Thursday, June 08, 2006

i just pick a porsche

Ty Cobb f/ Rick Ross and Bun B - "On My Grind"
Rick Ross - "Nike Airs and Crisp Tees"
Rick Ross - "Poppin My Collar freestyle"

More thoughts on Rick Ross.

See back in the "golden ages," as any number of Swedish dudes will tell you, people cared about lyrics and lyricism was important. But then rapping about rapping got a little boring, and this was more or less the time people noticed they were making rap in places that weren't New York or LA. And they realized that rappers from Texas, Louisiana, Florida and many many other places had great ways of replacing lyricism--not always, but sometimes--with things like emotion and what we now know to be called swagger. Nowadays, there's all kinds of ways to be a good rapper. And Rick Ross has invented a new one.

See, the absolutely brilliant thing about Rick Ross is that he sounds like he's not even trying. Not that he's not taking himself a little bit seriously. But that he just stumbled upon the opportunity to spit. He raps like he's doing a soundcheck for his boy's brand new studio. As Shoals put it, his steez is basically, "oh you want me to rhyme?"

It's no accident that his star is rising right now. It's the result of a sort of perfect storm, the aligning of three elements.

1) He's from Miami.
Everything I've heard him on is real slow. Slow enough for anyone to freestyle over.

2) He raps in a post-Cam'ron/Juelz world.
Thus rhyming yayo with yayo, and then again with yayo is perfectly acceptable.

3) 'Ross' rhymes with 'boss'.
This is probably why he started rhyming in the first place.

Combine these three key elements and you get a style based loosely around rhyming the same word very slowly until a witty line comes to mind. Pause dramatically after every line to consider your options. In emergency situations, remind the listener that you are Ricky Ross, and you are the fucking boss.