Allow us to reintroduce ourselves: Our name is Rec-Room Therapy. Each week, we discuss recent hip-hop tracks.
Today, Rick Ross inflates the value of the black dollar; Jeezy talks to god; and Tyga is definitely overstimulated.
Our distinguished panel this afternoon consists of Marcus Dowling, Phil R, Clyde McGrady, Jose Lopez-Sanchez of Dead Curious, Joshua Phelps, Aaron Miller of Austin Mic Exchange, and Hip Hop Hooray’s Leah Manners.
Rick Ross: “Foreclosures”
Surprise! Rick Ross has a new album out today*. It’s called Black Dollar, and it comes on the heels of the Bawse’s two 2014 albums: Mastermind and Hood Billionaire. The former album was sort of hit, selling 400K+ and giving the world “Sanctified”, “The Devil is a Lie”, and “War Ready”. The latter, on the other hand, might as well have never existed. Most people probably don’t even know Rick Ross released an album called Hood Billionaire. And real talk: I don’t think Rick Ross has been on a hot song for the entirety of 2015. Sure, he’s on the Meek Mill, Gunplay, and Snoop Doog records, but the value of Rick Ross features might be at an all-time low. So, Ricky is back on his horse with Black Dollar, and its first single “Foreclosures” reunites him with production team J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, plus 8 Bars.
MARCUS: Somewhere deep inside of Rick Ross is William Roberts, an intelligent man who once successfully convinced the world that the devil is a lie. Ross seems to have finally reached the place as an artist where he’s accepted his flaws, is handling his failures, and somewhere through the haze of blunt smoke and cocaine dreams he’s speaking honestly here about serious issues like, say, saving for your child’s education.
This feels like God Forgives, I Don’t album track “10 Jesus Pieces”, which features Stalley and a similar level of lyrical awareness. Ross isn’t going to challenge that Blackalicious song from a few weeks ago or anything by Oddisee on the conscious rap countdown, but yeah, this is actually pretty great.
Justice League’s on the production here – just as they are on “10 Jesus Pieces” – and it’s clear that the bawse is going for some social justice points in the hood on this one and definitely getting them. For every ten ostentatious Ross songs, I’ll happily take one of these as a balance.
PHELPS: (Reuters) Wu-Tang Financial (WUF) announced the hiring of South Florida based broker Richard Ross as the firm continues to invest in non-core operating businesses. With a portfolio based 80% in C.R.E.A.M. funds and 20% in diversified bonds, the Staten Island based firm will absorb Ross’ Mass Mutual Group (MMG) and their cache of brick and mortar retail poultry assets along with a stable powder-based nutritional supplements/diet aids business. This announcement comes on the heels of Ross’ recent industry white paper, “Foreclosures”, which breaks down the complicated algorithms involved in the distribution of mechanical royalties for streaming audio. Insiders upgraded the rating of the deal after MMG agreed to release junior financial advisor Meek Mill prior to the merger, citing the millions he lost in an already treacherous Florida economic climate by advising clients that their dreams were worth more than their money. (Additional reporting by RRT LLC)
AARON: Phelps is Wolf of Ball Street.
Bangeroni notwithstanding, in the same way I hate hearing Kanye try to sell me dissent, I am not trying to hear Rick Ross spit some cautionary tales right now. It’s a day late and a million dollars short.
If he had been doing tracks like this for the last eight years I might give a fuck, and maybe I’m paranoid, but is he pandering to conscious rap fans here? That’s a new low even for Rick Rape.
He might meet the bare minimum qualifications for “successful rapper” but he has taken so many L’s in the court of public opinion that I’m not sure this strange fit of positivity is gonna help anyone – least of all him. It has the opposite effect. I’d rather just hear more bullshit cartel raps about lobster and cars. I mean, since it’s a known fact that the struggle is actually not real with this guy, why not stick to your guns and hit us with the okey doke that we expect?
I can see his fan base pausing mid-crime, listening to these out-of-character raps, and yelling, “What are thooooooose?”
His version of self reflection seems as fake as the rest of his catalog. And I love how his missed connection with the Everyman Homie in this song is: “…still can’t believe we never followed each other on Twitter.” Not deep, fool. Shit is trite and this song is bland.
Props on faking a good attitude for a few bars, I guess.
JOSE: This is unintentionally sad. Beat is recycling themes from a few years ago, Rozay sounds like he’s yawning into his pear compote, and it’s got more false sincerity than Taylor Swift at an awards show. I sent it to my brother, who is the biggest Rick Ross Stan I know, and even he was like “this is dumb and boring.”
CLYDE: I look forward to Rozay’s next single: “Student Loan Default”
If Rick Ross is going one route by reuniting with past collaborators to revive a classic recipe, then Jeezy is going the other: The first single from his forthcoming LP – not currently titled, but reportedly out in November – finds him rapping over production from Southside and TM-88. The two founding members of the 808 Mafia have been on the come-up for several years, but with the 808 Mafia collective luxuriating in the success of Future’s DS2, their cache has never been higher. Jeezy’s LP follows last September’s Seen It All: The Autobiography, which found Jeezy working with older dudes like Drumma Boy, Mike Will Made It, Cardo, and Childish Major. The release of “GOD” was accompanied by a lengthy political statement of sorts, perhaps hints at the tenor of the entire project.
AARON: I make no excuses: I love Jeezy. The dude transcends any need for a moral compass. No feelings. He is like a drug-dealing terminator and, unlike a lot of trappers over the years, I believe every word he says.
