Rick Ross Consistent on ‘Rather You Than Me’
On his ninth studio album, ‘Rather You Than Me,’ Rick Ross maintains the utmost consistency. Sex, money, and drugs remains the M.O.
On his ninth studio album, Rather You Than Me, little has changed for southern rapper Rick Ross. Ross continues to rap about the subjects that have consistently graced his albums – sex, money, and drugs. Although Ross in in his comfort zone, Rather You Than Me gives him another solid addition to his discography. Hey, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“Apple of My Eye”
The soulful “Apple of My Eye” commences Rather You Than Me. Rick Ross is assisted by Raphael Saadiq, who helps give the record that soulful edge. Ross is reflective, commenting about his crew (“I told Meek, ‘I wouldn’t trust Nicki’ / Instead of beefing with your dawg you just give ‘em some distance’”), his come-up, and referencing 45 (“I’m happy Donald Trump became the president / Because we gotta destroy, before we elevate”). All in all, Ross is in his wheelhouse.
The lengthier “Santorini Greece” follows, continuing to find Ross expressing his innermost thoughts. Not all of those thoughts are particularly deep, but it’s hard to knock the luxurious production work, particularly the emotional saxophone. Reflection continues on “Idols Become Rivals,” where he remembers his rap idols – Cash Money. Despite his recollections, he goes on to list the issues that have plagued Cash Money, specifically the head, Birdman. Ultimately, “Idols Become Rivals” is a diss-track. Chris Rock guests at the top of the track with a skit.
“Trap Trap Trap”
“Trap Trap Trap,” featuring Young Thug and Wale, is the first clear-cut highlight from Rather You Than Me. A souped-up banger, The hook latches instantly:
“I took my roof off at the red light / I took my roof off at the red light / Trap, trap, trap, trap, trap, trap.”
Ross handles the first verse, testifying about toughness. He flexes hard over epic, malicious production work, exhibiting a tight flow. Young Thug takes the second verse, warning of the dangers of the trap, being rich, and violence – he’s armed and dangerous. As for Wale, he goes against the grain, making an uncharacteristic record work near-perfectly. After all, he “ain’t nothin’ like them trap guys.”
“Dead Presidents” opens with Ross flaunting his machismo, once more showcasing his knack for unapologetic bangers. “Dead Presidents” brings along Future, Young Jeezy, and Yo Gotti for the ride. Call “Dead Presidents” what it is – money in the bank. Most definitely a “G” anthem.
“She on My Dick,” assisted by Gucci Mane, is predictable. A shallow record, both Ross and Gucci brag about all the money and material things they possess, and how the ladies all want them. While the title and reference are sexual, this is more about the two rappers being “big man on campus.” Dumb? Yes, but the production bangs.
“I Think She Like Me”
“I Think She Like Me” represents Rick Ross in his element. Opening with a soul sample courtesy of The Stylistics (“People Make the World Go Round”), the lush production work is fuel for his lyrical fire. He enlists the services of Ty Dolla $ign. While Ty has become a bit saturated, he fits the hook. Following “I Think She Like Me,” Chris Rock makes another appearance on “Powers That Be.” Even so, it is Nas that’s the key feature, spitting on the third verse. Ultimately, this record ends up being a bit odd. Rick Ross and Nas have made magic in the past, but “Powers That Be” isn’t necessarily their tour de force.
“Game Ain’t Based on Sympathy”
Soulful production work, with a touch of jazz characterizes “Game Ain’t Based on Sympathy.” “Game” definitely ranks among the smoothest joints on Rather You Than Me. Relaxed in tempo, Ross spits effortlessly as he delivers more personal rhymes. The brief follow up, “Scientology,” is another beautifully produced record by Bink! How much does the song have to do with the religion? Not much, but the production does sound cosmic and Ross makes a few references to scientology:
“Scientology prophets you better stay in your lane / Let me roll up some green.”
“Lamborghini Doors” returns Ross back to familiar territory, following the cosmic experience of “Scientology.” Interestingly, Anthony Hamilton guests, but he doesn’t deliver the hook, sigh Instead, Hamilton is used for an interlude. Nonetheless, his tone is radiant. Meek Mill handles hook duties, not to mention a ferocious verse in which he’s on autopilot. As for the Boss himself, he’s automatic too.
The best way to describe “Triple Platinum” is sound. There’s nothing flashy about the track, but it features the same lush, luxurious production work that has fueled Ross’ work over the years. Scrilla provides a nice lift on this lengthy, but enjoyable joint. Dej Loaf becomes the latest featured artist on a “Maybach Music” track. In fact, she kicks off “Maybach Music V,” first singing and then rapping. Another good installment, “Maybach Music V” doesn’t supplant “Maybach Music III” (Teflon Don), arguably the best. “Summer Seventeen” featuring Yo Gotti concludes Rather You Than Me with a BANG…ER.
Ultimately, Rather You Than Me is another consistent, enjoyable effort from Rick Ross. Arguably, this effort trumps his previous two efforts, Hood Billionaire and Black Market. Maybe it even gets the edge over Mastermind. Ross doesn’t do much differently, but he doesn’t need to. The flex fest is as good as ever. Flex on Rick.
Gems: “Idols Become Rivals,” “Trap Trap Trap,” “Dead Presidents,” “I Think She Like Me” & “Game Ain’t Based on Sympathy”