- God Forgives, I Don't by Rick Ross Label: Maybach Music Group/Def Jam Release Date: July 31st 2012
Not even back to back seizures can hold Rick Ross back apparently. The road to this release has been quite a long one, plagued with seizures, pushbacks, lost singles, and one of the best mixtapes to date that even made me wonder – how the hell was he going to top this? God Forgives, I Don’t may be Rick Ross’ fifth studio album, but the full fledged effort Rich Forever – which featured huge names like Diddy, 2 Chainz, Kelly Rowland, Drake, Nas, Wale, John Legend, Pharrell and more certainly made us wonder, how the hell was he going to top this? Well, God Forgives I Don’t provides the perfect continuation of the previous project. The famine to feast tales are fully showcased in the most cinematic fashion throughout the entire LP, and it may just be the bawse’s best effort to date.
Teflon Don was the full turning point in Rozay focusing on attempting to tell a story through a masterpiece, instead of assembling 15-20 tracks and hoping it makes a dope album. With that album, the boss exceeded his prior works both sonically and lyrically, and refuses to let the heat simmer as he just turns it up a notch despite the few step backs.
As the only man who can scoop up Dr. Dre and Jay-Z on one record, Rozay made much more than just a record with “3 Kings”, but an event as he boasts possibly the only two hip hop artists who can be classified as bigger than the biggest bawse. Lavish raps, a fierce and powerful backdrop – the scene is set almost perfectly. Hov uses the opportunity not to perfect the perfect 16, like the other two members of the triumvirate, but instead flexes his freestyling skills all over the cut and capping it with those now ever so frequent Blue Ivy bars.
However, the MVPs on this effort might just be the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League – who’s previous collaborations with Ross stretching back to Trilla have been first-class. The intricacy of the production, The triumphant horns, the chest thumping drums, the groovy baseline – perfection, all together produce the perfect experience. “Maybach Music IV” returns to only a sole feature in Ne-Yo, whose has a nearly flawless track record on hip hop hooks, since it’s genesis. The opulent opus continues into the Andre 3000 assisted “Sixteen”, a record which breaks the standards of traditional rap record. Sixteen bars aren’t imprisoning these hip hop heavyweights, as Ross and 3 Stacks give you their absolutely best on the standout cut. Everything rolls perfectly. The League continue to give treats towards the end of the album with “Ten Jesus Pieces” featuring Stalley and the remastered, “Triple Beam Dreams” featuring Nas if you purchase the deluxe edition.
The groovy, luxurious trip however is at it’s end once the trap records start rolling around. The boisterous bellow of the boss rolls through on the records, “Hold Me Back”, “911″ and “So Sophisticated.” The initial record seems to be the strongest out of the three, yet “911″ appears to be a much more stripped down version of the previous. Neither record are a step forward from the records on his previous effort, Teflon Don like “MC Hammer” and “B.M.F.” and they just overall, destroy whatever painting he was trying to paint in favor of reaching that certain audience.
The more melodic tunes float to the bottom of the track list, the Pharrell produced “Presidential” featuring the soaring falsetto of Elijah Blake. MMG’s newest addition to the stable, Omarion continues his flawless track record since hopping on on “Ice Cold”, and the two-hit KO shot comes in the form of the Usher assisted “Touch ‘N You” and the final piece to make sure your lady requires a boss in her life on the romantic “Diced Pineapples.” Drake on the hook already makes it a certified winner amongst the females, and the exquisite spoken word from Wale seals the deal.
Rozay’s best work to date comes with it’s minor bumps, but when it’s on – it’s on. “Teflon Don” is still the personal favorite, just as it was really the kick off of the entire movement, and Rich Forever still stands as one of the strongest projects of the year – but God Forgives I Don’t certainly holds it’s own against the two. The biggest boss has finally perfected his art, his sound, his persona on this effort.