Friday, August 18, 2006

Rick Ross - Port of Miami

Rick Ross, "Push It"

Rick Ross feat. Jay Z and Young Jeezy, "Hustlin' (remix)"

Rick Ross, "Prayer"

Rick Ross' album, The Port of Miami, finally dropped this week. Hasn't "Hustlin'" has been out for like a year now? I feel like I've been saying "whip it real hard" for a long time. But, whatever, it's good to finally have another anticipated rap album out, hasn't really been a big year for the mega releases. For those who don't know, Ross comes from Miami and the Trick Daddy Slip N' Slide scene. He actually doesn't have as much of a bass sound as the association would imply; in fact, Ross seems like the latest Southern release that doesn't really adhere to any specific regional, but rather a general Southern vibe. Lil Wayne, T.I. and Chamillionaire are others who come to mind, who seem to smooth out the regional sounds of New Orleans, Atlanta and Houston for a more accessible sound. It's not a bad thing, as ya need to sell records to make money; the mixtapes seem to be where you get the realness and more of an attempt to distinguish one's sound. It's almost like a dual consciousness thing, two sides to every rapper today.

Anyway, Ross' debut is alright, nothing extraordinary. No song comes close to "Hustlin'," a true classic song. The whole album reminds me of Young Jeezy-lite, similar drug tales, flow (ending lines with the same words) and music; hell, one of the songs sounds very similar to "Soul Survivor." Unfortunately, Ross just doesn't have that X factor to take it to the next level, his rhymes don't quite do it for me the way Jeezy's do.

The above tracks are some of my favorites; I actually prefer the original version of "Hustlin'" with just Ross, but I imagine everyone has that and this one seems to be more popular anyway. "Prayer" is the final track on the album, complete with one of the more sinister beats and Ross talking about G-d. It's a fascinating ending to an album replete with drug dealing and money and killing, one of those contradictions that make this genre endlessly interesting to me. "Push It" is the not-so-subtle opener, a possible second single and a prime example of what the album offers. Go here to buy it for super-cheap, let us know what you think of this one.

-Read this essential editorial by cocaine, reminding us of why we've loved it for so long and assuring that we'll always come back in the end.

-Best headline I have seen in a minute: 'I see handcuffs' for the story on Haley Joel Osment's arrest for DUI and possesssion.

-Since I asked for your thoughts and well wishes, I wanted to let everyone know that my mother is back from the hospital and doing much better. Well, she's home, still not doing that well, but it's nice to have her out of that horrible place and back to annoy me on a daily basis. I feel like this is the beginning of things looking up again, so refocused.

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