It had been two years since the veteran Miami rapper Rick Ross last dropped an album, but the experienced rapper returned with his 10th album earlier this month. There aren’t many in the game with such a long-established career of sustained relevance and in his milestone 10th album, Ross looks back to his roots that started it all, with the sequel to his debut album Port of Miami.
Ross exploded into the scene in 2006, with his debut album that spawned the hit single Hustlin’, putting him on the map since. Hustlin’ blew up for its grandiose lyrics and hard-hitting yet smooth southern style beats.
With his new album Port of Miami 2, not much has changed, but with over a decade of the heightened influence, his tracklists are boosted by an impressive feature list, with stellar production credits. At 15 tracks boasting big-name features, such as that of Drake and the late Nipsey Hussle, Rick Ross’ goal within the game is clear, produce hits. Owing to the strong feature list and production these hits can come from anywhere, but a few tracks stand out, each showcasing a distinct musical vibe that the Miami rapper has become accustomed to.
The Just Blaze produced Big Tyme, showcases a classic Rozay banger, with a grand cinematic beat, as Ross reflects on his decade at the top of the game. But, the two most notable tracks come in the form of Gold Roses with sure hitmaker Drake and in part VI of Ross’ Maybach Music series featuring John Legend and Lil Wayne. Gold Roses, the most streamed song on the album to date with 22 million plays, features a smooth and soulful R&B vocal chop swirling in and out of focus, most likely tailored primarily to Drake. Maybach Music VI, with its Kanye-Esque orchestral production is a worthy addition to the saga, which presumably would be even better if not for the cut Pusha T verse.
Barring his legendary verse on Kanye’s Devil in a New Dress, lyrically, Ross has never been one of the greats and his subject matter never strays too far from his lavish lifestyle, drug dealing or braggadocios. While Ross may be more known for his trademark grunt than waxing poetic, the Miami rapper knows his lane and sticks to it, in a world of lavish materialism. However, after a decade, humility has seemed to have come with his age, along with a slew of recent health scares.
While his career has been long and relevant and while this career may not have been ground-breaking, it has been at the very least consistent. Like its predecessor and indeed, Ross’ discography at large, Port of Miami 2, is a fitting metaphor for his legacy as his 10th album. Rick Ross came in to fill the drug mafioso shaped hole in the Miami scene 13 years ago with his debut and 13 years later, the lyrical content and general sound are more or less the same. While Port of Miami 2 could be seen as an album returning to its roots, the truth is Ross never left.
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