Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Rick Ross – The Black Bar Mitzvah
Earlier this month, Rick Ross dropped yet another mixtape that went platinum in downloads and listens. With God Forgives, I Don’t gaining certified gold status in September, the “Bawse” shows no signs of letting up and even takes this opportunity to put other MMG artists on.
This mixtape features lavish lyrics over the most popular songs of 2012 and features from Rockie Fresh, Gunplay, 2 Chainz, Drake and more. Oddly enough, however, as rich as Ross is, his verses come across as filler lines when he hops on tracks.
New MMG artist Rockie Fresh is virtually unknown, so the promotion he gained from this mixtape was necessary. Although Rockie has built a buzz for himself in Chicago, ever since he signed to MMG, nothing he has done has really caught a strong buzz. His verse over “Mercy” seemed rushed, the line “she wanna kick it like it’s 4th and 10” is becoming repetitive in his raps and his verse over “Clique” was lackluster.
“Now it’s the double M dream team doing somethin’ special/About to kill this s*** so get the casket and the shovel/New Olympic 7s, I need rings and a medal/And I’m not from Trillville but tell ’em get up on my level,” Rockie raps.
With this tape dropping before Gunplay’s possible life imprisonment, Ross made an attempt to get him some valuable time on the mixtape, but it still isn’t enough to move the listener.
“Yeah I’m from the hood/Yeah I’m from the floor/Holes in the roof, hardly had a door,” Gunplay raps.
Maybe it’s Ross’ inability to turn Gunplay into something special, but nothing has surpassed Gunplay’s impressive feature on Kendrick Lamar’s “Cartoons & Cereal.”
Everything came as expected for Ross, which is a good thing. He absolutely snapped over 2 Chainz and Kanye West’s track, “Birthday.”
“Time to get the money Steve Forbes got/I’m slowly climbing up, delete your spot/Net worth n***a, h**s love to Google me,” Ross raps.
That song alone will have you ready to flip glass tables and throw diamonds into the crowd. If you have subwoofers in your car, we highly recommend playing this song as ride up music for anywhere you go.
The rest of the tape is quality. At first, the tape might be a little misleading, as people thought The Black Bar Mitzvah was the highly anticipated Rick Ross/Drake collaboration because of Drake’s religious affiliations. And even though that’s not what it turned out to be, it still is a mixtape you can listen to all the way through.
Smoke DZA – K.O.N.Y.
Meek Mill’s long-awaited debut, Dreams and Nightmares, and lyrical heavyweight Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city are both due out later this month. G.O.O.D. Music’s “Clique” is thriving, and PSY’s Gangnam Style is No. 1 on the Billboard Rap Charts. Smoke DZA’s hazed-out style of rap isn’t exactly on the top of listeners’ minds these days.
However, it doesn’t sound like the Harlem rapper is even remotely concerned about falling from relevance in K.O.N.Y. The mixtape still follows the same formula as the “weed rap” genre he’s so often associated with: strong production accompanied by a series of one-liners and shallow lyricism. The interesting thing about this release, though, is that it succeeds when it when it falls on its tropes but stumbles when it tries aggression or anything more visceral.
K.O.N.Y. is at its best when it carries a sense of nihilism and narcissism. Smoke DZA allows the impressive psychedelic production (provided by the likes of Harry Fraud and J Dilla) to surround him, and the listener can picture him snarling as he spouts some ridiculously unflattering lyricism – on “Diamonds” he’s advocating promiscuity and weed, unsurprisingly.
It should all be repulsing, but it’s easier to get pulled in, as DZA gets increasingly grimier. “Butta Rice” and “JFK” are instant replayables, and that’s not just because of the arresting instrumentals.