MUSIC WORLD: Rick Ross Presents “God Forgives, I Don’t”
I’ve been going back and forth about whether social networking has hurt or helped album releases. I’m specifically referring to the buzz around artists via tweets from tastemakers and friends. Before an album releases, bloggers who’ve had the privilege of hearing it early, usually hype an album up to astronomical levels which in turn makes it impossible for the actual product to live up to the hype. We’ve all seen it done. Enter: God Forgives, I Don’t.
Just like the rest of the thirst mongers, I listened to the album almost a week before it dropped because it leaked to the internets. But before the drop, there were a number of tracks made available, including the hotly anticipated “3 Kings” track featuring Dr. Dre and Jay-Z. We won’t talk about how unimpressive that entire track was, except the Jay-Z contribution (which I’ve featured for this week’s “Lyrics of the Week”). I’ve been a not-so-secret semi-fan of Ricky Rozay for years. I hate that I like him. Are there better rappers? Sure. Better camps? Definitely. But you can’t deny the anticipation surrounding his new releases.
Despite lackluster singles (“So Sophisticated,” “Hold Me Back”), listeners have been cochlear-ly salivating to listen to The Bawse’s newest work. As a whole, I found the album to be exactly what I expect from a Rick Ross album. Full of unexpected features, MMG all over the album, and another rendition of “Maybach Music.” Interestingly enough, the singles are some of the weakest tracks on the album. The album opens with a prayer asking God for forgiveness to a nigga that doesn’t know the way. I couldn’t make this shit up. The album picks up steam with the second track. “Pirates” is exactly what you expect from Rick Ross. Heavy beat, drug and money talk, grunting, etc. The album then hits what I consider it’s buildup and peak. And not enough could be said about Rick Ross bringing out the mixtape Shawn Carter. How long has it been since we’ve been exposed to that? Tracks 3-7 are the most cohesive sounding tracks of the album, most notably the transition between the Ne-Yo assisted “Maybach Music IV” and the soulful “Sixteen” featuring (the I-won’t-drop-a-solo-album-but-I’ll-be-on-every-hot-album-of 2012) Andre 3000. Check it out below.
After the smootheness of “Sixteen,” Rozay picks up speed with his usual southern bump sound, grouping “Hold Me Back” and “911” which I could’ve sworn were produced by the same people. But apparently they weren’t. I’m not sure who that’s insulting, but he could’ve made it a 10-minute track a la Frank Ocean‘s “Pyramids.” The album then slows down for the last third. Here’s where the MMG crew comes in, including Omarion. “Diced Pineapples,” featuring spoken word and a verse from Wale and hook courtesy of Drake, was released ahead of the album, as well. It’s definitely one of the standout tracks, further solidifying Wale‘s move to MMG. When are we going to get a book of poetry from Wale Folarin? The standard release includes one more track with Stalley that has a bluesy feel while the deluxe version includes two more tracks from his “Rick Forever” mixtape release. Including the Nas-assisted “Triple Beam Dreams” was genius. His album is hot and the track was one of the best from the mixtape.
My overall conclusion of the album: 7/10. Solid. Rick Ross assembled a collective of interesting features while still appealing to those fans that seek his hard-thumping drug talk and his soulful retrospective tracks. If you’ve already downloaded the album, save yourself the couple of dollars and buy two copies of Cruel Summer. You’re welcome.
Standout tracks: “Sixteen,” “Diced Pineapples,”Ashamed,” and “Maybach Music IV.” Throwaways: “Hold Me Back,” “Presidential,” and “Ice Cold.”
What do you think?
*Editor’s Note: Was I the only person that didn’t know “Touch’n You” was going to be “Fucking You” on the album? My virgin ears were assaulted by this revelation.*