RickRoss

AHH Album Review: Rick Ross’ Mastermind

Rick Ross was never as close to The Notorious B.I.G. in terms of physical appearance and artistic prowess as when he dropped Teflon Don in 2010. Despite the fact that Ross prefers lemon pepper wings to cheese, eggs, and Welch’s grape, Teflon Don was a long kiss goodnight to the many detractors Ross had garnered from his super-ugly-style beef with 50 Cent and being ousted as a former law enforcement officer. But defying the odds of math, science, religion, philosophy, etc., Ross lost his hunger with God Forgives, I Don’t. Maybe God forgave Rozay for the savage treachery of his last album, but the fans surely didn’t, and with good reason. The album reeked of an artist cooking up the same recipe with only this time with stale ingredients, such as chopping up “Diced Pineapples” in an obvious effort to bake another “Ashton Martin Music.”

[TAKE A LISTEN: Rick Ross’ “Mastermind” Now Available For Streaming]

 But I have some delicious news: Wingstop is short on inventory, because Ross is hungry once again with his latest dish, Mastermind. Ross cooks early on the album, commencing things with two banger appetizers in the form of “Rich As Gangsta” and “Drug Dealers Dream.” Beat selection is never a problem with Ross, as he picks his instrumentals with the same keen insight as he scopes out his next Golden Corrall helping, but on Mastermind the level of lyricism is back on par. Ross even dares to remake Frank White’s classic “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Kills You,” doing his best rendition of Biggie’s flow on “Nobody.” Surprisingly, one of the worst songs of the album is Ross’ collaboration with Jay, “The Devil Is A Lie.” Lord knows, Lord knows Hov and the fat jake man were fresh out of Advil after cutting “FuckwithmeyouknowIgotit” in the studio that night.

Navigating the way through a few unnecessary skits and mediocre tracks, there is some serious heat on Mastermind, and Ross saves the best courses for the latter half of the album. Featuring Kanye West and Big Sean, “Sanctified” has a strong case for an early song of the year nomination. Also, after finally deading a pointless beef, the collaboration with Young Jeezy (“War Ready”) is filling despite lofty expectations. And while “Thug Cry” featuring Lil Wayne seemingly has all the fixings for a bland disaster we’ve been spoon-fed dozens of times, the track is absolute flames, containing outstanding lyrical performances from both heavyweights over, you guessed it, and hot ass beat.

[ALSO READ: Rick Ross Releases Statement On “Trayvon Lyric” On Mastermind]

Ross’ collab with The Weekend (“In Vein”) will inevitably be coming to a club near you probably before this review sees the light of day, but in comparison to microwavable popcorn efforts like “Touch’n You,” the track is about Ross’ weight multiplied by 100 on the quality scale. “Blessing In Disguise,” featuring Scarface and Z-Ro is one of those tracks where massive hype is inevitably attached before the play button is hit, but surprisingly, Ross keeps things kosher. Although Ross will never reach Biggie status, Mastermind is a refreshing indication that the rapper still has a sweet tooth for quality music, and despite all speculation, is not in fact one lemon pepper wing over the line.

mastermind.jpg

AHH’s Ratings

Lyricism – 8/10
Production – 10/10
Album Cohesiveness –7/10
Replay value –9/10

Overall –8/10

Personal Favorite Tracks: “Sanctified”, “Thug Cry”, “Blessing In Disguise”,”War Ready,″ “Rich As Gangsta”

  • Brindle

    jack a$$

  • andone

    FOH WIT DIS BULLSH!T

  • Andrew GongDaddy Thomas

    “Beat selection is never a problem with Ross, as he picks his instrumentals with the same keen insight as he scopes out his next Golden Corrall helping” LMAO!

    • Dave Williams

      true ive only heard him rhyme over 1 whack beat

    • JaffarR

      Kevin Miller- the reviewer, is clearly an MMG fanboy.

  • Dave Williams

    i dont like dirty south or alot of this new Rap. i do give it a listen before i criticize it, but Rick Ross Music is some of the best put together songs and Albums ive heard in a very long time and i been down since the Sugar Hill Gang. you cant deny he puts out good music, his lyrics are on point and the Production is solid too i give it 4.5 mics

  • danboy1386

    Nope.

  • i’mreloaded!

    Ross albums always worth my money. He hasn’t made one I haven’t liked. He actually puts thought into his projects.

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  • JaffarR

    I really don’t understand how this album got 10/10 for production. Do you know what that means? That means the production was PERFECT. That means it’s not worldly possible for it to have been any better; not even a tiny bit…
    That’s just a joke. This review is a joke. An 8/10 for lyrics? Lyricism is a big aspect for hip-hop albums, and is comprised of a large criteria for a proper review. Such as story-telling, substance, bars, flow & delivery, truth, relevance etc. It’s sad that the reviewer has such a low standard for hip-hop critiques that he gave this album a 10 for production and 8 for lyrics. And 9/10 for replay value means that you just HAVE to listen to it over and over again because it’s that good…
    Please, Kellan Miller. You just lost all credibility.

  • Is it me..? Or is the person doing the review trying to diss him?

  • As much as people criticize the fat boy as fake his music is pretty good on his albums and they are well put together. Just my 2 cents, just don’t put too much stock in it being the least bit truthful and you str8. It’s entertainment like wrestling sort of

  • Bigg King

    Fakkits mad as hell, This review is on point but i’d give it a 8.5 outta ten tho

    • Affro-hop

      a solid 9/10 my dude. This is his best work yet!

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  • Live Well

    I’m sure it’s a decent album by Rick Ross standards but I just can’t stomach all of his over the top fairy tails.

  • HIPHOPHEAD1989

    GREAT REVIEW…

    Great Album Rick Ross Is A Rapper In His Own Lane That Needs More
    Respect. Production Wise Just Amazing. His Choice Of Features Not Too
    Much Just Right Everybody Delivered How They Needed To Be. The Growth Is
    their He is A rapper IN HIS LATE 30s Whose Enjoying Life As a CEO, A
    RAPPER, A BUSINESS MAN THAT COMES WITH TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS BUT IT
    COMES WITH SUCCESS, MONEY,CARS, WOMAN AND A LAVISH LIFESTYLE. HIS
    UPBRINGING EVER SINCE IN HIP HOP WAS based off DRUG DEALING, Violence OF
    WHAT HE Seen GROWING UP IN HIS ENVIRONMENT. CRITICS NEED TO STOP
    LOOKING FOR MORE THAT ISN’T THERE BUT ACCEPT WHAT IS THERE! IN THE
    RAPPER RICK ROSS, great production, good choice of producers, Great
    flow. the imagination of the art form in music of what he sees and wants to deliver through these tracks. overall great album 8.5/10 ****

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  • $1XX•T®ILLA•™

    Great lyrical content, it is a bangin album. I personally copped the Deluxe Edition and is satisfied. If u were satisfied with Mastermind, then i suggest you guys cop Schoolboy Q “Oxymoron” if u enjoy lyrical content. The word play on this album is nice.