By Rob Markman
Headliner: Rick Ross, DJ Scream, Shaheem Reid
Representing: Miami, Florida
Mixtape: Rich Forever
Real Spit: Sometimes differentiating between a mixtape and an album can be difficult, especially when a mixtape is crafted with such care, like Rick Ross' Rich Forever.
The 19-song opus dropped at the top of the year as an appetizer for Rozay's upcoming God Forgives, I Don't LP. But almost four months later, it is clear that the Maybach Music Boss has created a tape that will transcend the shelf life of most free Internet downloads.
"As far as the title of the mixtape goes, it's Rich Forever. It's a lyric that I've used in the past, several times. Not only that, I really believe it," MTV's most recent Hottest MC in the Game crown holder told Mixtape Daily. "I feel for you to be rich forever, you have to be rich with ideas, rich with concepts, rich with thoughts; to me that's what being rich forever is."
Rozay didn't just rely on his own wealth, he recruited a flock of well-to-do friends like Diddy, Nas, John Legend, Birdman and Kelly Rowland to contribute. "Stay Schemin'," which features Drake and French Montana, has crossed over and made a dent on Billboard's R&B Chart, so far peaking at #49. While "Schemin' " may be the most identifiable song off ofRich Forever, the tape is filled with a number of standouts.
"Ring Ring" with Future is a playful ode to the ladies, and on "Holy Ghost," Diddy prays to God to keep his bank account intact while Rozay denounces the devil and other speed bumps on his road to riches. "Yella Diamonds" is another pledge to money, this time featuring Cash Money CEO Birdman. "My dough be shinin' like it's yella diamonds," Ross raps on the song's rambunctious hook.
The Bawse keeps things lively but does slow it down on the tape's title track. With R&B crooner John Legend in tow, Ross runs down his career in retrospect. "Def Jam on my heels, should I sign to it?/ Million-dollar advance for me to rhyme fluent/ Every day I'm hustlin' on every corner boomin'/ Back of the Phantom, I couldn't fathom/ I was such a student," he spits about the circumstances leading up to his 2006 debut album Port of Miami.
Ross has grown significantly in the six years since dropping his first LP, and Rich Forever more than proves it. No longer a hustler on the come-up, Rick Ross now runs the game with enough riches to last him a lifetime.
Joints to Check For
» "Rich Forever" - "We were just brainstorming on my quest, my career, and I just summarized it on a record."
» "Holy Ghost" - "This is one of my favorites. First record on the mixtape, it's called 'Holy Ghost.' Sometimes you gotta pray, even for your foes."
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