Pitchfork Reviews Rick Ross' 'God Forgives, I Don't' (6.8/10)

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 6 years ago '06        #1
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Pitchfork Reviews Rick Ross' 'God Forgives, I Don't' (6.8/10)
 

 


God Forgives, I Don't doesn't feel good enough, or big enough, to be what it is: The victory lap crowning Rick Ross' four-year rise to dominance, beginning with 2009's Deeper Than Rap. Part of what made Ross' Big Leap possible, now that it's over, was the fact that he was allowed to do it on his own bizarre terms: Deeper Than Rap's street single, "Mafia Music", swatted 50 Cent, unprovoked, at the exact moment that Ross' own reputation was most fragile. It had no chorus, just four minutes of Ross huffing about Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, and how the dope in his trunk made the car "smell like blue cheese." The album itself was overstuffed for a summer-radio takeover that Ross was in no position to reasonably expect. Teflon Don, just one year later, shortened its running time to an equally absurd 11 songs, as if Ross felt the next logical move was to remind rap fans of Illmatic. Both succeeded because they were fired by the flames of Ross' outrageous self-belief. He built a self-contained, no-reality-allowed planet, and spending time there was good for the soul.

God Forgives, I Donít, by comparison, feels depressingly earthbound. The entire rap industry now worships Ross: At last May's Maybach Music Group conference, Lyor Cohen, Diddy, Swizz Beatz, and others showed up to shower ridiculous accolades on Ross (Diddy: "I think Rick Ross will go down in history as one of the great record men." Lyor: "Having a conversation with Ross is like having a conversation with Nas or Hova." Swizz Beatz: "Rick is also a painter, an artist; he understands Basquiat"). He is no longer the former punchline defying gravity: He is the center of gravity, and God Forgives is the first project of his to bend under the weight of rap-industry expectation.

In fact, L.A.Reid himself shows up on "Maybach Music IV", muttering about how "it takes a boss to recognize a boss." Reid's presence is unforgivable, not even by God: It's like having your party crashed by your high school principal. The moment may be more viscerally unappealing than picturing Ross taking advantage of the $24,000 toilet he brags about on "Hold Me Back". The only other guest on "Maybach Music IV", the latest installment of a series that has featured guest appearances by Jay-Z, Kanye West, T.I., and Erykah Badu, is... Ne-Yo, i.e., The Guy Who Sings On Your Def Jam Album When You No Longer Have Any Control Over Your Own Commercial Destiny. Even the beat is a tired jazz-fusion retread of "Maybach Music III".

God Forgives is an unsteady vehicle like that, the kind of misfortune-plagued summer blockbuster with visible seams: All that money invested, and they didn't fix that one shot where the spaceship looks like a sticker? How did a song called "Diced Pineapples" end up on the album still called "Diced Pineapples", and why did they let Wale kick it off telling a woman he intends to figure out how deep her birth canal is? When Ross shows up on "Hold Me Back", he is painfully, jarringly out of time with the track, panting after the beat like a winded fat uncle trying, and failing, to tag his 10-year-old nephew "it." You can almost see him bent over, his hands resting on his knees, while the downbeat speeds away from him.

The "biggest" moments, like "Maybach Music IV", are the most leaden: "3 Kings" is the big-event track, with verses from Dr. Dre and Jay-Z. All three verses can be summed up in a single line. For Dre, it is "YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS BEAT THROUGH MY HEADPHONES!" For Jay, it is "n*ggas couldn't walk in my daughters' socks/ Banksy, bi-ches, Basquiats." For Ross, it is the clanging, charmless "Come and suck a d!ck for a millionaire!" All three bring their C game, and the result is lethal. The beat bears the name of Jake One, a producer who usually graces his music with analog warmth, but Dre's surgical-gloves mixing vacuums out every trace of humanity. Deep into his Detox oblivion, Dre's production has come to sound the way George Lucas' Star Wars prequels look-- sterilized, molded-plastic, and soulless.

