Rick Ross 'Mastermind' Review: Guest Vocals Save This Vapid Album
Last week, Rick Ross finally dropped his sixth studio album, Mastermind, which was released by Def Jam, Slip-N-Slide, Maybach Music. After his unforgiven-by-critics God Forgives But I Don’t album, a comeback was definitely in order. However, Mastermind does not exactly live up to the expectations that the title of the album suggests. Rick Ross continues his themes of excessive luxury, juxtaposed against violent, gangsta aspects, without adding anything new.
A lot of the songs, especially "In Vein" featuring The Weeknd, employ softer sounds contrasted against Rick Ross’ tougher raps.
Other collaborators that really elevate the album are Kanye West and Big Sean in "Sanctified," Meek Mill in "Walking on Air," Lil’ Wayne in "Thug Cry," Jay-Z in "Devil is a Lie" and Jeezy in "War Ready," to name a few. The featured artists really act as a saving grace to the set.
"Drug Dealer’s Dream" starts off with an exact number of Ross’ bank account, which for the record is a mere “$92,153,183.28.” The flaunting of the luxurious life that the artist leads is more overplayed than offensive. We get that he swimming in money, but what else does he have to tell us? "Rich is Gangsta" is not a far cry from anything else that he has done, and follows the patterns of the album. Besides the lyrical aspects, the album is also lacking in rhythmic risks. The album leaves us yawning.
The best song is, hands down, "The Devil is a Lie." While it’s line after line describing the rapper’s favorite toys (including his Rolls Royce and Bordeaux wine) the beat is pretty captivating, and the song features a great rap by Jay-Z.
Recently, Rick Ross survived a drive-by shooting in Miami. But with Mastermind, Rick Ross proves that near death experiences don't always provide powerful fodder for a hard-hitting album. While the album has catchy beats and all the enjoyable usual parts of his old albums, Mastermind’s problem is that it fails to truly surpass as something memorable.
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