CD Reviews

Rich Forever, F#ck Da City Up and Darkest Nights

Luxury Rap

Rick Ross Rich Forever (Maybach Music Group)

Because his fifth studio album, God Forgives, I Don’t, got pushed back by his label, Rick Ross is offering his fans a mixtape full of new material. Rich Forever isn’t just filler, it’s a project that’s just as good as most official releases. As always, Rick Ross’ ear for beats is impeccable as he selects the finest that the Justice League, Lex Luger and others have to offer. The Boi-1da-produced “MMG The World Is Ours” is evidence that Ross isn’t taking this project lightly. Nas, Pharrell, Styles P and Diddy join the fray, but it’s Drake’s verse aimed at Common on “Stay Schemin’” that will raise the most eyebrows. Yeah, the content can become a little redundant. We get it; Rick Ross has money, hoes and clothes. But despite those minor flaws, Rich Forever is still worth the price of admission. ★★★☆☆

Braggadocio Southern Rap

T.I. F#ck Da City Up (Self-Released)

Clifford Harris’ run-ins with the law haven’t allowed him to be a presence in the music business as much as he’d like to be over the past couple of years. But with those issues hopefully behind him, T.I. looks to reclaim his rightful title of King of the South starting with the release of F#ck Da City Up. Chock-full of braggadocio, this album isn’t meant to be introspective by any means. The B.o.B.-assisted “Piss’n On Your Ego” and “I’ll Show You” featuring Pusha T are simply exercises in talking trash. The problem with F#ck Da City Up is that it feels like we’ve heard it all before. From the stale production to the mundane subject matter, T.I. doesn’t do much to add to his portfolio. Ultimately, a vast majority of this project is forgettable and will only appeal to the most diehard T.I. fan.  ★☆☆☆☆

Emotional Hip-Hop

Ryshon Jones Brighter Days, Darkest Nights (Self-Released)

Last year a little-known MC from Philly named Ryshon Jones blindsided the Internet with his debut project The Lower I Fall, The Higher I Aim. The project caught fire on multiple music blogs, thanks to Jones’ introspective lyricism and superb production. To keep up the buzz, Jones drops Brightest Nights, Darkest Days. What makes Jones appealing as an MC is his penchant for putting together a compelling narrative. “15” whirls a dreary tale of two people who use sex to make them forget about their problems. It’s terribly tragic but done exceptionally well. When Jones turns the microscope on himself the results are equally as pleasing. The subterranean production of “Give Me My Heart Back” finds Jones swimming in a sea of regret from a failed relationship. It’s certainly not a cheery musical offering that you’ll hear in the nightclub as Brightest Nights, Darkest Days is meant to tap into your emotions. It might be heavy at 18 songs, but it’s definitely worth a listen. ★★★☆☆

Suggested Next Read

Diggy Simmons


Diggy Simmons

The 16-year-old from MTV’s reality show Run’s House may be able to claim Reverend Run from Run DMC as his father and music mogul Russell Simmons as his uncle, but he’s talented in his own right. Rapper YG warmed up the crowd of screaming teenage girls, and when Diggy hit the stage, pandemonium ensued. He raced through favorites, including “Do It Like You” and “Great Expectations,” before closing his short set with the hit single “Copy, Paste” as the audience sang the hook as loudly as humanly possible.