This is the 11th full-length album from Floridian rapper, entrepreneur & record executive Rick Ross. Making his debut on wax in 2000 on Erick Sermon’s 3rd album Erick Onasis he would eventually make his full-length debut 6 years later with Port of Miami & was followed up by Trilla. Both of which were just ok, but it wouldn’t be until 2009 that Rozay would really solidify himself as a legend in the game as Deeper Than Rap, Teflon Don, God Forgives, I Don’t & Mastermind are all rightfully regarded as his best bodies of work. Rather You Than Me & Port of Miami 2 were both impressive as well, so to see him come back in the form of Richer Than I Ever Been had me excited given the mediocrity of both Expensive Pain & Folarin II earlier this fall.
The-Dream tags along for the opener “Little Havana” advising listeners that you gotta learn to use your mind to help keep you out of certain situations on top of a Boi-1da instrumental whereas the Timbaland-produced “The Pulitzer”, which has a more ominous sound & boastful lyrics. Benny the Butcher comes into the fold for the lavish “Rapper Estates” talking about living big time, but then “Marathon” weaves in a glistening STREETRUNNER beat reminding that he’s more than rich.
Meanwhile on “Warm Words in a Cold World”, we have Future & Wale accompanying Rozay for an infectiously fun ballad about icing out their shawties leading into the DreamDoll-assisted “Wiggle” which is basically a failed attempt at strip club banger despite the Don Cannon instrumental.
“Can’t Be Broke” has an admirable concept with Johnny Shipes’ production applying to Thang, but Yungeen Ace & Major 9’s performances are both wack as fuck. “Made It Out Alive” has one of the weaker beats on the album even though Rozay kills it lyrically detailing him surviving the hood prior to araabMUZIK & Infamous bringing in the horns for “Outlawz” with 21 Savage declaring themselves as such forever.
The song “Imperial High” has a grim DJ Toomp instrumental comparing himself to royalty while the Black Metaphor-produced title track has a more piano heavy sound talking about being at his wealthiest. To finish the album off, “Hella Smoke” with Wiz Khalifa for the glossy weed smoking theme.
Ross has always stayed consistent with his music, but I feel like Richer Than I Ever Been is one of his best albums thus far. The production is top notch as to be expected & lyrically, it’s nice to hear him take listeners through where he’s at currently.