Review: 3.5 out of 5
Best Song: Maybach Music
Rosssssss. Ricky Ross returns with his second major album and follow up to his classic Port of Miami. The hype for this album has been way high for the simple reason that we haven’t had anything good for the last three months and let’s not forget Ross has made some hot guest appearances as of late. I myself, was amped for this album, for the same reasons stated, and practically fainted when I heard Mayback Music leak last week. Besides who wouldn’t want to listen to a man who has a Homer Simpson chain around his neck? I kid. So does Ross make a Trilla album? Check the breakdown.
1. Trilla Intro (Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
This intro sucks, beginning an album with shout outs? For me the “album-movie” concept naturally means you start of the album with an epic song about your “beginning”, you don’t roll the credits at the beginning of a movie, and you don’t do a shout out track at the beginning of an album. Ross needs to go back to “Port of Miami” for clarification.
2. All I Have In This World (Japanese Denim) (Produced by Mannie Fresh)
Though, I’ve heard this song a million times via Ross’ mixtape, so I maybe biased, but this song is not a good second song. I mean it’s slightly above average, but I’m really wondering when is this album going to start? And Japanese demin is so “These ain’t Diesel, these is Evisu”. Didn’t Jay say that in 2002?
3. The Boss featuring T-Pain (Produced by J. R. Rotem)
Here we go, this should have been the second song cause this shit is crackola. Matter of fact, Ross should have called his album “The Boss” and done a collab with Bruce Springsteen or something. You’ve probably already heard this so you already know what’s good. A T-Pain assisted hook and music video that paints Rick Ross as the 2008 Biggie how can you go wrong?
4. Speedin’ featuring R. Kelly (Produced by The Runners)
This song was seriously slept on by the masses as I think this joint right here is Rick Ross channeling the song Blow from Port of Miami. Also Kels verse is bananas. This record could have been re-worked into a R. Kelly featuring Rick Ross joint.
Best Line: “Sitting in the living room watching the Grammys, wishing that it was me that was on the Grammys”. -R.Kelly
5. We Shinin (Produced by Bink!)
Bink? I don’t recall hearing this guy since Jay-Z’s The Dynasty. It really feels like Hov and Rick Ross got together to create a new age Biggie as this album does a good job of pandering to East coast and Southern heads alike. Oh yeah and this song is a celebratory song about the good life -shouts to Kanye.
6. Money Make Me Cum (Produced by Drumma Boy)
The second this comes on you know this is a strip club joint. The whole concept of the song is brilliant as Ross cleverly points out the qualities of his ideal “trill” women. Lines like, “She don’t call ‘em pursues, bitch call ‘em bags/ I don’t know their names, but they cost a stack” and “I’m counting dough nigga, she a double count, something come up short, she a point it out”. Ross pen game is serious on this one, banging joint.
7. DJ Khaled Interlude
What can I say? Ross is homies with Khaled, but this is way over doing it. Khaled comes in on this like he’s muthafrucking god all mighty! But you know what? I ain’t going to hate, this could have worked as an intro to the album better than the shout out debacle.
8. This Is The Life featuring Trey Songz (Produced by Elvis)
The tablas tapping at the beginning of this song had me thinking it was a Timbaland joint, and when the beat kicked in I thought it was a Toomp joint, when I looked at the production credits, it shows as Elvis. WTF. This song is average, but I’m sure I would feel this more after I made a quick stack.
9. This Me (Produced by Dj Toomp)
Here’s a dreamy Toomp beat similar to the one he gave Jay-Z for American Gangster, but way better. Even though I heard this song a million times on the Ross mixtape, this version doesn’t have Dj Khaled screaming all over the place “THIS ME NIGGA” every other line -I kind of miss it. I know shoot me.
10. Here I Am featuring Nelly & Avery Storm (Produced by Drumma Tool)
This could work as a single, but what does Nelly really add to this one? In general, I think artists shouldn’t go into another artist’s lane on the same track, cause your probably going to get overshadowed, however, Nelly’s rating now a days are so low, Ross can say whatever. Also the singer on the hook, Avery Storm, is singing way too fast, let me help you count bars, 1,2, 1,2.
11. Maybach Music featuring Jay-Z (Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
Now this is a joint that elevates the game. The “Italian” sounding cooing at the beginning, and the smooth soul infused beat provides the perfect backdrop for Ross and Hov to spend some Euros. And yes there spending Euros, cause the US dollar is for you low class rappers. Also when Jay-Z gets into that “Rembrandt talk” even dudes with $1 dollar feel like billionaires.
Best Line: “The Mayback is bananas, peel back” -Jay-Z
12. Billionaire (Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
Speaking of billionaires, Just Blaze provides the soundscape for the albums second best song. For some reason I thought Fat Joe was going to show up on this one, as a similar feel to Cocababy. Again, Ross brings out a 2008 Biggie style pushing hood swag to the upper echelons of the hip hop boardroom. I can just picture the kids in Jersey bumping this one in their bimmas.
13. Luxury Tax featuring Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and Trick Daddy (Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
What’s an album without a Lil Wayne feature? Unlike the usual Weezy assisted tracks that seem like everyone on the song is impaired or something, this one actually strives to provide some thug motivation 101. I knew this song was on as soon as I heard Wayne start to go in from the jump with, “Even I look in the mirror like is it you? Then I say, I must be the hottest if it isn’t you”. Whoa.
14. Reppin My City featuring Triple C’s & Brisco (Produced by Carlos & Dada)
They cut the Flo-Rida assisted “Street Money” for this crap? The only thing that saves this song is Brisco, who in my humble opinion, is the next Southern artist to blow. I would need to be on vicodin to feel this one.
15. I’m Only Human featuring Rodney (Produced by Dj Nasty)
A great introspective track into the struggle behind the now wealthy Rick Ross. Ross details his crack dealings at the age of 12 coming from a single parent home wishing he had a father to watch him play football as a youngster and all that other fatherly things dads only on TV do. The only problem I have with this track is the hook, which reminds me of Boys 2 Men, which probably reminds people from the UK of Craig David, which probably reminds Canadians of Distinct Nature, which probably reminds old white people of The Human League.
Even though Ross promised this album would be as good as Micheal Jackson’s Thriller, which was a way to high expectation to fulfill. At best, Ross fans will say this is slightly lower than Port of Miami and at worst this is better than the album Fat Joe just dropped.