Album Review - Rick Ross- Mastermind

Ricky Rozay seemed to suffer a bit of a loss of momentum it seemed when the album got pushed back from it's original 4th quarter date in December. However, Ross hasn't et much stop him and his fans were still salivating and waiting for the album after seeing Ross and Keezy pose for promotional photos for their song and hearing the single which featured Jay-z. So it's easy to say that Ross isn't done by any means. Most people know, I'm not a fan, Ross' albums are often the same thing and don't have or make any real statements. With that said, let's dig into the latest album release from Rick Ross, Mastermind .

The first song on the album is classic Ross, "Rich is Gangsta" where he spits his luxurious vision bars to let us know how he is a boss and having money makes him this guy. It's solid what you expect from Ross from the voice inflections to the cascading beat. This then goes into "Drug Dealer's Dream" which is less of what I was expecting in terms of how Ross goes into his descriptions on this particular song. Same thing in "Supreme" and "Black & White" is just the hustler's tale.

The third part in the Mafia Music series features Sizzla and Mavado and it doesn't really have any striking moments. Ross' bragging just seems to be redundant and lack his normal arrogance and aggressiveness. "In The Vein" drags along as Rick decides to be the latest rapper to let The Weekend croon through over half of the song before showing up. Kanye brings Big Sean along on "Sanctified" and the song is alright, though Ye makes sure to cop out and force some bars on his verse pretty much 'just because he can'. Best thing is they minimize Sean. French Montana gets two appearances, one of which is on "What A Shame" which is some throwback NYC hip-hop shit. Ross gets into the track which is powered by the drums more than the samples which Ross normally goes to.

The other French feature is "Nobody" which also includes Puff channeling his inner 90's and talking shit before the choruses as Ross remakes the Biggie classic "You're nobody til somebody kills you". This is a bittersweet moment. On one hand this song was just important to me hip-hop wise, and if anyone could remake it successfully, it's Ross. However, there are a couple of things wrong to me, one the singer they have added is annoying and French's version of the hook isn't the best version to me. Ross also tries to hard in his first verse and doesn't really pull it off what the song is although he does redeem himself in verse two.

"Walkin on Air" seems like it should be the perfect Maybach Music song with Meek Mill but it doesn't ever bring the energy at all. A lot of people were bullish on the latest collaboration with Jay-Z, "Devil is a Lie" but this song was extra disappointing. Hov's lyrics were lazy and the beat wasn't conducive to Ross carrying the track. The other big news collab, featuring Jeezy is "War Ready" which has one of the worst hooks ever. Jeezy does his thing and outshines Ross mightily. There are also three bonus tracks most people will be getting but this is the album everyone is guaranteed to get.

I have said it before that there is nothing more to expect from Ross. If you just like things to be straightforward and you like his style and what he raps about every single time then you should like this. However it seems like Ross is in for a slight dip even to those fans, I mean you often like music because of what it is at that moment, if you're still doing the same thing 8 years later the stagnation becomes even more apparent. The few things I normally find to like in an album from Rozay are lacking a bit here. There aren't many of those energetic moments like the last album's "Hold Me Back" where the track and energy matched perfectly. The entire I'm special because I have money aspect is old and the pictures don't seem this vivid in this album. Mastermind was slightly underwhelming and even a star like Ross can sometimes seem to be searching for something that isn't there.

Rating: 3/5


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