Album Review: Rick Ross; Port of Miami 2

I’m sure I’ve expressed before how much I love Rick Ross. He is without a doubt one of my favourite rappers currently. For me, Ross has the unique ability to provide us with a song that will have you thinking about so much. His flow and ability to get across his meanings remind me of Biggie, who is my ultimate favourite rapper. I always look forward to his albums because they always display the versatility of Rick Ross via his ability to spit bars on so many different kinds of beats. This album did not disappoint. Here are my opinions on some of the songs from the album.

Act a Fool Ft. Wale

This song was previously released before the album dropped and I still really like it. As an intro to the album the first line doesn’t get better; “It’s a beautiful day to get some money“, think that line sums up Rick Ross as a whole being the boss he is. I’m a fan of Wale and his wordplay is always spot on. Wale and Ross always work well together. Have a read of my previous review on this song here; https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/07/13/new-music-saturday-what-ive-been-listening-to-this-week/

Nobody’s Favourite Ft. Gunplay

‘GREAZE’. That is the word I would use to describe this song. As soon as the beat drops you know what time it is. Gunplay adds another form of aggression which I like. I don’t think there would have been anyone else that could have done the song justice more than him. The title of the song is quite interesting as Rick Riss claims that despite his success and talent, he is not usually considered people’s favourite in terms of rappers. Ross explores a truth here in the fact he has always been consistent. While some rappers may disappear and re appear regularly or have good times and bad times, Rick Ross has been consistent with his success. I hope that people start to appreciate Rick Ross a lot more. A lot of the reasons Nipsey Hussle is loved is due to the fact he always teaches us about ownership, giving back to your people, multiplying your money with businesses. All of these things Rick Ross has been doing too.

Rick Ross Boss Lyric;

My new house is on the river so I had to buy a boat, better yet, it’s called a yacht”

Summer Reign Ft. Summer Walker

A very big contrast to the previous song. This is a slowed down song for Ross which we know he can do so well. Summer Walker’s line “All I ask is that you hold it down for me ’cause you told me you would be my everything” echoes throughout the song. This is the versatility of Rick Ross and one of the unique things about him. He can go from sounding like a boss and someone not to be messed with from one track to this softer side displayed in this track.

Bogus Charms Ft. Meek Mill

If I heard the instrumental to this song without knowing who was on the song, the first featured artist that would come into my head would have been Meek Mill! In the song they talk about the downsides to fame and success and nobody explains pain more than Meek Mill. A line that sticks out for me from Ross is; “Half my team illiterate, I know it sound pathetic
But we can each get a brick that’s on a line of credit
“. The sad reality that due to some of their environments, many are not even educated. Meek Mill comes in saying; “Uh, I only remember nights that was post-traumatic
So I’m never actin’ bougie like I was supposed to have it
” meaning he is always thankful for what he has now. He knows and has lived through the struggle to get to his position now. Meek and Rick Ross always have great songs together and knowing the great relationship they have aside from music is great to know. Rick Ross is the king of showing us his flashy lifestyle but he never hides the struggle that comes with it. He paints a very realistic picture through his rapping, another reason I really like his music.

Rich Nigga Lifestyle Ft. Nipsey Hussle & Teyana Taylor

This is the last feature Rick Ross has with the late great Nipsey Hussle. Following on from the theme of the previous track Rick Ross says; “I’m just here to keep it real‚ not make you feel worse” reminding us what he is trying to do. In Nipsey’s verse he talks about the rise in Hip-Hop music and “How many niggas on your payroll?” meaning how many of your own people are you putting on. Nipsey was always consistent with the messages in his raps and it’s still a tragedy that we won’t get to hear from him again. Teyana Taylor provides a nice tone to the song too. Have a listen below;

Born to Kill Ft. Jeezy

The beat on this song is wonderful! Not much more to say on this one so have a listen below.

