Thankfully the worst thing about Mastermind, Ross’ sixth studio effort is the cover art. Someone, somewhere has been paid a shed load of money to badly use Microsoft Paint. So to him, well done. Easy money.
Coincidentally that’s what Rick Ross loves talking about; money and how easy it is for him to make it. Which is fine, and even better for him, but it’s not a new concept in Hip-Ho and in 2014 it’s a pretty dull formula.
Most Rappers (including Ross) admit to being as caricatures of their true selves on record, made to be more entertaining for the masses, the problem with Ross is that he’s not particularly likeable.
His rhymes are a tad tired sounding, which is a problem when you’re trying to convince people that your album that got pushed back because no-one cared wasn’t actually pushed back for that reason.
There are though as you’d expect, moments of unquestionably bombastic braggadocio, see ‘The Devil Is A Lie’ which also features one of the only decent guest verses from Jay Z over the last 12 months or so. ‘Blk & Wht’ is a needless terrible entry about, surprise, being ‘black but selling white’ that will still get into your head and completely ruin your day.
‘In Vein’ featuring The Weeknd is a quintessentially seedy Weeknd track butchered with an average verse lazily plonked on the end.
Elsewhere, ‘Sanctified’ sees a so-so guest spot from Kanye (his first one in two years) still outmatch his host for lyrical content.
Ross undoubtedly has the pieces to the jigsaw unfortunately they are scattered all over the house. And in case he hadn’t told you, it’s a very big house.