The problem with dudes modeling their whole rap style after Scarface is that they get the “Okaaay I’m reloaded” parts right but nobody—nobody—nails “rolling to Club Babylon with open collared shirts to smoke cigars and listen to Debbie Harry.” Say hello to our little friend, the just-arrived-to-the-office Port Of Miami LP from Rick Ross.
When we interviewed Ricky for the summer issue, he was still finishing up recording for this LP. And to be honest, we were a smidge nervous that he might just try to duplicate “Hustlin”’s gothic thump 16 times or so. But while dude can play the heavy and get dark with the rest of ‘em when he wants, Rawwws decided instead to turn in a surprisingly diverse record of crawlers, bangers, and deeply ’80s music. Of course, The Bawwws is the star throughout, playing the “it’s not what you say but how you say it” card and crafting a really enjoyable album in the process. Perhaps the best part about the often upbeat and synth-drenched Port Of Miami is that Rick Ross is unafraid to show off the fact that he’s having fun with his success. Come on, dude says “butts.” A lot! (We told you it was '80s.) Really, who says “butts” anymore? FUCKING RAWWWS.
One gripe? No fast song. If our dude randomly threw in a Miami bass number we might kiss him on the beard. As it stands, though, he’s getting a very warm bear hug for this one. Heres a quick track-by-track.
Scarface sample number one, courtesy Jonathan “JR” Rotem. This one leaked to the interweb today, not that we’re telling you to check for it and blare TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT!!!! as loudly as possible or anything.
Kind of a soft follow-up single to “Hustlin,” but what wouldn’t be? Shit is still jamming though, and a much more fitting representation of the album. PS: “I get brain, I bust nuts, and eat steaks” is a pretty decent mission statement, as far as those sort of things are concerned.
You might have heard this one.
Cross That Line f. Akon
Akon half-jacks his fucking awesome hook melody from Obie Trice’s “Snitch” but sort of misfires on this combo. Yeah, it bummed us out too.
(This sounds so good in mixed and mastered form.)
Boss f. Dre
We were arguing in the office about whether Dre was trying to re-do Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” or Journey’s “Any Way You Want It”, but then we just started singing along. Where’s that Dre album already?
For Da Low
Jazzy Phenzelle for shenzelle, etc. He’s got the snap music snares going and it’s not too shabby. Where’s that Sammie album already?
Where My Money (I Need That)
The Runners change the toner on their gigantic "Hustlin" Xerox machine and come up with a beat that differs from that formula juuuuuuust enough to still be dope. Ross asks where his money is, because he needs it.
“This that LA Reid flow right here!” Yes, Ricky.
Hit U From The Back f. Rodney
Another smooooooth one. Bonus points for the third-person “Rick Ross? Dumb nice!” shout.
Hi DJ Toomp!
Pots and Pans f. J Rock
Anyone who says Rick Ross can’t rap (A) isn’t listening, (B) isn't listening, and (C) gets clapped in the face with this one. The beat (and hook!) from producer J Rock is reminiscent of Lil Wayne’s “Hustler Muzik,” and lets Rick get introspective about dead Florida MC Ran Rover.
I never rode a nigga coattails/ May have took a dope sale/ Fuck it nigga, oh well/ Smokin on that classified/ Rollin in that Lac of mine/ You know my mindstate/ Numb to the world half the time/ Thinkin bout Ran Rover/ Damn that was fucked up/ Found him in the trunk with another dude, fucked up/ The world fucked up/ That’s why I’m fucked up/ Don’t get fucked up/ Fuck with me, you fucked up/ Bitch I’ma ride/ bitch I’ma die/ When I holler 305/ Bitch that’s on my life/ Got a 40 in the car/ A chopper in the crib/ The grenades down the street/ You gotta get it how you live/ I know niggas turn one into two/ And they do what they do/ And boy them thangs move/ Fishscale get the big meal/ In a room full of work taste the cane with the inhale…
It’s My Time f. Lyfe Jennings
Another beat from the Runners, with weirdly dissonant synths on the hook and crazy sub bass. “I’m not a slim thug, I’m a fat mack/ I don’t give a fuck, I’ll push ya hat back…”
Street Life f. Lloyd
Scarface sample number two! Ross fast-rapping over some sweet Moroder-n-B. Lloyd sings like a girl, which is kind of great.
Hustlin (RMX) f. Jay Z and Young Jeezy
You might have heard this one too.
It Ain’t A Problem f. Carol City Cartel
Can we just talk about how Rick Ross’s hypemen look like the dreads from Bad Boys II?
I’m A G f. Lil Wayne and Brisco
Weezy F gets a MacArthur grant for a chorus that goes "I wear the gun like a girdle/ Bulletproof car got me feelin like a turrrrrtle…"
And while we’re handing out awards, Rawwws gets a Grammy for shouting out FADER Magazine in song, alongside Julia from Ozone, Billboard and “motherfucking Rolling Stooooooooone.”