The Devil is a Lie, and Rick Ross is the Mastermind. Next week, the bawse releases his sixth studio album—well, seventh if you count 2012′s an-album-in-everything-but-name Rich Forever—but iTunes Radio is hosting a live stream today, and word on the streets is that the album is also available, oh, everywhere else too.
I’ve had Schoolboy’s “Gangsta” on a Spotify repeat loop for the past 18 hours, to the point that anyone dumb enough to follow me on the app might be concerned about my mental health, so no, Mastermind has gotten no play yet. But the long-delayed album is intriguing. Diddy served as executive producer, there’s a quality list of contributors including Kanye, Lil Wayne, The Weeknd and album labelmate Meek Mill, and I’m strangely fascinated by what former super-producer Scott Storch will be providing on his designated track. Storch has spent the last six or so years financing the careers of bankruptcy lawyers and the GDP of Columbia. Can he actually bring fire again? And more importantly, did he make Ross’ beat while getting a haircut and smoking a cigarette?
Anyway: Ross remains a pariah in certain circles after his controversy surrounding his “U.O.E.N.O.” line—a line that doesn’t touch the trio of subjects of Biggie’s “Dead Wrong,” i.e. rape, murder, and pedophilia, but I digress—so Mastermind will be an important album for him in a commercial and artistic sense. He says he’s aiming for classic soulfulness, with some of the most lush production of his career, a claim not exactly backed up by street bangers “Box Chevy” and “No Games.” Will he succeed?
Listen to the album here.
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