Rick Ross, proud owner of several Wingstops and a Checkers, is now serving rap comfort food. Most of his 10th album, Port of Miami 2, is Ross exactly as you know and love him: the obscene boasts, the window-cracking bass, the speedboat cool, the various spins on raps-to-riches success. Lines like “Fuck you on the beach, then order UberEats.” It comes in all your favorite flavors: The top-down convertible cruisers (“Summer Reign,” “White Lines”), the Scarface menace (“Turnpike Ike,” “Rich Nigga Lifestyle”), the boss bass booms (“Act a Fool,” “Big Tyme”) and, of course, the sixth volume in his “Maybach Music” series of songs.
It’s not a recalibration, nor a back-to-basics effort, nor even a discernable sequel to his 2006 debut Port of Miami – the only real callbacks are a DJ Toomp beat (“I Still Pray”), some Jeezy and Lil Wayne guest verses, and updating the Miami rolodex to include Denzel Curry. In fact, the real Port of Miami sequel was Rick Ross’ entire catalog from 2007 to 2012: With Port, it was a franchise totaling five records and two mixtapes, a rapper whose flows went from simple to complex, a hustler who grows bigger and more luxurious, peaking with the 2012 brag “Fornicate in my fortress, 40k still my mortgage/24k my toilet, all my taxes reported.”
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After that, Ross albums were various shades of self-aware, personal and conscious, a trend continued in Port of Miami 2‘s back half. On “I Still Pray,” he ruminates on death and gets reflective about being found unresponsive last year: “Wake up out a coma, frozen in the moment/You could have the biggest clique, but you gon’ die a loner/ Tubes down my throat, rules that I broke/All these quotes that I wrote and never cared to vote.” And on “Vegas Residency,” he gets a little righteously heated “Went from battle raps to now we wearin’ MAGA hats,” and may even have some rage for America’s health care system “Another seizure, so I woke up in intensive care/Pray you treat a poor man like he was a millionaire.”
But obviously, the draw of Port of Miami 2 is going to be the classic Ross raps and classic Ross boasts: pissing Möet, wearing a cheetah mink in the summer, balling on Oprah’s yacht and, in perhaps his best brag ever, his actual house in Atlanta being used as the set for the actual Coming to America sequel. Anyone who’s enjoyed any Rick Ross album at any point in his career, can play Port of Miami 2 loudly on a summer day and catch up with a reliable, incredibly wealthy friend.
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