As the album already starts out very cinematographic, comparable to “Deeper Than Rap”, as the intro goes into “Pirates”. This song, together with the previously heard “3 Kings”, show the more soulful Ricky that differs from the harder Rick Ross that we heard on “Teflon Don”. While Dre starts of with the least impressive verse, Jay-Z does kill the song in the end with his acapella message. It’s typical for someone like Hov to just go on, even when the beat stops, and that is probably why he’s one of the three kings in the hiphop world.
The Cool&Dre produced “Shameless” sounds a little off, as if our headphones are broken. The instrumental doesn’t feel well mixed and the sample doesn’t feel well cut. Till now, every song sounds like it could’ve been on a mixtape, as we seen with many Game albums. This all changes on “Maybach Music 4″, which feels rich and peaceful. The production by Justice League doesn’t disappoint and neither does Ne-Yo. All of a sudden, the song switches up as it’s Ne-Yo’s turn to show the magic. A slower, more tension filled instrumental appears, which kind of sounds like the ending of “Summer Madness”. This is definitely one of the best songs, however what did surprise us is the cameo by L.A. Reid at the end of the song.
“Sixteen” is exactly what you hope to hear from Rick Ross together with Andre 3000. Witty, experimental and well produced. The song, like the last one, is also one of the bigger and better songs on the album which will definitely help bring the album from a ‘good’ to a ‘great’ album. It’s as if Andre is back in his “Love Below” phase. Ending in a guitar solo, which makes us wonder if this is 3000′s work, the song flows into “Amsterdam”.
Dear Rick Ross, please don’t talk about our city, since you simply don’t know it. However, although the song doesn’t fit the city, the song itself does sound very trippy. Is it predictable that the song speaks about weed? Yes. Does that make it a bad song? Not really. As the album is shaping into something that the MMG leader may be particularly proud of, we now end the slow part of the album. Welcome to the part where you find out that lord forgives, but Rick Ross doesn’t.
While “Hold Me Back” and “911″ work the same as “MC Hammer” and “BMF”, sounding exactly the same, we go further with “So Sophisticated”. Now honestly, let’s just skip that, since the next song is a Neptunes track and we have heard enough of the song since the video is already out. “Presidential”, of which we already heard a snippet when Odd Future was in Pharrell’s studio, sounds amazing. The chorus is typical Neptunes, which is sung by Elijah Blake. They could’ve better put Pharrell on the chorus anyways, but it doesn’t really matter.
As the album slowly comes to an end, you hear a lot of songs that were already previously released. With “Presidential”, the last great new song was played. Although the album has a few good songs, it’s far from what anyone could’ve expected. Therefore, we end this review by saying that the album definitely is good,