God Forgives, I Don't

Album Review of God Forgives, I Don't by Rick Ross.

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God Forgives, I Don't

Rick Ross

God Forgives, I Don't by Rick Ross

Release Date: Jul 31, 2012
Record label: Def Jam
Genre(s): Rap, Gangsta Rap, Southern Rap

69 Music Critic Score
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God Forgives, I Don't - Fairly Good, Based on 18 Critics

Rolling Stone - 100
Based on rating 5/5
100

It's perfect that the first word Rick Ross raps on God Forgives, I Don't is "hallucination" – after all, he's in the fantasy business. Over his career, Ross has gone from generic dope-boy with a stolen name (the actual Ross, a California cocaine drug lord, sued for copyright infringement) to unmasked former corrections officer to inspired charlatan, who pretends to be a high-living kingpin­ sticking to his script with hammy gusto, never breaking character. In interviews, Ross laid out a clear MO for his fifth album: He wanted to craft the equivalent of a Scorsese or Tarantino film.There are times when God Forgives is as engrossing and surprising as rap can be.

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RapReviews.com - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

P.O.S. :: Chill, dummyDoomtree RecordsAuthor: Patrick TaylorI've been a fan of Stefon "P.O.S." Alexander since his debut nearly 10 years ago. On "Audition" and 2009's "Never Better," he proved himself to be one of the few artists who could successfully meld punk rock and hip-hop. Fellow Minnesotans ….

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Slant Magazine - 80
Based on rating 4.0/5
80

As mainstream hip-hop grows more baroque and exaggerated, many rappers have found themselves adrift, unsure of how to pair their personalities with a new generation of operatic-minded beatmakers. Not so for Rick Ross, who’s benefitted more than anybody from the current climate, cultivating a cartoon-y boss image befitting his hefty size: huge shades, bushy beard, with a body so tattoo-smattered that it looks like silly putty rolled over a newspaper. And with his new album, God Forgives, I Don’t, he proves that rap finally has its very own James Bond villain.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Going cinematic comes easy when your life's a movie, and since Rick Ross' previous 12 months included platinum albums, numerous awards, and some pre-gig CPR and resuscitation on an airport runway, it seemed sensible that the Miami rap superstar cited Scorsese and Tarantino as influences for God Forgives, I Don't. "Yeah, such a breath of fresh air/Get a blowjob, have a seizure on a Lear" is the typically brutish and bold way he addresses the recent past on the great, familiar anthem "Maybach Music IV," but his detractors should note that he didn't cite Michael Bay or Brett Ratner as influences, meaning he's looking not just for bombast but for that new, kinetic kind of gangster noir, just like Marty and Quentin. On key track "3 Kings," he's found it, acting as a Tony Soprano-type character whose thoughts bounce between the meaning of life and the table dance happening in front of him, while mammoth guest Jay-Z shows up with some free-association freestyling that's wonderfully clumsy and fun, while stone-cold legend Dr.

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HipHopDX - 80
Based on rating 4.0/5
80

To rightfully misquote one of Rick Ross’ earliest supporters, the Miami rapper has largely shed his initial caricature as a dope boy to become not simply a businessman, but a business [man]. In the process, he has ascended into Hip Hop’s top tier, a calculated move that comes deservedly given successful growth not only from a financial standpoint, but also as an artist. God Forgives, I Don’t reflects this progress, in a manner that only Rozay could provide.

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Consequence of Sound - 72
Based on rating B
72

Devin Friedman’s GQ profile of Rick Ross last October provided a vivid window into the Miami rapper’s outrageously gaudy life. Among the expected biographical passages and descriptions of Ross’s predictably bottomless appetite, Friedman also recorded these amazing quotes wherein Rozay just hums about experiences neither you nor I could imagine partaking in. Here’s how he describes his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival: “Took the team over, ended up fucking around, getting some Ferraris, Lamborghinis, going to the Eden Rock, kicking it with a few homeys.

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Pitchfork - 68
Based on rating 6.8/10
68

God Forgives, I Don't doesn't feel good enough, or big enough, to be what it is: The victory lap crowning Rick Ross' four-year rise to dominance, beginning with 2009's Deeper Than Rap. Part of what made Ross' Big Leap possible, now that it's over, was the fact that he was allowed to do it on his own bizarre terms: Deeper Than Rap's street single, "Mafia Music", swatted 50 Cent, unprovoked, at the exact moment that Ross' own reputation was most fragile. It had no chorus, just four minutes of Ross huffing about Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, and how the dope in his trunk made the car "smell like blue cheese." The album itself was overstuffed for a summer-radio takeover that Ross was in no position to reasonably expect.

