17 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

No rapper has embraced the absurdity of excess better than Rick Ross, a man who once claimed he ate lobster bisque for breakfast and wore a pinky ring that cost twice America’s average household income. But Ross scaled back on 2014’s Mastermind, making room for a mellower, more contemplative mood. And while Black Market isn’t short on tall tales, we do get reflections about mom (“Smile Mama, Smile”), loose, '90s-style beats (DJ Premier’s blunted “Black Opium”), and “Crocodile Python,” where Ross examines the perils of success as intensely as he celebrates it. Also telling: The album’s guest list features more R&B luminaries than it does fellow rappers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

No rapper has embraced the absurdity of excess better than Rick Ross, a man who once claimed he ate lobster bisque for breakfast and wore a pinky ring that cost twice America’s average household income. But Ross scaled back on 2014’s Mastermind, making room for a mellower, more contemplative mood. And while Black Market isn’t short on tall tales, we do get reflections about mom (“Smile Mama, Smile”), loose, '90s-style beats (DJ Premier’s blunted “Black Opium”), and “Crocodile Python,” where Ross examines the perils of success as intensely as he celebrates it. Also telling: The album’s guest list features more R&B luminaries than it does fellow rappers.

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Customer Reviews

4 out of 5

288 Ratings

Bawwws

gss2596,

Need I say more? This album is gonna be straight fire!! I love the direction that Rick Ross is been taking with this album. Gonna be dope!

Good album… Not his best work.

SouthTexasThatsWhereIStay,

Good album… Not his best work. I give these artists much respect. I think it can be difficult to create so much music, album after album. I really think it takes time to construct a song and write poetic lyrics, let alone create an entire album. Rap fans get so caught up in the whole probation officer thing. Rap fans are the only fans that believe you have to actually sell dope to write a song about the actual deed. Rap fans are the only fans that believe you actually have to live what you rap about. Some of the greatest rap artists wrote songs about what they saw growing up, about the hardships of life in the hood. Tupac Shakur, arguably one of the greatest rap artists in history wrote songs about what he saw growing up. Tupac attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he took acting and dance classes, including ballet. He wrote songs about what he saw in his neighborhood growing up. It doesn’t mean he actually killed people or sold dope. He saw drug dealers selling dope, pimps, and young girls having babies out of wedlock. With that being said, he decided to write songs about it. Music artists in other genres of music like R&B, alternative, and country music sing songs everyday about a life in which they have not experienced for themselves. However this is tolerated because music is art. Music is an art similar to writing a book or movie script. You are telling a story. Whether it is fictional or not, your purpose is to create something people will be drawn too. Your purpose is to create something people will want to read or watch in a theater. Actors portray gangsters in movies all the time. This is okay, because they are acting in a role. It’s artistic. Denzel Washington played an evil crooked detective in the movie Training Day. Do you really believe that Denzel is an actual heinous detective in real life? In my opinion, Rick Ross writes music that depicts what he saw growing up. Do I believe that Rick Ross was a mastermind coke dealing drug kingpin. I absolutely do not. Do I believe that he may have been a regular dope boy or corner boy on the block selling a little weed or crack for small amounts of money to buy the latest Jordan’s? . Maybe. My thought is that he may have run dope for a big time hustler, and wrote about some of the things he saw. In my opinion, he probably saw a real dope kingpin moving bricks and decided to write about that life. In any case, it’s all art. Whether writing raps or writing books about what you saw growing up in your neighborhood.

About Rick Ross

Tattooed with pictures of AK-47s, Miami's six-foot, 300-pound rap figure known as Rick Ross embraced his city's reputation for drug trafficking on his debut single, "Hustlin'," in 2006. While Atlanta and Houston artists were establishing their cities as Southern strongholds, Ross aimed at putting Miami back in rap's national spotlight. Ross, real name William Roberts, grew up in Carol City, Florida, an impoverished northern suburb of Miami. Influenced by artists like Luther Campbell and the Notorious B.I.G., Roberts formed local rap group the Carol City Cartel and began rapping in the mid-'90s. (He took his rap name from Los Angeles drug kingpin "Freeway" Rick Ross, who ran one of the largest crack cocaine distribution networks in the country during the '80s and early '90s.) Ross had a brief stint on Suave House Records, former label of Eightball & MJG, before he ended up on Miami-based Slip 'N' Slide Records, the label home of Trick Daddy and Trina. During the early to mid-2000s, he became popular and well-known locally through touring with Trick Daddy and appearing as a guest on a few Slip 'N' Slide releases, but didn't release any solo material until 2006.

Once "Hustlin'" caught the ear of a few executives within the national industry, a bidding war ensued that included offers from Bad Boy CEO Sean "Diddy" Combs and The Inc (formerly Murder Inc) president Irv Gotti. Nonetheless, Def Jam president and veteran rapper Jay-Z signed Ross to a multi-million-dollar deal. The Miami anthem "Hustlin'" went on to receive gold status from the RIAA in May 2006 and sold over a million ringtone units before the physical release of his debut album, Port of Miami. Released in August 2006, Ross' debut was Slip 'N' Slide's first project under the Def Jam partnership, and it went to number one on the Billboard album chart. His follow-up, Trilla, was released the following year, prefaced with the Cool & Dre-produced title track. Early 2009 saw the release of Deeper Than Rap, an album greeted with numerous positive reviews in the hip-hop press. In early 2010 he released the Teflon Don album featuring the hit single "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)." The star-studded God Forgives, I Don't followed in 2012, with guest shots from Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.

At the start of 2013, he announced details of his sixth studio album. He enlisted the help of Scott Storch and DJ Khaled as executive producers and released the pre-album single "No Games" featuring Future. The album, titled Mastermind, landed in March of 2014 with the simultaneous release of the single "War Ready" featuring Young Jeezy. Just six months later, Ross announced that he would be releasing his seventh studio album, Hood Billionaire, toward the end of 2014. The album arrived in November of that year and was preceded by the singles "Elvis Presley Blvd." and "Keep Doin' That (Rich Bitch)." In 2015, he dropped Black Dollar, a high-profile official mixtape that featured production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Jake One. The mixtape previewed that year's official album, Black Market, which landed late in the year, along with the accompanying single "Sorry" featuring Chris Brown. Future, Mary J. Blige, and Nas also made guest appearances on the LP.

In 2016, Ross appeared with electronic producer Skrillex on the Suicide Squad film soundtrack cut "Purple Lamborghini," which went on to receive a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media. The Maybach don returned the following year with his ninth set, Rather You Than Me, which featured lead singles "Buy Back the Block" with 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane and "I Think She Like Me" with Ty Dolla $ign. ~ Cyril Cordor

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