Remember when Rick Ross popped up onto the scene screaming “Everyday I’m Hustlin’?” I’m sure you do, from that white on white BMW to that epic beard. Rozay came in the game screaming “Boss” and that was that. What you may not remember is that he was the first one to popularize the screwed up Miami-style hooks from The Runners. After that, we got three years straight of rappers duplicating this style for years to come. Whether you were a struggle rapper or Lil’ Wayne, the screwed up hook was the go-to sound to make sure that you had a “hot record.” It was like getting a popular singer for an R&B track, or a hot producer for a “hit.”
People don’t seem to remember that Ross did that. They also don’t seem to remember that he raised the stakes when he took a simply orchestrated Lex Luger production and screamed “I think I’m Big Meech, Larry Hoover” and reinvented what we now know as Trap Music. The sound that has been relevant for the past 5 years! Who did that before Ross? I’ll wait.
How many artist can survive a fiasco as big as CO-gate? Again, I’ll wait. How many artists stood tall against 50 Cent? Again, I’ll wait. How many artists can consistently get Jay Z features on back to back to back to back albums? Again, I’ll wait.
Pay attention, there’s a reason why Rick Ross has been able to last as long as he has with an avalanche of adversity constantly raining on his parade. His music is of A1 quality. When the world turned its back to Ross after pictures of him as a correctional officer leaked, what did he do? Turned around and dropped Trilla which featured Maybach Music which is easily one of the most elegant hip hop records of all time. When 50 Cent was up to his usual tricks and involving family members in a rap beef, what did Ross do? Turn around and drop Deeper Than Rap, which you should do yourself a favor and listen to (at least these tracks).
When people thought he fell off and his constant boasts of being a “Baws!” was fluff, he turned around and formed MMG – his imprint that gave Wale new life, Meek Mill a stable platform, and a slew of other rappers an opportunity to expand their brands (Stalley, Rockie Fresh).
I say this because at some point all greatness has to be recognized. The man isn’t in hip hop’s in crowd because he has a nice beard. He’s put together some of the greatest hip hop catalogs of all time. For those that think he’s a product of today’s climate – understand that Ross had been grinding for 10 years before his first album hit the shelves. He did work on Trick Daddy’s Slip-N-Slide Records and ghostwrote for artists before his time. For you hip-hop elitists out there, take a look at some of the guest features on some of Ross’ songs
Listen to these songs and understand how at home those artists are on those beats, but then how current they sound for today’s hip hop.
I know that we love the “real” in hip hop and that’s why Ricky Rozay doesn’t get that love from those “fake” fans of the music. I too believe he does oversell his character at times, especially when it starts to feel like an insult to our intelligence, but if that’s what made him put together soul conjuring records such as “Aston Martin Music” and the Maybach Music series, then sell on brother.
There’s plenty of artists that will vouch for the man. Kanye West has gone on record and stated that “Ross is on GOOD Music.” Drake had a year where they were on everything together. He was Weezy’s go-to guy after his prison bid. He and Nas were the only two rap artists on Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail. He was the only rap feature on Nas’ Life Is Good. If it wasn’t for the 50 Cent beef, I’m sure Eminem would have found good use for Rozay (because Dr. Dre did).
With Hood Billionaire on the way, I think it’s very important that we realize that a very formidable artists is giving us two albums in one year in a move that seems like it was done more for the people around him than himself. If you got that from your favorite artist, be happy. When it’s all said and done there is truly only one Rozay.