Once more reiterating his resemblance to a cannonball in both form and nature, Rick Ross has executed a relentless and wide-reaching marketing campaign in anticipation of his fifth studio album: God Forgives, I Don’t.
In addition to contributing guest verses to tracks from Nas, Usher, French Montana, Juvenile and Birdman, Ross has stretched his calendar in the past few months to include the marketing of a compilation album from Maybach Music Group, as well as a healthy trickle of advance singles and a seemingly permanent presence on the cover of XXL magazine.
Hell, even the man’s ongoing lawsuit with his spiritual predecessor is drumming up headlines this week.
It can be shocking to consider that Ross has gained such impressive renown on the foundation of a largely fabricated public image and a somewhat myopic range as an MC. He’s like hip-hop’s answer to Billy Holiday, deriving small miracles from the basis of a limited vocal range.
At the end of the day, Rick Ross’s talent as a lyricist is deceptively limited: he barks about having come up from poverty to wealth, then illuminates the many material goods that this rapid rise has provided him. Even on a single about the drug trade’s collateral violence he manages to make the drug trade sound pretty awesome. Even after revelations about his past as a Miami County correctional officer, he kept pushing his hardcore gangster image without missing so much as a beat.
His ability to get away with these outrageous displays of cognitive dissonance stems from his talent for maintaining a laser-like focus on exactly the parts of his shtick that work. Rick Ross knows what he’s good at, and the only variations he displays are matters of velocity.
In this preview clip (courtesy of MTV), Ross maintains the brand while laying further groundwork for the release of one of the year’s most anticipated albums. Given the man’s consistency and focus, there can be little doubt as to what the LP will sound like, and that’s not in any way a bad thing.
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