I Still Pray Ft. YFN Lucci & Ball Greezy

I really like the vibe I get from this track. This song is quite personal as it starts off with a reporter referring to the time Rick Ross was hospitalised. We see a more vulnerable side to Rick Ross as he starts off the track by saying; “Wake up out a coma, frozen in the moment you could have the biggest clique, but you gon’ die a loner“, the reality that everyone dies alone. Regardless of whether you are the most popular or if you have the most things, you die alone. The near death experience seems to have been a wake up call for Ross; “I’ll give you back the money just to get my health“. I think this song is just a reminder of how the most important thing to have in life has nothing to do with wealth or chains or cars or anything materialistic. The most important thing in life is to have good health.

Running the Streets Ft. Denzel Curry & A Boogie wit da Hoodie

I think this is my favourite song on the album at the moment. I recommend that when listening to this song, you have it connected to speakers with an excellent base to really appreciate the beat. The song refers to the idea that these men are in charge of their local hoods. In the song they are talking to their women in question letting them know that they have to understand their lifestyle. The idea that they won’t be coming home as they have work to do. Prior to the song I had not heard much from Denzel Curry but I am interested in hearing more from him. His verse in this song was my favourite. His flow and wordplay was so exciting to hear. Denzel even makes a random reference; “Like Stanley Yelnats, he caps, his head red” referring to the main character in the film ‘Holes’. What a random reference that fits so well. He was definitely the standout on this song!

Rick Ross Boss Line:

Went from sleepin’ on the floor to pissin’ Moët

Vegas Residency

This is pure Rick Ross. No features, just Ross slaying a beat as usual.

Maybach Music VI Ft. John Legend & Lil Wayne

This isn’t my favourite song in the numerous Maybach Music songs but I do however like the Lil Wayne feature. We don’t hear much from him so it was nice to hear a little verse.

Gold Roses Ft. Drake

Check out my previous review on this song here https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/07/30/new-music-what-ive-been-listening-to-4/

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R.I.P. Nipsey Hussle. The Marathon will continue…

R.I.P Nipsey Tha Great!!

On the 31st of March 2019, 33-year-old Los Angeles rapper Ermias Asghedom, known commonly as Nipsey Hussle was killed outside the parking lot of his store, ‘Marathon Clothing’. Nipsey Hussle was a well known West Coast rapper who had most recently had his debut album nominated for a Grammy at the 2018 awards. Almost as soon as the story broke, support from all part of the world poured in all grieving the loss of not only a great rapper but a man who was trying to change the world and his community for the better.

As a West Coast Rapper, he was among the greats and frequently collaborated with them too. Fellow West Coast rappers such as The Game, Snoop Dog, YG also all expressed their sadness over his death. On a personal level, I also liked how much he uplifted his girl Lauren London on a regular basis. I liked how much passion he had when speaking about the good he was doing for his community and how eager he was at spreading his wisdom around. Nipsey released his first project ‘Slauson Boy Vol. 1’ in 2005 and I think of some of the songs I used to listen to in the past that he featured in reminding me how long he has been doing this for. Nipsey was vocal about investing in ourselves and apparently owned all his masters for his album. He had previously said “I just believe in ownership… I believe in investing in yourself…Your foundation should be strong”. Once again, spreading his wisdom.I know that Nipsey’s death is not the end of his legacy and pray that young people are inspired by all the good he did and was trying to do. He will never be forgotten.

REST IN PEACE NIPSEY THA GREAT.

Here are a few songs that I personally like featuring Nipsey in no particular order;

Hussle in the House. (2008)

“IT’S HUSSLE IN THE HOUSE”!!!! This is arguably one of Nipsey’s most known songs. The song is a treat for old school rap lovers as it samples Kris Kross’s “Jump, Jump”. The beginning of the song is my favourite part of the song as Nipsey pays homage to NWA by rapping “Look, I’m comin straight off of Slauson, a crazy motherfucker named Nipsey” similar to Ice Cube’s classic opening line from “Straight Outta Compton“. It’s in this song he mentions how he makes his money; “Now it’s rap money no advance it’s all royalties” indicating how makes money from his fans buying his music rather than through record companies.

