Monday, April 20, 2009

Rick Ross - "Deeper Than Rap" Album Review

Perception. is. reality.

Rick. Ross. is. a. fraud.

"Deeper Than Rap". is. almost. perfect.


When he rolled up on the national scene in his white Maybach and monster single "Hustlin'" back in 2006, we all knew Rick Ross wasn't being 100% with us. Especially with him bragging about how fabled drug lord Noriega owed him several favors. Right. Still, "Hustlin'" banged, and which of our rap stars was really keeping it 100% with us anyway? That rumor about him being a former Correctional Officer didn't help Ross' image any, especially since he vehemently denied being involved in any types of law enforcement type activity, before AND after the picture of William Roberts (Ross' real name) in full C.O. regalia surfaced on the internets, clearly showing us all what type of kingpin the "Bawss" really was before rap. Why didn't this nigga just tell the truth?

The past couple of months with him being savagely destroyed by Curtis Jackson didn't help any either. Still, the buzz was that Ross's latest album, "Deeper Than Rap" which drops today was extraordinarily good. So good even that no matter how badly dude was getting sonned before our eyes, this album might could be the one that would salvage the dead brand that is Rick Ross, similar in manner to how the Nas machine was resurrected after he dropped "Ether".

"Deeper Than Rap" is almost that good. With 14 songs clocking in at just under an hour, the only throwaway track is the God awful "All I Really Want (Feat. The-Dream)". The Dream is so overrated and overexposed and it clearly shows on this track, almost so that I wish T-Pain, his Autotune and Akon were on it instead. T-Pain would have murdered it. If you cop this, please do yourself a favor and always skip this one. "Deeper Than Rap" is a lushly produced album filled with melodies that are reminiscent of that beautiful 1970's cocaine soundtrack music, milky piano keys, warm soulful hooks and rain like strings pervading almost every track, every corner on the album. As a whole, this comes as close as possible to being the most perfect grown and sexy rap album ever produced. This is the album Jay-Z should have dropped when he did "American Gangster". The subject matter is basically that same Rick Ross material, you know, the one dimensional songs about kingpins, chicks, cars and one murderous 1990's New York sounding diss track "In Cold Blood" aimed at you know who. Rick's flows are tighter this go round and even complement the stellar production which takes center stage leaving Rick to play the background. Guest artists Kanye West, T-Pain and Lil Wayne ("Maybach Music 2"), Nas ("Usual Suspects"), and John Legend ("Magnificent") help in making Ross sound a tad bit more credible. But not that much and not really. Foxy Brown drops a cameo on "Murda Mami" and as much as I'm a fan of her old work, there's something that's not sounding right about her performance. Trina, however, and whom I've never really felt before, kills it with Ross on the banger that is "Face", a bouncy Southern joint about ... face, that will be banging out of every candy painted whip and strip club in the US. Flex will most def be dropping a bomb to that. Because the production throughout is that dope, Rick playing the background is a very good thing. Producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, The Inkredibles, The Runners, DJ Toop and all others truly went in.

And ultimately the problem that cannot be fixed on this album is Rick Ross himself. Not his performance though, he shocks the eff outta me on this. The elephant in the room is Rick Ross. Other than MC Shan and Ja Rule, I don't think there's ever been a rapper who's come out from beef as banged up and damaged as Ross' image. His being a fraud cubed kills every mental picture I have of him, especially since what I perceive him to be is so far from the amazing shit that's presented on the cd. This has to be one of the MOST historic moments in rap history, where a rapper with the most eff'd up image ever drops their most incredible album to a non-believing audience. Almost like Chingy dropping a masterpiece on "Illmatic" level next week. There is nothing known to man that can restore the mess that is Rick Ross. Not this album, nothing. This is a major win AND major PU~ for Ross.

For what it's worth, this is a damn near classic album, the kind that I will be bumping in the crib when I have friends over, only I won't be letting them know it's Ross that I'm playing. It's that good and his cred is that bad.

"Deeper Than Rap" gets 4 Combat Jack salutes out of 5.


  1. not a fan of ross or anything, (he sucks just as bad as 50) but your obsession with 50 cent is disturbing, maybe this album will convince him to get off his lazy ass and pick some good beats by established producers and proceed to rip...maybe

  2. can’t criticize niggas tryin’ to get jobs
    betta get smart, young brotha live yours
    only live once, and i got two kids
    and for me to feed them i’ll get two gigs
    i’ll shovel shit, i’ll C.O.
    so we can bow our heads and pray over the meatloaf
    i’m looking at the big picture
    keep a bitch wit’ya, tryin’ to get a bit richer

    all the Pimpin' Curly skits in the world can't take away the reality of those lines.

    in my opinion, 50 didn't do damage to Rick Ross rep so much as Ross did damage to his own rep. he should've just kept it real from the jump about being a C.O. who gives a fuck? after all, being a C.O. doesn't necessary preclude someone from a being a drug dealer (or at least that's the line i would've run with).

    i imagine it must suck being a street rapper and having to maintain such a bullshit image...

