Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Rick Ross Effect

Yes, I'm still on my hip hop kick.

I'll admit, I bought Rick Ross' album strictly off of the strength of his "beef" with Curtis Jackson (50 Cent). The closest I'd gotten to him before that was "Hustlin'", & that song was on a mix CD that my brother owned. So, never was it part of my plan to purchase/download any of his material purposely.

Then, he starts up with 50 over some feminine nonsense & I became intrigued. So, a year & some months later, I went out on the day it was released & bought "Deeper Than Rap", his third album. I like it.

I've found out quite a bit of information on Ross (legal name William Leonard Roberts), thanks to 50's relentless attempts at ruining his life. The majority of it is so unimportant that it's no wonder that regardless of all the commotion caused, Ross' CD still debuted at #1 on somebody's charts. What I did learn to be of interest, though, was the fact that his present day incarnation (not incarceration) isn't his first. He had been rapping before he blew up as the biggest coke dealing rapper in Florida.

In the late 90's, he rhymed under the moniker Tephlon Da Don. Upon further, um, research, I learned he had worked with quite of few artists that were, at the time, were pretty relevant to the industry, such as producer Erick Sermon of EPMD. Apparently that direction had been met with mediocre reviews, because his music was, well, mediocre. He has a song on some soundtrack to some movie also under that Tephlon name. Google it, because I'm being lazy right now.

So, when he did decide to make his "comeback" to the game, he was a changed man. Literally & physically. Gone were the throwback jerseys with matching, yet atrocious, headgear. Now, the man who once resembled B.I.G.'s less fortunate second cousin, was draped in linens & silks & massive amounts of jewelry. His body now covered in tattoos. He even has pictures of George Washington & Benjamin Franklin on his breasts, respectively. Did you know that Ben Franklin is the only non-president to appear on money?

& along with the change in his appearance & image, his content received a face lift as well. Coke rap is the appropriate term to label his music. 99% of his rhymes consist of tales that revolve around a lifestyle rich in cocaine dealings, only rivaled by the movie "Scarface". He does pull off the imagery of such a living, although at times it's obvious he's not telling the truth, & we all know that rappers don't lie.

If I were ever to meet this Rick Ross, I'd ask him "Why?". Did he think that he'd have a better shot at making doe if he acted as if he's selling pies (no fat joke/food references; those are legitimate slang words)? The skeleton of his word play is definitely void of any real thrilling skill, so one can only imagine how good he'd be at rap if it weren't for his fantastic voyages down Cocaine Alley. It doesn't bother me personally, because I've never even used the phrase "keep it real" until like two days ago.

He's not the only MC to surface & be met with less than admirable response. Jay-Z, Tupac, even Ice Cube all started their musical careers then swiftly pulled a 180 degree turn. What began as "for the love of the art" quickly transformed into "for the love of money". Now, I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.

It's only right that one seek financial retribution for their skill, but at what cost? Leaving behind what's concrete in your heart? Is it possible to have a healthy mix of the two & still become & remain successful. Apparently it is. There's dozens, if not hundreds, of rappers who have a stable fan base & have avoided crime or manual labor employment for the fact that people pay them for their craft. Now, those same dudes may not be pushing $250,000 cars or flying to countries with names I can't pronounce, but they would still be able to eat & provide for their families.

Smells like some people are a little greedy, no?

When it's all said & done, I couldn't care less. Give me good music, & you can have your fancy automobiles, cigars, drugs or whatever else your heart(s) desires.

2 comments:

JCITYHUSTLA617 said...

I DONT CARE WHAT ANYBODY SAYS I LIKE DEEPER THAN RAP ITS A GOOD ALBUM DEFINATLY RICK ROSS'S BEST WORK 2 DATE......IM SURPRISED HE MANAGED 2 HAVE THE NUMBER ONE ALBUM LAST WEEK CONSIDERING THAT MOST OF THE BEEF ON 50CENTS SIDE WAS MANUFACTURED ON THISIS50.COM THE SAME SITE THAT HAD FREE DOWNLOADS OF DEEPER THAN RAP AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD FOR THE SIMPLE PURPOSE OF IT NOT SELLING ANY UNITS LOL I NEVER SEEN SO MUCH HATE TOWARDS AN ALBUM BUT IT STILL GOES NUMBER ONE LOL 50 FAILED AND IMO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE IS YOUR BIZNESS NOT MINES JUST GIVE ME DOPE PRODUCT AND ROSS DID JUST THAT ANYWAYS GOOD WRITTING POST

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