It’s been less than a year since Rick Ross released his introspective third album, Deeper Than Rap. Now the Miami rap kingpin has concocted a quick fix for fans of his drug-laced rap tales. On his latest mixtape, The Timeless Audemars Piguet Collection—a nod to the Swiss luxury watch company—the Bawse creates an impressive compilation of recent guest verses, freestyles and solo joints to help drum up interest for his forthcoming album, Teflon Don.
While there aren’t many surprises in terms of new product, Ross gets the job done by continuing to show a perfection of his melodic, well-paced delivery. As a result, he sounds just as comfortable boasting about big cribs and blowing money on the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League-produced “Veterans Day” as he does calling out the Grammys for failing to recognize him over Beyoncé’s “Video Phone.” Whether he’s aggressively attacking the 808s on Trae’s hard-hitting “Inkredible” or getting loose on the club-friendly “Poppin’ Bottles,” Ross tailors his flow to fit any mood.
Because Ross crams so many verses onto the tape, it leaves songs like “All I Do Is Win” and “Fed Up” from DJ Khaled’s new album, Victory, awkwardly shoe-horned into the mix. But thankfully, the mixtape’s best track, “Mafia Music 2,” helps Ross get back on the right foot. Over soulful production from upstarts The Olympiks, he analyzes the gangster lifestyle and sounds genuinely surprised at his own rise through the ranks: “Lamborghinis were figments of my imagination/Whoever figured the figures this figure would be making.” If nothing else, TTAPC confirms that Ross is putting out some of the most notable verses, currently, and is ascending to untouchable heights as an MC . —Chris Yuscavage