There is still some great music on God Forgives, but it is somewhat overshadowed by these higher-profile misfires. "Sixteen" brings Andrť 3000 into Ross' orbit, and Three Stacks obliges, like he does every few years, with a casually mind-melting verse. The Cool- and Dre-produced "Ashamed" is built on a great Wilson Pickett sample; "Ashamed" is a solid example of Ross' plush luxury rap done well. "Ten Jesus Pieces", the rare "reflective Bawse" moment, finds Ross barking about pulling prayers from his "archive" (even the guy's prayers are stored somewhere expensive-sounding) over Jeffrey Osborne's lovestruck "Baby". "911" sounds like it was recorded during the same time as the far-superior material on last winter's Rich Forever, and is therefore excellent. The project is too big to completely fail, and it doesn't. But Planet Boss just became a much less fun place to visit.

[pic - click to view]

 Rick Ross: God Forgives, I Don't | Album Reviews | Pitchfork

142 comments for "Pitchfork Reviews Rick Ross' 'God Forgives, I Don't' (6.8/10)"

 6 years ago '12        #2
Dee352 170 heat pts170
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 Killa said:
fu*k those gay-ass hipsters. Ever since they started rating every fu*king Lil B project 8.0 I stopped fu*king with them..
they gave lil b a 8.0 they should all k!ll themselves
 6 years ago '10        #3
Fly Elroy 321 heat pts321
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pitchfork got jokes
 6 years ago '12        #4
Melle 64 heat pts64
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knew this album wasn't going to get good reviews!!! we have already heard most the tracks, there is nothing even the slightest bit Musically interesting on it... Ross not Versatile anymore, he got 1 Flow followed by a handful of ad-libs

who gives a fu*k about a "Jay-Z & Dre" Feature?? Same goes with any Ross/Meek collab (they have done sooo many)... he bombed on "Touch'N You ft. Usher"

I'm just going to stop there, Ross hyped this album up to be Huge & it turned out to be a total Flop!! he should have released "Rich Forever" as his album, Incredible Mixtape btw... now he got to Hype Meeks Album up even though i feel like it will get pushed back
 6 years ago '12        #5
ThePainkiller 356 heat pts356
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 Killa said:
Not only once. To all his fu*king mixtapes, all that bullsh*t he records on phone, drops on DatPiff and calls it a "mixtape"
LOL! You mad because Based God is the best rapper out right now?















None of Ross' terrible music should get anything above a 4. It's the same sh*t every time. Grunt, make up lies about him knowing drug lords, claims he pushes kilos, and the same lex beats.





Get over it.
 6 years ago '06        #6
Adewale 15 heat pts15
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The part that is funny is it's an actual legitimate review with valid points, but it still has mad hating sh*t on there.

The lowest rating that album deserves is a 7.5/10 and that is being extremely critical of the album.

Idk, I feel like Ross delivered with this project
 6 years ago '09        #7
thegoldenhero 3 heat pts
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It's Pitchfork


Last edited by thegoldenhero; 07-30-2012 at 12:30 AM..
 6 years ago '12        #8
ThePainkiller 356 heat pts356
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 Killa said:
I'm not even a Ross fan, in fact I hate his music. I was just saying you fu*king dumb f*ggot.

I thought Lil B's music was meant to make people positive and happy? Go be happy somewhere else.
Yep you mad lol. Go outside and quit being salty.
 07-30-2012, 12:36 AM         #9
Graftedgenes 
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Same guy at Pitchfork gave Jeezy TM103 a 6.7.
 6 years ago '12        #10
cubes 4 heat pts
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 Dee352 said:
they gave lil b a 8.0 they should all k!ll themselves
 dopemcee said:
same ppl that give lil b 7-8 rating??