Dedication Ft. Kendrick Lamar (2018)

It’s crazy to think Nipsey only has one actual album considering the amount of songs he’s released over the years. When I think of songs from the album, this is one of the first that pops into my head. Funnily enough it’s been the most popular one I’ve heard been played recently as fans gather to mourn his death. He refers to himself in the song as “2Pac of my generation” which many refer to him as.

Double Up Ft. Belly & Dom Kennedy (2018)

This is another from his debut album (a bonus track). In this song Nipsey talks about his difficult childhood and argues that some rappers don’t actually know what growing up with a hard life actually is.

Killer Ft. Drake (2013)

Ayyyy Drizzy Drake and Nipsey. The only sad thing is that they didn’t do more tracks together. These too make a good combination. This for me is one of the most memorable Nipsey tracks. The two rap about what motivates them to be where they are and how much it is paying off.

Mark My Words Ft Rick Ross (2016)

In the intro of this song Nipsey states “I’m different”. Listening to this song now makes me quite emotional if I’m honest. Nipsey says; “Pass the power to your people, it ain’t nothing realer. Faced with this decision it’s a funny feeling, knowing when you tell the truth they gon’ come and kill you”. Hearing those words now couldn’t be more haunted. Nipsey saying to pass the power to his people is really an example of what he was about. He always was ready to help others like him especially from his community in order to bring the up with him. That alone, makes him different from a lot of rappers. He always kept it real and for that some people didn’t like.

A Hunnit a Show Ft. Rick Ross (2014)

For me this is my most memorable Nip and Ross record. This song details the two’s extravagant lifestyle. “Trying to do it like Puff do it, do it like Russ do it, real life, said, “What’s up?” to it”; It also talks about his upbringing and how he looked up to legends from the game.

Real Big Ft. Marsha Ambrosius (2018)

Another favourite from ‘Victory Lap’. The song feels like a conclusion to his thoughts and is quite celebratory. He reflects on all the success; “I switched it up, that’s me singin’ on the chorus”, even reflects on his progression. His concluding words “Real big, real big, I knew one day I would do it real big” will forever resonate with me and have a bitter sweet meaning behind it. In one way you can argue that he had achieved what he wanted. He was a worldwide success. He was loved by so many and he was motivating and changing people’s lives for the better.

Racks in the Middle Ft. Roddy Rich (2019)

So this was Nipsey’s final released single and takes a switch ftom his usual music. In this song he talks about the highs he was experiencing with his commercial success. There’s a line where he says “How you die thirty somethin’ after banging all them years” in which he was referring to his friend that had died however the words unfortunately can now be applied to him. In the song he also acknowledges his recent celebrations; “Grammy-nominated, in the sauna sheddin’ tears”. His debut album had been nominated for a Grammy so it was good to see he was being recognised.

What these Bitches Want (2016)

I like Nipsey’s verse on this song. He says “Hope you niggas get rich and then reinvest to it” reiterating the fact he was always spreading his knowledge to those coming after him. Nipsey was always willing to help people; “Wish you niggas success and minus the stress to it”.

Down As a Great Ft. Kirko Bangz (2016)

This song sums up all of Nipsey’s legacy. He was constantly uplifting us and teaching us how to be great. If there are any words you should remember from Nipsey I would recommend listening to this song. Everyone will take some words from this song that will relate to them or motivate them equally. For me; “It ain’t a force in this world like the focused drive. You gotta focus on yourself like an only child. You make your dream realer, and you make your team better“. I will live by those words. The words “I’m tryna go down, down as a great” are repeated throughout the song and I promise you Nipsey, you are 1000% going down as one. Rest in Power Nipsey the Great.