Album Review: Rick Ross-God Forgives, I Don’tAugust 1, 2012

by: Julian Kimble

In the midst of delays, whether they be musical or health-related, many music heads considered Rick Ross’s decision to name his fifth studio album God Forgives, I Don’t a very bold one. Despite adding the likes of Meek Mill, Wale and Stalley—oh, and Maybach O—to his roster and still being regarded as one of the hottest MC’s in the game, it’s been two years since Ross tore the clubs up with the riot-inciting “MC Hammer” and “B.M.F.” Despite the well-received mixtapes Ashes to Ashes and Rich Forever, many wondered if Rick Ross could recreate the magic and extend the promised dominance of his Untouchable Maybach Music Empire.

After the intro, the album officially begins with the plodding “Pirates.” Driven by ominous horns, the track is like a menacing pirate ship, equipped with a black MMG flag. By now we’ve all heard the Jay-Z and Dr. Dre assisted “3 Kings.” Dre kicks things off with an aggressive verse most likely penned by someone else, but the real star here is Jake One, who laced the beat. Ross laments the D-Boy lifestyle on the introspective “Ashamed,” but “Maybach Music IV” fails to duplicate the mark left by previous installments despite the anticipated wizard-like boardwork courtesy of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League.

One of the album’s most talked about tracks is “Sixteen,” which is essentially Andre 3000 displaying why he’s one of the best MC’s ever. Sure, it’s a little lengthy at over 8 minutes, but are we really mad at listening to Three Stacks carry on over a J.U.S.T.I.C.E League production in 2012? Meanwhile, “Amsterdam” is just more of the yacht music that we’ve come to expect from Rick Ross over the years. Some much-needed energy is brought on “911″ and the Meek Mill aided “So Sophisticated,” the latter of which you’ve heard before.

God Forgives, I Don’t offers the typical Rick Ross experience: well-organized imaginations of a Don’s lifestyle over excellent production, but it doesn’t leave the same impression as his previous effort, Teflon Don. The album lacks a record that you can instantly identify as a hit, and its early singles don’t come out and punch listeners in their mouths the way that the aforementioned “MC Hammer” and “B.M.F” or even “Super High” did. “Hold Me Back” is sure to start fights, but sounds just like the superior “Actin’ Up” from MMG’s Self Made 2. “Diced Pineapples,” which features some spoken word by Wale and a Drake hook, could’ve been so much more than what it is. We couldn’t get a Drake verse?

The album will leave Rozay fans satisified, and still shows a great deal of progression since his 2006 debut, Port of Miami. It’s still enjoyable, and regardless of how you feel about God Forgives, I Don’t, get used to hearing it.

Rating: 3.5/5
Standout Tracks: “Pirates,” “Ashamed,” “Sixteen,” “Amsterdam” and “3 Kings”

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