He pushed back his album “God Forgives, I Don’t,” due to recent health issues and even if he hasn’t baked the album yet, Rick Ross, one of the most respected rappers in the branch, has just served a delicious appetizer for his fans: Rich Forever, a mixtape that plays like an album featuring some of hip-hop heavy hitters (Diddy, Nas, Drake, Kelly Rowland), Maybach Music Group members and affiliates (Wale, Meek Mill, French Montana) and renowned producers (Boi-1da, Chuck Inglish).
Lex Luger produced only one song on Rich Forever (”Off The Boat”), but his fingerprints are all over the mixtape, and its roots are firmly in “B.M.F.” Despite that, the mixtape is one of the best of Ross’s career. As Rolling Stone magazine wrote, Rick Ross “remains monomaniacally focused on monetary matters, spinning punch line after punch line about luxury cars, dripping jewels and high-grade cocaine. Finest zinger: “I got them keys in the crib/You wouldn’t find ‘em if you had the keys to the crib.” Best line about multitasking: “Fornicating/Counting money with a fuck face.”" It’s like the rapper wants to make up for the time he lost last year when he didn’t release a solo project.
Nevertheless, Rick Ross can justifiably call himself rap’s boss because he always tends to brings out the best in his collaborators, which is illuminated in this mixtape too. On “Triple Beam Dreams”, Ross teamed up with Nas with whom he recollected earlier days of corner life over vivid production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. The title-track, that reveals once more Ross’s fascination for the power of the dollar, has a different flavor as the rapper added John Legend’s piercing soulful vocals. While John Legend does what he knows best in the chorus, making it very clear that he and Ross plan on living the title of the song to the fullest, Ross raps over piano and dramatic strings about his come-up in the game (”Def Jam on my heels, should I sign to it? / Million dollar advance for me to rhyme fluent”). Then, with versatility, Ross chooses to play along with Kelly Rowland in the “Mine Games” track and with Drake and French Montana in “Stay Schemin” whose video has been released these days. “Stay Schemin” is said to be one of the best tracks on the mixtape and it has become a trending topic on Twitter right after Rich Forever dropped. In addition, Rich Forever seems to echo Ross’s vindictive side due to a motto that repeats throughout the entire mixtape and which is on the verge of becoming Ross’s own brand: “God forgives, I don’t.”
“Keys On The Crib,” “I Swear To God”,” High Definition,” “King Of Diamonds,” total of 19 tracks, take your pick. The tracks may not turn into mega hits, but they worth a spin and are perfect for a Friday night party. The truth is that Rich Forever generated a huge amount of buzz for the upcoming album, which is due “around first quarter, early second quarter” of 2012 as Island Def Jam Senior VP of Marketing Chris Atlas told Billboard magazine.