It’s not only the gigantic 19-song track list that exhausts, it’s also Ross's ambition to make each track an epic in its own right.
Music review: Rick Ross – Mastermind
Six albums in and the blueprint remains the same for Rick Ross. Not that it isn’t working: Mastermind topped the American charts on its release and continues Rozay’s formula of marrying his street swagger and clever wordplay with cinematic beats. However, it’s not only the 19-song tracklist that exhausts, it’s also Ross’s ambition to make each track an epic. The Jay Z hookup, The Devil Is a Lie, clocks in at more than five minutes, with both rappers dropping missives over triumphal horns, while the seven-minute War Ready has Jeezy really sinking his teeth into its foreboding beats. The album highlight is Sanctified, an old-school Kanye West production. Using an old, soul sample by Betty Wright, West produces and delivers some witty barbs as he compares his reinvention to that of Muhammad Ali: “When Ali turn up and be Ali, you can’t ever take him back to Cassius.” For all those million-dollar beats and Ross’s charisma, there is a feeling the creativity tank could be running dry. Mastermind is solid, but another similar effort and Ross could soon join his bitter rival 50 Cent in a creative rut.