Album Track Listing
Release Date: 07 August 2006
Reviewed By: Melisa Tang
- The Sound of Revenge
Representing the 305 all the way is Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam rapper Rick Ross. Having risen to fame with his street anthem ‘Hustlin’, Ross has brought Miami back into the limelight and his debut LP, ‘Port Of Miami’ only enhances this.
Named after a notorious drug kingpin, Ross immediately immerses the listener into the drug underworld on ‘Port Of Miami’ with the bass-heavy ‘Push It’. Produced by Jonathan ‘J.R.’ Rotem (50 Cent, Lil’ Kim, Rihanna), the album opener samples ‘Scarface (Push It To The Limit)’, and sees Ross rhyme about drug dealing and hiding from the Feds, fully illustrating the street life that he appears to be so accustomed to.
A similar theme is continued on the track ‘Blow’, which features Dre of the production duo Cool & Dre. More of a club hit, this cut leans towards the more glamorous side of a hustler – the designer clothes, the jewels and the girls… Similarly, the Lloyd-featured ‘Street Life’ sees Ross celebrate the ‘money, cars and hoes’ over an up-tempo Big Reese beat.
The ‘Hustlin’ Remix’ is also featured on the album, where Ross is joined by Jay-Z and Young Jeezy on the synthesised Runners’ beat. Jigga’s appearance acts like a personal endorsement of Ross, as he rhymes: “Yeah, I balls a lot/Now I owns the team/Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, now we own the scene.” With a compliment like that from one of the leaders of the game, Ross can be rest assured that he has the full support of his label behind him.
Rick Ross’ grandiose thug persona and countless tales of street life have garnered him numerous comparisons to fellow Def Jam rapper, Young Jeezy. Admittedly, their backgrounds are similar: they are both from the South; both signed to Def Jam; both have history as street hustlers; both turned to a career in hip hop as their way out.
The likenesses between the two are highlighted again with the mediocre ‘Cross That Line’, produced and featuring Akon. The structuring of the track, in particular the Akon-sung chorus, is reminiscent of Jeezy’s ‘Soul Survivor’ which was another collaboration with the Konvict Music founder.
Whilst Ross’ deep, raspy vocals give the album a bit of an edge, his flow can at times become monotonous as he rhymes about the same topics over and over again, track after track. It is only on the more introspective ‘It’s My Time’ and ‘Prayer’, which closes the track, that you get to hear a bit more about the real William Roberts, and not the thuggish stage persona that is Rick Ross.
With so many thugged-out tracks on the album, like ‘I’m A G’ and ‘Where My Money (I Need That)’, it is a relief to hear a softer hip hop/R&B collaboration midway through the LP. ‘Get Away’ with Mario Winans is one of few songs which isn’t just about the world of hustling, with Ross rhyming about maintaining a relationship with his main lady, proving that he is capable of things other than hustling!
Whilst lyrically, he’s not the don dada, Ross is able to stay consistent throughout the album, with a few punch lines thrown in here and there for good effect. As his debut release, ‘Port Of Miami’ does well to serve the hip hop industry with a new sound of the South, and although he reps the M-I-ay-yo, Ross isn’t restricted to it, with his LP able to appeal to a wider rap audience.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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