Album Review: Rick Ross, Teflon Don

Rick Ross

Teflon Don (released July 20, 2010)

I don’t understand all the controversy surrounding Rick Ross.

A few years ago, when he was outed as a former corrections officer and not some big-time drug lord, the music world was shocked.

Do y’all really believe everything that comes out of these rappers’ mouths?

While it’s no secret that a few of ’em have dabbled in shady enterprises, I guarantee that NONE of them made a fortune selling drugs. If they were so rich, why would they bother rapping in the first place? I don’t see any Macy’s executives stepping down to work the registers at the mall.

Rick Ross is a fraud. So what? Aren’t they all? And for those of you who don’t mind Rawssssssse spinning tales about his riches and women, you’ll love Teflon Don.

Ross’ rhymes may be extremely one-dimensional, but he makes up for it with some of the best-produced beats I’ve heard in years. The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League continues their string of stellar tracks with the “Aston Martin Music,” “I’m A Star” and the standout, the cinematic “Maybach Music 3.” The production is so good that you tend to not realize that Ross is telling his same ol’ tall tales.

The Bawsssssssse gets lots of lyrical help too – Cee-Lo Green’s soulful hook elevates “Tears of Joy,” Kanye West leaves Ross in the dust, totally owning “Live Fast, Die Young,” and T.I., Jadakiss and even Erykah Badu show up on the aforementioned “Maybach Music 3.” That jail stint must have fired up T.I. because he has vastly improved his game. Maybe Ross needs to be locked up for a bit. He’s familiar with jail, being a CO and all.

“Free Mason” is yet another standout, but again, not really because of Ross. The Inkredibles live up to their name with a well-crafted beat, John Legend’s vocals smooth out the rough edges, and Jay-Z finally addresses those ridiculous rumors of him being linked to the Illuminati. According to Jay, “I said I was amazing/not that I’m a Mason.” Of course, it’s not like he would admit it if the rumors were true…

The only track where Ross himself isn’t an afterthought is street banger “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” Yeah, he takes a back seat once again, this time to Styles P (who drops a great reference to the video game Red Dead Redemption), but Rawssssse holds his own, sounding like raspy Terrence Howard from Hustle and Flow. “M.C. Hammer” tries to replicate “B.M.F” (actually, a little TOO closely) but Gucci Mane totally ruins it with his brain-dead Dr. Suess raps. Ugh, Gucci is like that disgusting relative that makes everyone cringe at family gatherings – he walks in the door and immediately stinks up the place.

Rawssse certainly knows how to play the game. He masquerades his lyrical shortcomings with outstanding production, fantastic guest artists and more tales of the fast life. Teflon Don is like a blockbuster film bloated with CGI affects – you’re aware of the smoke and mirrors, but you’re entertained nonetheless.

Best tracks: “B.M.F,” “Mayback Music 3,” “Free Mason”

3.5 stars out of 5


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