  3. to the previous commentors, what are you smoking and can i have a hit? the biggest fraud in the game since ja, the game, and joe (see mafia music 2) puts out a half way decent album that not one word can be believed of, and you try to defend him? be serious

    say what you want about 50 but he is and was and always will be what he says he is, and thats why people, especially people who were/are in the industry give him the respect he is due. people gotta get over the fact that they hate on him because he makes them feel some sort of way about their own situation, its called being an adult

    CJ, nice write up, peace

  4. so ja rule's not a rapper, game, joe also...
    newsflash ALL rappers lie or's called entertainment, nobody is defending rick ross, truth be told, his persona as a rapping cop instead of a kingpin would have been original and more interesting.

    50 cent on the other hand is not a rapper, cj said himself. instead of going and improving on his craft, he opts to create beefs to keep himself in the news. fuck the beef, give me 52 bars for a price and maybe i'll support, but until then rap will continue to suck balls since 04

  5. Props to Officer Ricky for making good music. But fuck Officer Ricky for not being a man about his which is more important than anything. A man only has his word & his balls and right now Ricky is barely hanging on to his balls (pause). To consistently deny a reality of your life to the point that you got DJ Vlad jumped for stating a fact, screamed "it was photoshopped!" & insinuated that Trick Daddy has AIDS all because you couldn't be man enuff to admit you were a C.O.? FUCK OFFICER RICKY. Not because he was a C.O. but becuz he wasn't man enuff to admit it. Why lie to the youth? Keep it funky. 1.
    p.s. RapFanatic Magazine needs a Combat Jack interview!

  6. Musically this album is tight, in a 2nd Freeway album kinda way.

    As for Rawse himself, lack of credibility in hip hop is like bad credit in the business world.

  7. "If you cop this, please do yourself a favor and always skip this one."


  8. Officer Ricckkkkkaaaaaay, 50 destroyed this guy, i couldnt walk in a store to cop this sans balaclava. might torrent it

    good read CJ

  9. "Foxy Brown drops a cameo on "Murda Mami" and as much as I'm a fan of her old work, there's something that's not sounding right about her performance."

    Thats because she's gone DEAF. I remember when old girl came out with the surprise "Affirmative Action" performance (complete w/Cormega!) when Nas' did his "Hip-Hop Is Dead" album debut show at the Nokia a few years back. Ole Inga came out in full swag but sounded like one of Damon Wayans Handi-Man gag voices. Foxy got it bad yo...

  10. I say this is a pretty fair review....totally disagreed with your Asher review by the way, but that's just me...I can't fux wit Roth on no level....Can't really dig Ross too much either but I can't front sonically the album is crazy and lyrically he stepped it waaaay up. Those two things and still being able to hold his head high despite the beef with 50, I gotta give him credit.........He did lie on his Rapplication tho' but who doesn't? He just got caught out there..........I think if Ross does good numbers, 50 may have to find a new schtick.

  11. This is an on point review, Combat. I WANTED duke to fail, and he survived the sonning of all sonnings by the bricklaying gazillionaire, Fiff. Deeper than Rap is a solid CD, which is much more than I can say for ANY top notch rapper these days. You'd be hard pressed to find any CD in the last 6 months that has better production.

    NONE of that slick sh*t that ANY of these rappers talk is real. It's all in the packaging and positioning (II). Pick any in your top 5, and you'll find some fraudulent sh*t going on. I remember when Eric B & Rakim came out with their first single...they did a club performance in NJ and the R got on stage smiling, cabbage patching, all types of happy-go-lucky sh*t...then the videos came out and dude was all brolick, and he ran with it.

  12. Only really interested in the instrumentals.... Ross is just too much of a transparent gangster caricature for me to tolerate listenin to the man.....or contributing to his wealth

  13. i don't get it. the beats aren't anything revolutionary. lush. heavy strings. 70s coke and porn soundtracks.

    i just don't get it.

    maybe people are loving the fact that this is the first rap record in years to feel like an ALBUM. from front to back, there is cohesiveness to this record.

    that is all. can't listen to the bawssse at all.

    however, cohesiveness does not mean i'm gonna spend money buying this record or time downloading it.

  14. It's weird, I agree with CJ's comments, but completely disagree with his conclusion. This is a Rick Ross album: fantastic production, some giant hooks, competent guest verses. But Ross himself is just such a nonentity as a rapper, nothing he does ever sinks in. And I couldn't give a shit about his authenticity or credibility; he's just boring. To his credit, Deeper Than Rap is 58 cohesive minutes, which is more than can be said for like 90% of post-2000 rap albums.

  15. Rick Rawse is the biggest DOUCHE that I've seen thus far.

  16. RIck Ross, fuck that, more like "I like to suck my own Dick Ross". What a fuckin' shitty review. This shit better than the Eminem Relapse album. You got to be kiddin', you racist or somethin. What, does rap hafta be only bout money and hoes and so you decide you give 2 ass salutes to a genius Eminem with sick Dre beats. You know shit from crap. Go fuck yourself, you motherfucker. Or is it that this wannabe rapper has a drug dealer name, so he gets the edge for such a poor shit review. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Fuck you, you fuckin' asshole!

  17. Ems album is aiight but its some whiteboy shit no offence but a lotta shit just doesnt connect with me as a person even if ross is fakehe makes great beat selections and has a delivery thats nice to listen to throw in the fact that he might spit something that i can relate to and

    deeper than rap > relapse

  18. Niggaz, get some to do....

    The game is money.... u'd better get to it...

    otherwise u'll be hating other niggaz 4ever.