Rick Ross takes aim at the executive lounge on his third go-round, trading skittery hi-hats for bouncy, rocking beats that pair very well with his commanding baritone. In fact, he switches things up quite a bit on Deeper Than Rap, coming with plenty of beats perfect for gliding up the highway in the hot Florida sun.
Do I care that Rick Ross doesn't actually have Manuel Noriega's phone number, as he boasted in his debut mega-single, "Hustin'"? Not particularly. Do I care that he has a song on Deeper Than Rap called "Rich Off Cocaine," despite his alleged previous job as a corrections officer? Again, not really.
Ross takes aim at the executive lounge on his third go-round, trading skittery hi-hats for bouncy, rocking beats that pair very well with his commanding baritone.
In fact, Ross switches things up quite a bit on "Deeper Than Rap." An angular piano riff provides the backbone for "Yacht Club," burbling synths and a John Legend cameo propel "Magnificent," and a slightly-dissonant island melody snakes through "Bossy Lady."
But even when things get a little gangsta-by-numbers, it's still enjoyable. Take the opener, "Mafia Music": its really just a slightly sped-up "Hustin'" without the trap-rap accoutrements, but that doesn't mean I'm not nodding my head to it right now.
It's a little galling to hear Ross rap about rolling around in his Maybach during one of the roughest economic dips in recent memory, but then again, part of hip-hop's appeal has always been its ability to serve as a vehicle for escapist fantasy.
Kind of like an ex-corrections officer pretending he's Pablo Escobar. OK, that was a cheap shot ... besides, I'm envious of Ross's tribal-Afghan-warlord-style beard. Seriously.
So while it might not be quite as deep as its title suggests, Ross's newest offering provides plenty of beats perfect for gliding up the highway in the hot Florida sun.
Listen to samples from "Deeper Than Rap" at Amazon.com.