Review: Hood Billionaire

hood billionaire album coverHood Billionaire (2014)

Rick Ross

Rap / Hip-Hop

Maybach / Def Jam / Slip-n-Slide

Two full-size albums in one year?  Some might consider that crazy, especially considering the amount of work that goes into putting a studio album together.  Other’s might think it doesn’t make sense.  It’s the principle of supply and demand.  You don’t want people to burn out on your music, you want to release a little bit here and there to keep them longing for more.

So why did Rick Ross release Hood Billionaire during the same year that Mastermind came out?  Well, it’s what being a boss is about.  Boss’ put in a lot of work, right?  Well Rick Ross had that same state of mind when working on his second album of the year.  He goes on to describe the album, saying, “it’s just that feel good record. A lot of 808s, real bass heavy. And it’s gon’ feel different to you. So, it’s gonna feel like a full year from the boss.”

Okay, so Rozay wants us to feel good while listening to the record.  He is right about the base and the 808’s.  Hood Billionaire is a technically good sounding album.  Rick Ross entrusted the likes of Beat Billionaire, Big K.R.I.T., Lex Luger, and Timbaland to produce the album.  Almost all of the tracks sound really good, but do they really offer up anything new?

hood billionaire 1

Let me go back to that example that I made earlier about music burning out.  The sound that you heard on Mastermind is extremely similiar, if not the same, as Hood Billionaire.  Ross does a poor job of bringing something new to the table, which is pretty understandable given the nature of the two albums.  Mastermind and Hood Billionaire were released in the same year, which means that Rick Ross had to have been working on both albums at the same time, thus the lack of difference between the two.

I couldn’t help but think what would have happened if Rick Ross released both of these albums as a two disc album.  It probably would have made more sense.  But instead, we got Mastermind which was alright on its own and then Hood Billionaire, which seems like an awkward continuation of the latter.

There are some standout tracks that made the listening experience a little enjoyable though.  Some of my favorite cuts from the album include “Hood Billionaire”, “Heavyweight”, “Coke Like the 80s”, and “Elvis Presley Blvd”.  If you look at the track listing, these were all in the beginning of the album as well.  The album just went on after that, offering nothing that caught my attention.  You would think “Moving Bass”, Rick Ross’s collaboration with Jay Z would have been a standout, but instead it was a major buzz-kill.  Jay Z did little to offer the track any oomph.  It just fell flat, which is a shame considering how great “The Devil is a Lie” was on Rick Ross’ previous album.  There are also appearances by R Kelly, Big K.R.I.T., and Snoop Dogg, but none of them really offered anything exciting.

You can tell that Rick Ross was trying to tell a story on the album, considering the amount of skits and voice overs that were featured.  In the opening intro to the album, we hear Rick Ross and a friend digging up some bags of money, each with eight million apiece.  However, it’s a story we have all heard before.  Rags to riches.  Rick Ross is a boss, we know.  He’s told us many times before, and he continues the tired narrative on this album.

I think it’s the perfect time for Rick Ross to just sit back for a while and start thinking about where he is as an artist and where he can go from there.  It’s doubtful that he is going to release new music any time soon, so its a good time for him to get back to the drawing board.  He has the money and he is the boss.  But what is going to make him stand out above the rest?  How is he going to be remembered?  He is this stage of his career where he needs to take a step back in order to take two steps forward.



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