Album Review: Richer Than I Ever Been by Rick Ross
Very Good, Based on 3 Critics
Exclaim - 70 Based on rating 7/10
Rick Ross has spent almost twenty years mastering not only his craft, but his character and sound. Album after album, Ross has expanded his catalogue without ever veering away from his signature recipe -- instrumentals that feel luxurious, bars bloated with braggadocio, and a sprinkle of anecdotal tales from a drug dealer's diary. As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and if Richer Than I Ever Been teaches us anything, it's that Rick Ross ain't broke, and his formula isn't either.
Richer Than I Ever Been is another solid outing in Ross's catalogue.
Fifteen years into his career, Rick Ross has etched out a space in rap where he sounds comfortable without being complacent. The rhythms of the average Rozay song are pleasantly predictable: allusions to a drug-dealing past at odds with his history as a corrections officer, the occasional rags-to-riches stories, and descriptions of designer loungewear and weed strains that would make Wiz Khalifa blush, all set to beats that are either as deluxe and elegant as tailored suits or as sweaty and bouncy as the clubs in his Miami hometown. His gruff voice lends theatricality to his music, rendering even his most emotionally detached songs as opera-ready tales.
Rick Ross is never knowingly understated. A modern rap great, his catalogue is littered with boasts and braggadocio, an artist who wants all around him to know his worth. Yet that same catalogue also has its own hit 'n' miss weaknesses - always entertaining, Rick Ross can sometimes falter on quality control. 'Richer Than I Ever Been' is his first full length project in two years, and it's a refreshingly punchy, coherent, and finessed return.