 6 years ago '07        #11
Jayceon 498 heat pts498
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I didn't particularly like the album. sh*t bored me. soulless was a good way of putting it. not creative at all. and the bangers weren't good enough to substitute for that. n he definitely should've saved rich forever as an easter egg type joint.
 6 years ago '04        #12
W24x55 61 heat pts61
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I think the album is boring.
 07-30-2012, 07:51 AM         #13
k3llz 
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 Killa said:
I'm not even a Ross fan, in fact I hate his music. I was just saying you fu*king dumb f*ggot.

I thought Lil B's music was meant to make people positive and happy? Go be happy somewhere else.
if you hate Ross music, you're a deaf/stupid/retarded muthafu*ka
 6 years ago '09        #14
TraV 77 heat pts77
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Both succeeded because they were fired by the flames of Ross' outrageous self-belief. He built a self-contained, no-reality-allowed planet, and spending time there was good for the soul.




Straight backhand.


Last edited by TraV; 07-30-2012 at 08:22 AM..
 07-30-2012, 08:11 AM         #15
k3llz 
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 King856 said:
sh*t d!ckriders say for $300 Alex
i'd beat the fu*k outta you for callin me that if i seen u for 1, but for 2, if you HATE Ross music you're a fu*king retard...Ross make some of the dopest sh*t, u f*ggot...i don't fu*k with this cd much...but come the fu*k on...hating Ross music?
 07-30-2012, 08:31 AM         #16
StylesDavis412 
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They could have given Lil' by 10.0, 5 Mics, and a candy bar...GFID is still a 6.8.

Ricky has released absolutely fire from the beginning, but let's be honest...this was probably his worse release to date.

Not a complete failure, but not very good.

I'm also fairly certain that Pitchfork exclusively hires writes that were abused as children. Someone clearly hurt them.
 6 years ago '12        #17
44wade 296 heat pts296
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the thing I found funny is that it talked bad about MM4, 3 Kings and Dice Pineapples which are probably gonna be in people top 4-5 songs on the album, from what I seen by peoples comments on twitter.

Id give it a 8.5, its not a perfect album, but its pretty damn good.
 6 years ago '12        #18
44wade 296 heat pts296
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 Killa said:
I thought it was a classic, what happened? Ross cut the paycheck?
well we will see in about 24-48 hours I guess, lets see what impact is.

I personally think the sh*t is sonically a classic, but its not perfect. If I hadnt heard TBD and Rich Forever for 7 months, I would say its a 9.5, or closer to perfect. I like almost every track on it, but 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, are the ones I usually let ride, then I skip to 15, 16, 17. But Day 1 I was listening to 11 alot and 12. Like I said I like em all but those are the ones I have been continuously riding to since it dropped.

And yes, Im starting to waver if its his best work, its his most cohesive album to date, but TD man, that was a classic to me to, so Ive been flip flopping on which is better.
 6 years ago '12        #19
44wade 296 heat pts296
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 Killa said:
..wow. You'll do anything so that album will be somehow a classic in your point of view. Have a fun with that.. lmao
yeah, its pretty easy when its your true opinion.


So if I hear things differently than you do, then cool, but Im not making sh*t up just cause.
 6 years ago '12        #20
44wade 296 heat pts296
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 King856 said:
3 kings was wack as fu*k. who really wants to hear Dr Dre rap in 2012

twitter is the source of quality music now
See this is how much people differ, I think 3 kings is fire. How they link their verse is cool

"I only love her when her hair long" "I only Love her when her a.ss fat" I only love here when her eyes brown"

The beat is that gator to me also.

As far as twitter, no one ever said quality. Consider it like a poll, or scientific experiment. People give their opinions on sh*t, and most people like those songs I said.

Not to mention GFID and Rick Ross have been trending since Wednesday off and on(trending right now) so its an obvious hot topic.

 Killa said:
You must be a professional classic-certifier then.. Calling an artist's worst album a classic five hour after its release.
Bro, again, we got different ears, the lyricism and production are top notch to me.

Its just different.


Last edited by 44wade; 07-30-2012 at 09:43 AM..
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