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Prefix Magazine - 65
Based on rating 6.5/10
65

You can understand a lot about Rick Ross by listening to “Sixteen,” the fifth track on God Forgives, I Don’t. First, a sax solo that evokes Kenny G lounging on a bearskin rug. Then Andre 3000’s slithery chorus. Then Ross wondering to himself, “How the fuck can I squeeze my whole life into a 16 bar verse?” Most musicians deal with a host of synesthetic concerns in their musicianship: pitch, texture, volume, emotion, density.

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New Musical Express (NME) - 60
Based on rating 3/5
60

You don’t have to suspend belief to enter Rozay’s world: he’ll do it for you. It’s as if the ex-correctional officer believes in his kingpin persona so implicitly he’s method-acted himself into a superstar. And now he’s revelling in his status by recruiting Jay-Z and Dre on the classic-sounding ‘3 Kings’, getting Usher to croon “fuckin’ you” repeatedly on the clammy ‘Touch’N You’ and engineering the genuinely weird moment when he joins André 3000 on the stoop for the nostalgic ‘Sixteen’.

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Beats Per Minute (formerly One Thirty BPM) - 60
Based on rating 60%%
60

Rick RossGod Forgives, I Don't[Maybach Music Group / Def Jam; 2012]By Chase McMullen; August 1, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGRick Ross has sure had a crazy few years. His bounds towards respect, gradually turning his detractors (this writer included) through charisma and sheer hard work, are undeniable. If 2006's Port of Miami was practically dismissible, '10's Teflon Don was anything but, attracting Rozay’s juggernaut persona the only thing it’d been missing — serious critical attention.

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PopMatters - 50
Based on rating 5/10
50

It’s been pretty amazing to see Rick Ross grow from stereotype to monolith over the past three years. Rap is generally a genre with little favor for rappers nearly a decade removed from their debut albums, which makes Ross’ constant growth as an artist and icon respectable regardless of your thoughts on his lyrical content. Granted, J.U.S.T.I.C.E.

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PopMatters - 50
Based on rating 5/10
50

It’s been pretty amazing to see Rick Ross grow from stereotype to monolith over the past three years. Rap is generally a genre with little favor for rappers nearly a decade removed from their debut albums, which makes Ross’ constant growth as an artist and icon respectable regardless of your thoughts on his lyrical content. Granted, J.U.S.T.I.C.E.

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NOW Magazine - 40
Based on rating 2/5
40

Rick Ross is one of hip-hop's most vividly self-aggrandizing rappers, but his fifth LP falls short of the lofty Mafioso visions he conjures in his rhymes. God Forgives, I Don't is a smoothly sequenced mix of bangers and introspective narratives that eventually give way to the requisite radio-friendly ladies' jams. The Florida MC's eccentric storytelling skills are as tight as ever on the soul-searching, Bill Withers-sampling Ashamed.

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XXL
Their review was positive

The humorously gaudy façade Rick Ross molded early in his career has morphed into a gigantic mansion with pillars of both hubris and delusion. But quite frankly, those attributes make Ross’s music irresistibly entertaining. It’s well exhibited on the sumptuous God Forgives, I Don’t, Rozay’s fifth solo effort that’s triumphant, haughty, and self-exploring.

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BBC Music
Their review was generally favourable

Ross’ first UK top 10 album shows how big-budget rap can avoid crass clichés. Mike Diver 2012 Known to many UK listeners as a gravel-voiced guest on innumerable rap hits, Rick Ross has enjoyed considerable stateside success for several years. His 2006 debut, Port of Miami, topped the Billboard 200, as did 2010’s Teflon Don – but Don’s UK peak of 169 says everything about Ross’ profile on British shores at the time.

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Boston Globe
Their review was generally favourable

On “3 Kings” from Rick Ross’s fifth disc he declares, “I came a long way since the weed game /20-stack seats at the Heat game.” What’s more impressive, though, is his career transformation from a laborious rhyme slinger trading in kingpin cliches into a lucid, commanding MC. While not as electrifying as “Teflon Don,” this 70-minute set deftly mixes grandiose gestures and ominous bravado. He still deals familiar hip-hop tropes, but they are balanced by a new gravitas including references to mortality and the seizures he experienced last year.

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Exclaim
Their review was generally favourable

Rick Ross knows big. On his fifth album, God Forgives, I Don't, Ross's lyrical focus hasn't changed, only the scope: he remains a fearsome boss swimming in money, women and food, but the absurd grandiosity has been heightened. Skip the umpteenth "BMF" re-treads and the album's soggy R&B bottom quarter and there's much to savour. The smooth "Amsterdam" and the grand horns of "Pirates" showcase Ross's nimble flossing skills.

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The New York Times
Their review was highly critical

IMAGINE that Rick Ross had a heart. That beneath all the bluster, behind the imposing shades, underneath the girth and the tattoos — barriers all — there beat something urgent, a muscle carrying more weight than one man could reasonably bear. Mr. Ross has spent the last few years making an art of grandness, building fortresses of boasting and self-regard.

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