That being said, I’m not feeling this joint so much. It’s a little slow and the beat seems to be in some kind of constant breakdown. It’s a nice beat but Jeezy simply doesn’t rap enough to fill all that space.
I’m intrigued by a slightly more descriptive and visual tone for such a literal rapper. Instead of the usual I-did-this-and-will-continue-to-do-so raps, there’s some attempt at metaphor and a buncha creepy bible stuff.
I look forward to whatever super serious shit comes out of this new album.
MARCUS: Jeezy’s been good for, like, a smash a year for the past five years. I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s something really funny about thinking about Kanye making “trap god” singles and then Jeezy makes a gargantuan thing like this and it sounds slightly less than on the same level as what Kanye did on these types of tracks two or three years ago. That just doesn’t feel right…
The only thing I don’t like about this is that he’s on that minimalist young trap dude flow and well, if there was anyone I’d want as a representative from the hood discussing hood issues it’s Jeezy. However, when you stop and reconsider this as like, a speech based in platitudes, it’s actually better. Jeezy “standing on a pile of white bricks” and then making religious allusions? If Kanye can be both sacrilegious and a 2020 presidential nominee, then Jeezy can certainly deal drugs and praise the Lord, too.
Is this a club banger? Of course it is. Drop this one at the right moment in the right place, and bodily harm causing mayhem is certain.
PHIL: Shouts to Jeezy for the correct usage of “whom.” English teacher’s child salute.
I appreciate how Jeezy rides out the biblical theme for one verse of Bible magnetic poetry, but by the second, he’s pretty much abandoned it aside for a “state pen” / “Hallejulah, amen” flip.
Snowman is going to sound monolithic on anything, but as a matter of personal preference, I like it when the beat pushes back.
I was going to let Tyga’s “Stimulated” slide, but the man went ahead and made a video for it. For those just tuning in: “Stimulated” is the song where Tyga brags about having sexual relations with Kylie Jenner, his rumored girlfriend who recently turned 18. Or to quote Tyga here: ““They say she young / I should have waited / She a big girl, dog / When she stimulated.” “Stimulated” comes from Fuk Wat They Talkin Bout, a mixtape released by Tyga last week. It’s his third offering this year, following his Chris Brown collaboration Fan of a Fan: The Album and his own long-delayed, Kanye-assisted, independently released, poorly selling LP The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty. On the plus side, he has an MTV2 show called “Kingin’ With Tyga”! I have no idea who produced “Stimulated”, but as a kicker, it samples Robert Miles’ “Children”.
LEAH: I don’t know who any of these people are and I don’t care. This song is kind of gross because of the mix of medical & slang terminology and it’s not very good. And I seriously doubt this tiger person writes his rhymes in a spiral-bound notebook – especially in such an obviously windy locale. Get off my fucking lawn.
AARON: “Oh listen, honey, they’re playing our song.”
MARCUS: Some notes:
Kim Kardashian appears in Kanye West’s video for “Bound 2” where she idyllically portrays her very real love for the Louis Vuitton Don as the two appear to be zipping down a highway (and Kim’s half-naked) while astride a motorcycle.
Khloe Kardashian appears in French Montana’s video for “Don’t Panic” and plays a sawed off shotgun-wielding hooligan.
Kylie Jenner appears in Tyga’s video for “Stimulated” in which she canoodles with her real-life boyfriend who raps that when he touches her while they had sex when she was underage that she “disintegrated,” ostensibly into the orgasmic bliss that women experience when “stimulated.”
When Kim Kardashian looks like a saint by comparison to you, you done fucked up.
This song is stupid and a troll on the universe. The sample of “Robert Miles’ “Children” and the hook-like repeating of “she a big girl, dawg” is like waiting for 100 Medium thinkpieces and outraged CNN appearances from no fewer than 100 children’s and sexual rights activists, and I’m waiting for it to happen.
Related to Kanye, this is the point where I should announce that yes, I want to date Kris Jenner. As well, in the spirit of Tyga, I’m four bars into a song about it…
Hey there mama, this is sex related
I don’t want your daughters, I want old lady relations
They say you’re as young as you feel and you look ready for action
So when it comes to you I can do subtraction
PHELPS: MOAR MARCUS RAPS, PLEASE.
This song is amazing. He went full Ray J/I Hit It First before their inevitable breakup.
Tell me where you heard this before: young, rich socialite with last name rhyming with “Barbashian” makes awk video with downtrending loser with waning album sales.
Sex tapes are passe, so when Kylie is dating someone much richer and/or talented than Tyga, this is what we’ll have to meme-ify and ridicule their union: An on-wax document by a grown ass man about high school math, going places no one goes (the mall, the bank) and sexing his virgin girlfriend without foreplay. Poor girl! He sounds worse at sex than rapping.
CLYDE: I hate this little motherfucker so much and that was before I heard “Stimulated.” I’ve hated this chump since around the time I found out he was cousins with the douchebag who made that silly ass song about wanting to be a hedge fund manager. This dude with his shit-eating grin fully embodies the philosophy that all you really need to make it in America is an irrational belief in yourself and the ability to be semi-competent (25th percentile) in your professional field.
Also, not only does Tyga actually choose to be friends with Chris Brown, Tyga also made him the fucking godfather to his child! Is it any surprise a man with such questionable judgement would put out some Grade-A USDA certified bullshit like this?
The beat is OK.