Rick Ross last year did something I doubt any one would have ever guessed he would have done in his entire career.; release the most important rap single of the year. “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)”, originally a mixtape track produced by Lex Luger was one of the highlights of the Albert Anastasia EP, a project that was pushing Rick Ross’ profile just as the summer was beginning. Then as the summer came and went the amount of freestyles over Luger’s beat for that particular song was too many to count, but that was only a small effect that “B.M.F.” was having on the rap world. The influence of the Lex Luger and Rick Ross’ collaboration could end tomorrow with the next big song bringing a whole new sound, but that seems unlikely looking as the radio sounds permanently branded with the “Maybach Music” tag on every track.
B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast) – Rick Ross (feat. Styles P)
The introduction of “I think I’m Big Meech/Larry Hoover” is one part one of the funniest boasts that Rick Ross has ever come up with, yet it also throws up a boast that no rapper has yet to match. When rappers try to rap over “B.M.F.”, the first mistake made is saying “I think I’m…” because at this point they are stepping into Rick Ross’ arena, as very few rappers’ voices are equipped to boom and stride across over Luger’s production the way Rick Ross does. The pairing of Luger’s monstrously evil synths with Rick Ross’ dastardly boasts on paper should not be hard to imitate, but Styles P verse points out the problems that exists for the merely average rapper place next to Ross. Ross sounds so at home over this production that no matter how ridiculous the claims he shouts, most rappers do not/cannot even begin to approach the music synergy Ross has claimed.
Another One – Rick Ross (feat. Diddy)
Who is the producer of “Another One”? Lex Luger? Great guess, but too obvious. Drumma Boy? Not quite, but a little closer. Polow da Don? No, but look later on for his original work to appear. Okay, three guesses and no correct answer. Here is the answer; Lil Lody. So, in less than six months the style of Lex Luger is being reproduced by another young producer, and I wonder why producer tags exists.
The aptly titled “Another One” is Rick Ross flexing and strutting across Lil Lody’s beat as if he owned the copyright to dramatic drum rolls and dark synths. But, even in his own element Rick Ross does not sound as confident in his ability as Diddy does on this song. “I know I’m the shit, my janitor be gettin money”, Diddy brags in a way very few rappers can. The rapping quality of Diddy is always up debate, but similar to his verse on “O Let Do It (Remix)” Diddy could not sound more serious and confident in the preposterous claim of needing another $100 million.
9 Piece – Rick Ross (feat. T.I. or Lil Wayne)
After the success of The Albert Anastasia EP and his album Teflon Don, at the end of the 2010 Ross released the mixtape Ashes to Ashes. The opening single “9 Piece” is the sequel to “B.M.F.” artists are today still striving to create, and has another ridiculous Ross claim of “I’m selling dope straight off the iPhone”. The trademark dark Lex Luger synths skirt along the chorus of the song, as the bass has consistently fierce boom creating slightly skittish variation of a typical Lex Luger beat. Replacing Styles P is T.I., a rapper whose best days are well behind him at this point, but his talk of “trap houses” and “dope boys” serve as a reminder of how far trap music has changed in the last decade. “9 Piece” was not a huge single, but for a mixtape single it did well enough for Lil Wayne to replace T.I. on the remix. Lil Wayne’s verse is not one of his better post jail verses, but he and Rick Ross have an peculiar chemistry as their adlibs tango with each other (Lil Wayne’s voice is too happily goofy to not make the overly serious Rick Ross not sound even more overdramatic than he usually does).
John (If I Die Today) – Lil Wayne (feat. Rick Ross)
“John (If I Die Today)”, the unwanted sequel to “I’m Not a Star”, is a good example of a snake eating its own tail. “John” samples Teflon Don’s opener “I’m Not a Star”, creating an excellent chorus of “I’m not a star, somebody lied I got a choppa in the car” (Rick Ross’ boast of “I got a choppa in the car” is his most realistic, but also the most unbelievable and therefore his funniest at the same time).
This is the second single from the Tha Carter IV, and like the first single “6 Foot 7” is just a retread of another song. Despite that, Lil Wayne was able to make “6 Foot 7” a bizarre chorus-less rap song people can still rattle the lyrics off easily. This type of dark beat is something Lil Wayne must enjoy rapping on, because even with his so-so rhymes he does not sound like he does not care and does not attempt to copy Rick Ross’ style, it just sounds like a bad take that did not need to get rushed to be a single. The same rushed feel carryovers into the production by Polow da Don, which even though it aims for the style of Lex Luger the sci-fi UFO synths that sound a little out of place give the song one bit of originality; to at least make it easy to tell the difference between this song compared to other Lil Wayne and Rick Ross collaborations (the remixes of “9 Piece” and “Hustle Hard”).
Tupac’s Back – Meek Millz (feat. Rick Ross)
600 Benz – Wale (feat. Rick Ross & Jadakiss)
“Tupac’s Back” and “600 Benz” are clearly meant to do the exact same thing as “B.M.F.” did last summer in creating a summer anthem you cannot go outside and not hear roaring out of cars. “Tupac’s Back” is a Meek Millz song, with a large Rick Ross hook that is hard to not image singing along with, and well, “600 Benz” is Wale’s song but the chorus is certainly not sung by Wale or Jadakiss. Both songs have a similar number of youtube views currently, and hearing both of them in a DJ set just highlights how similar the songs are, because it is hard to image a person not wanting to yell out “600 Benz” or “Tupac’s Back”.
Lex Luger at this point of course did not produce either song, but neither did Lil Lody, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, or even Polow Da Don. They are produced by Mike Will and Eardrummers (“Tupac’s Back”) and Cardiak (“600 Benz”), which shows that in only a year Rick Ross has cemented his own style that producers are morphing their sound around him instead of him making concessions to the beats he is given. That would explain why Wale and Meek Millz could not sound more out of place on each of their own songs as they have work on beats made for one rapper and do not care about the other rappers that have to go over them.
Rick Ross was at one point the laughing stock of the rap world, but in a couple years turned all that around. Now watching the rap world contorting around his finger; Ross is amassing rappers to his label, while most rappers are just trying to find their place in the genre he has morphed for at least a year.Share