Five albums into his career and Rick Ross must’ve done something right with God Forgives, I Don’t as its managed to get him the hip hop royalty status he has been striving for since he hit the scene in 2009.
Once the initial confusion of hearing what sounds like two Australian accents letting you know that “it’s Maybach music” (something one won’t forget with the same voice over strategically placed throughout the album), it starts to become clear why Ross has finally made it to the forefront of his field.
Despite the move away from the gun slingin’ dope boy rap to a more reflective and storytelling lyrical style, the true strength of God Forgives, I Don’t lies in the production and collaborations.
One of the standout tracks on the album, ‘3 Kings’, features Jay Z and Dr. Dre, although it feels as though Ross is the feature artist on the track as the two rap legends have significantly longer verses over the classic 90s hip hop beat.
Honourable mention goes to ‘Presidential’ featuring Elijah Blake. Produced by Pharrell Williams, the song has that sexy, smooth Neptunes signature sound but the true masterpiece of this album comes in the form of an eight-minute track featuring André 3000.
A sultry saxophone intro slowly leads to the beat drop and it’s clear from the get go that there are great things to come with ‘Sixteen’; a laidback groove about how 16 bars is not enough for Ross to tell his story.
The juxtaposition between Ross’ hard hitting lyrical style, 3000’s effortless, mellow flow and the melodic synths are a match made in heaven.
Even if it is due to his co-stars on the album making it what it is, Ross has successfully put Maybach Music on the map – cementing his place as one of today’s hip hop greats.