Rap Roundup: January 2012
Rich Forever by Rick Ross: Even though it’s a free mixtape, Rich Forever stands as Rick Ross’ best work, even against 2010’s excellent Teflon Don. Ross has been on a streak of getting better with each of his major releases, and Rich Forever is no different. The first several tracks set the tone for the rest of the tape by showcasing Ross at his most paranoid, before mellowing only slightly over the course of the 85-minute play time. Whereas his previous efforts fell flat during their attempts at pop-crossovers, Rich Foreveris a cranked up version of the sleek and enormous luxury-rap Ross has been creating since 2010 with surprisingly little filler.
Habits and Contradictions by Schoolboy Q: So, straight up, Section.80by Kendrick Lamar was one of the best albums last year, so it’s only slightly surprising that his label mate, Schoolboy Q, delivers an album just as good. It’s a mix of the conscious lyricism that Kendrick specializes in balanced out with partying and drug-talk, and creates a diverse album as well as help Q separate himself from his hyped label mate.
Blue Dream and Lean by Juicy J: Juicy J doesn’t bury the lead. From the first song (aptly entitled “Drugged Out”) to the last, there is no subject matter that doesn’t revolve around drugs and partying. Being that this is a 28-track mixtape, coming hot off the heels of two other mixtapes about the same exact thing, it’s not hard to imagine how this project can become tiresome quickly. It’s essentially all loud, Lex Luger-style productions with J chanting phrases such as “You say no to drugs, Juicy J can’t” ad nauseum, which may sound fun for a few tracks, but certainly not 28.