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.
Rick Ross is a renown 43 year old rapper, entrepreneur & record executive from Carol City, Florida that made his debut on wax in 2000 on Erick Sermon’s 3rd album Erick Onasis. He would eventually make his full-length debut in 2006 with Port of Miami, which was followed up in 2 years later with 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. The last time we heard from Ross in a full-length capacity was in 2017 with Rather You Than Me & to commemorate the 13 year anniversary of his debut this month, he’s back with a sequel to the album that started it all.
The album starts off with “Act a Fool”, where Rozay & Wale brag over a vibrant trap beat. The next song “Turnpike Ike” gets luxurious over a beautiful piano instrumental from Jake One while the track “Nobody’s Favorite” with Gunplay sees the 2 talking about their success over a nocturnal trap beat. The song “Summer Reign” gets romantic over a moody beat while the track “White Lines” gets mafioso over an atmospheric beat.
The song “Big Tyme” talks about doing it huge over a lavish Just Blaze instrumental while the track “Bogus Charms” with Meek Mill sees the 2 talking about living on over a beautiful piano instrumental from StreetRunner. The song “Rich N***a Lifestyle” with the late Nipsey Hu$$le needs no further explanation over a blaxploitation-esque instrumental from Cardiak while the track “Born to Kill” with Jeezy sees the 2 talking about death over a dreamy trap beat.
The song “Fascinated” is a tribute to his friends that’re either dead or in jail over a smooth instrumental & while the track “I Still Pray” with YFN Lucci & Ball Greezy does have one of the most fanciest instrumentals on the entire project provided by DJ Toomp, the lyrics are a vapid diss towards their haters. The song “Running the Streets” with A Boogie wit da Hoodie & Denzel Curry sees the 3 talking about their place in the Florida hip hop scene over a church-esque instrumental while the track “Vegas Residency” is a party anthem with a harmonious instrumental from none other than the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League.
The penultimate track “Maybach Music VI” was probably the most anticipated on the entire album, because it was said to feature both Lil Wayne & Pusha T. However despite Pusha not appearing on the song at all, it still sounds grand both lyrically & sonically. The album then finishes up with “Gold Roses”, which is basically an equally boring sequel to that “Money in the Grave” single that Drake dropped not too long ago.
This could very well be better than the original Port of Miami, in my personal opinion. Not only does Rozay continue to show how amazing his ear for production truly is, but his mob bars are of course a lot sharper than they were on his debut & most of the features on here add to ’em pretty solidly. You can also tell that he really took his time with this one in comparison to rushing out some of his latest projects like Hood Billionaire & Black Market.