Air
“Rather You Than Me” Rick decides to start-open with soulful, but real-talk deep “Apple Of My Eye” with first feature Raphael Saadiq. Down-to-Earth lyrics of gratitude and love, paste Ross`s love towards his hard work. Jazzy brasses are imprinted nicely in the atmosphere behind right listener`s channel, creating a smooth NY night club vibes.
And from that, we fly-jump to “Santorini Greece”, a classic Hip Hop sample-banger from amazing Bink! on the track. This Grammy-winning producer layered another Jazzy-topping rolling in slow motion for Mayback Boss. Main author keeps unraveling his past, talking about different types of hustling, touching on selling drugs, political stances and more. His lavish live fight against racism is captivated in the next row of lines:
“We in the last days, these racist agendas
Blatant double standards because I’m a nigga
Jesse Jackson on them people payroll (fuck him)
When you black, lips chapped cause the game cold
I’m giving niggas jobs when I sing songs
White man love me when I get my bling on
But you hate me buying real estate in foreign land”.
Birdman Diss And Hard Trappin` Anthem
Chris Rock`s skit was taken for the intro of “Idols Become Rivals”, that has become Rick`s most infamous track on the “Rather You Than Me”. It`s a diss track, dedicated to his mentor-turned-nemesis Birdman. Black Metaphor stands behind this tame-production piece in which Ross dismantles his emotions. He fiercely tackles Birdman`s treatment of Lil Wayne`s music deals with bars like these:
“I pray you find the kindness in your heart for Wayne
His entire life, he gave you what there was to gain
I watched this whole debacle so I’m part to blame
Last request, can all producers please get paid?”.
“Trap Trap Trap” features Young Thug and Wale and it`s a real page turner. My first favorite on the Rather You Than Me”. Let`s just first get that impress meter on the amazing MMG superproducer Beat Billionaire. Thick 808`s roll in so slick, it takes all your attention off of other things. Bass line follows in exactly in the way that is needed for this banger to be a serious trouble maker. And them guys, oh, did they deliver or what.
The strung up tension is felt all over the place, with sick lyrics extending the feel, especially with Wale lining:
“Famous here but I’m humble, Double M the Empire
Renzel got me all day, I’m Kyrie, he LeBron James
Tired niggas say Folarin ain’t top
I’ve been SportsCenter every day
I ain’t nothin’ like them trap guys, I mean I kinda do bag dimes
I kinda never do back down, leave a nigga high via rap lines
Get a beat, leave it baptized, mob ties, but it’s black lives
Black lives, nigga, trap lives, gimme five on the black side”.
Rick Ross`s Usual Suspects
In the middle opening, we can hear the usual Rick Ross Trap bangering. The super-deep bass linings with different bell arrangement and 808 rolls that smash the atmosphere syncing in with authentic brass hit patches. Another well-known hit single “Dead Presidents” ft. Yo Gotti, Jezzy and Future is again smash-produced by Beat Billionaire. And his work finds his use in the next one, “She On My Dick”, a raw spit on Ross`s lavish life with his friend Gucci joining the track. It`s a typical Trap arrangement with maybe already heard before brass hit settlement. But still a super-dope mood room for a club banger.
“I Think She Like Me” sits right in the center of “Rather You Than Me” with a smooth bouncing taste. TY Dolla $ign completes the softness of the whole jam with his nice drop in the hook park. I love this hit, it`s so catchy and easy on the ear groove. Well-done job for J-Pilot and C Gutta for the production.
Nas helps with “Powers That Be” with another Chris Rock intro take. Sap produced this joint and it`s a bit too much of that same old Rick Ross, the expected rap flow that has been pushed through hearing system too many times before. The instrumental is also a bit too alternative for my taste. Too atmospheric.
Final Piece Of The Cake
Down to last six tracks, well, there`s nothing that much different in Rick Ross`s signature. I`m not liking Rick`s instrumental picks for this project, especially if we`re talking about the “Scientology” drop. Following the steps of again heard-before Jazzy slow rendition of “Game Ain`t Based On Sympathy”, which also gets threaded with too much weird synth dubs, “Scientology” gets even deeper with crazy town illness.
Anthony Hamilton and Meek Mill try to fix things up for us on “Lamborghini Doors”, but the loop feel keeps spreading around my impress meter like sickness. It`s too slow on energy and I`m getting a serious rush of monotony in my mood drawer.
“Tripple Platinum” and “Maybach Music” follow the exact same steps, no matter the quality of lyrics. Last track finally strikes a bulls eye. It starts in the “too much compressed” feel, but it keeps unrolling nicely after. This is the real Rick Ross energy, that completely sculpts his true power. “Summer Seventeen” featuring Yo Gotti is a masterpiece art of Beat Billionaire, with exceptional bell tops and brass synth riffs. The energy is just super-hyphy! It`s a classic hit banger, talking about lavishness of life and getting even richer by Summer `17.
What`s The Definite Number?
It`s really not so hard to make a final decision, even for a mega legendary mogul like Rick Ross. The first third of the “Rather You Than Me” is pretty well constructed. Then comes the close to excellence golden middle. But the cranky trail really disappoints, excluding the very last drop of “Summer Seventeen” that has been like a last minute save button.
With inevitable crowning of never-failing intelligent lyricism, looking at the project as a whole, I cannot give more than 6 out of 10 for this Rick. It is not something you can enjoy on a daily basis. But it has its blissful spots and undoubtedly high rate of professionalism. It just needs more of that super-producer energy buzz.
Get the album here or stream direct from Spotify below: