• S
    • M
    • L
    • XL
    • XXL
      • XXL
      • XL
      • L
      • M
      • S

Rick Ross’ Teflon Don Gets an XL

Rick Ross

Teflon Don

(Def Jam)

Beats: XXL
Lyrics: XL
Originality: L

Teflon Don, indeed. In the face of the criticism involving his life before rap, Miami’s Rick Ross still manages to emit an untouchable aura. Credit his string of three No. 1 albums, beginning with his 2006 debut, Port of Miami, then 2008’s Trilla and last year’s Deeper Than Rap. If not that, then take into account his high-powered feature verses alongside Waka Flocka Flame (“O Let’s Do It [Remix]”), DJ Khaled (“All I Do Is Win”) and his Dream Team cohort P. Diddy (“Angels” and “Hello Good Morning”). While his rock-solid catalog should vanquish any doubt, the Bawse looks to cement his musical gangsta on his fourth Def Jam album.

Ricky Rozay shines bright on the tongue-in-cheek “I’m Not a Star.” Oozing a kingpin’s confidence, Ross proves his haters wrong, triumphantly spitting, “I’m not a star? Somebody lied/I spent a milli on the car, it come alive.” That only serves as an appetizer for the soul-satisfying “Tears of Joy” and the expertly laid Jay-Z duet “Free Mason.” On the latter, Ross romanticizes his success—“Big contracts, big contractors/Built pyramids, period, we masters/No Caterpillars, it was just a lot of niggas/A lot of great thinkers and a lot of great inventors”—while Hov beats down Internet rumblings of his supposed secret-society ties. On the flip side, it’s Ricky’s ties with superb beatmakers that keep him on top of his game. The rapper enlists Kanye West to craft the backing for “Live Fast, Die Young” and the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League for the symphonic “Maybach Music III.” Even newcomer Lex Luger lays the perfect mix of violent drum patterns and schizophrenic synths for “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast).” On “Aston Martin Music,” the bearded rapper rides atop a summery track, while Chrisette Michele and Drake trade harmonies on the hook. Then there’s the album’s first single, “Super High,” a Clark Kent–produced two-stepper complete with deep-rolling bass lines and live-DJ scratches that give it a true-hip-hop feel.

Lyrically, Ross shines when he takes on the personality of William Roberts II, his real-life alter ego. The Raphael Saadiq–assisted “All the Money in the World” finds the rapper reflecting on his children and his deceased father. His most poignant moment comes when he eulogizes his dad with lyrics like, “I can hear my daddy sayin’, ‘Lil nigga, go get him’/Passed in ’99, cancer all in his liver” and “I would never rap again if I can tell him that I miss him.”

Not that Ross’s record is without blemishes. The number of guest appearances leaves one to wonder where the Bawse would be without his connects. T.I., Jadakiss, Gucci Mane, Drake, Styles P and Kanye West all make contributions to the 11-track album. And though most of the collabos are winners, the half-rock, half-electro, P. Diddy–assisted “No. 1” just doesn’t fit the album’s soulful vibe. Then there’s the usual drug-dealer rhetoric, which sounds cool but is devoid of any real feeling, on the otherwise enjoyable “MC Hammer.” The Bawse offers, “I started selling dope, I’m too legit to quit/When it’s hammer time, I’m pulling out the stick,” without any conviction. Even on the aforementioned “B.M.F.,” where Ross compares himself to incarcerated scarfaces Big Meech and Larry Hoover, street boasts are thrown out recklessly. As if he was taunting his haters, Ross charges that it is actually his nameless adversaries who have the credibility problem, when he rhymes, “Talkin’ plenty capers, nothing’s been authenticated.”

Ricky’s truth is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but if it is simply judged on the music, Teflon Don is damn near spotless. The lyrics are on par, the beats are lush, and the imagery is larger than life. Whether he’s ever really ran the streets at all doesn’t seem to matter to fans. They’re fine with the fact that art doesn’t imitate life. —Rob Markman

  • Anonymous

    Ricky Rose album too tough

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    co sign,

    the way they wrote this is like they wanted it to be a xxl BUT was afraid to do it. the album is pretty darn good based on former classics. i agree the pdidy song is a filler and one he prob did just cause of his connection with diddy. Its a miami dance track tho. bmf and mc hammer is strickly for the streets. he had a few other songs that could’ve replace those three that were on mixtapes BUT Ross looks out for his fans. You gotta appreciate that not that i’m a “fan” of ross but more a ‘fan’ of hip hop.alot of mcs spit for themsevles and thas a major problem.

    i agree with the xxl because his next album will be his classic. i dislike the argument about his features because its so many other classic mcs and albums filled with features. Plus, the co thing needs to be deaded. its music.

  • General

    Can’t argue with the rating. I actually liked that he kept the CD to only 11 tracks and concentrated more on quality than quantity, but at the same time I could have done with out so many collabs on this disc.

    He really didn’t need Styles P on BMF (even though I like him) and he def didn’t need to add Gucci to MC Hammer for the CD version.

    Also even though I really like TI and Jada, I thought they didn’t really bring much to MM3.

    Production was defintely top notch though. I said it after his last CD, but Ross would make a hell of an executive producer, overseeing other rappers projects just for the simple fact that he knows how to get the best from the producers he works with.

  • JC

    i’m just glad i didn’t see a XXL lol…for fans of Rick Ross it’s a solid album, no doubt….but for the many of us who believe the REAL mafioso/kingpin classics are timeless masterpieces like Life After Death, Reasonable Doubt and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, this album is simply ok…but Rick Ross gets an “A” for effort and should be pretty proud of what he’s done on Teflon Don…

    Definite Bangers: Live Fast, Die Young, Free Mason

  • swype-matic

    Based strictly on this album, from the 1st track to the last track, this review is on point. Probably the first album in awhile to get an XL that actually deserved it, since XL’s get passed around here like FL studio beats.

    This album to me is basically a stronger Deeper Than Rap, with the bullshit/fat trimmed off. I’m not a Rick Ross fan, and really can take him for long periods of time, but with great beats, him not doin’ all 3 verses on every song, allowing the guest to get equal shine, there’s really not much to hate on.

    The only nitpick I can say is BMF & MC Hammer are basically the same track. That’s about it. Good job Ross.

  • S-Double

    Has “Distant Relatives” been reviewed by XXL?

    • Focused

      No but it should be thats the album of the year if not the decade for real!!!

      • T

        FAIL…i like nas but in now was is the album of the year decade or even month….. I would have given it and L

  • HollyHood

    great album… great review… I like the Diddy track but it doesnt fit the album(maybe a last train 2 paris leftover)I agree with not needed Style P(i fucks with him) and Not needing Gucci(I dont think MC Hammer should of made the album) but its still a well put album the next 1 should be a classic he getting closer and closer 2 it

  • Persian Nukkles

    Styles P..Made that Song stand out..his delivery was rite on Q..For BMF..YALL CRAZY, No he didnt need Styles, but it damn shore Helped that track alot…Shit the hole Album….

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  • MLK Zone 4

    This whole album is tight in my opinion. I can ride to the whole thing. It reminds me of the rappers in the 90′s who only had like 10-12 tracks of straight FIRE

  • Casey

    originality is an L? Really? Same subject matter his whole career? The songs BMF and MC Hammer are both dope, but sound exactly the same. Originality shouldn’t even be a topic, because there are almost no original rappers out.

  • M. Baby!

    I agree with the rating as well, but I’m a little disappointed in only 11 tracks on your official album. He gave us 13 tracks on a free Albert Anastasia LP (including 3 tracks from the album). So if you heard those tracks plus Free Mason, Live Fast, Die Young, or Aston Martin Music….you’ve already heard 1/2 of the album. The album is good, don’t get me wrong…but it seems like there should be at least 3 to 4 more tracks. I know he has good music tucked away somewhere…shoot, the Albert Anastasia LP sounded like a studio album. I just needed more tracks. So now we gotta wait a year + for the next one and if it’s only 11 tracks…I’m just gonna download it next time. It seems like by the time you get to Aston Martin Music & All The Money In The World, you’re hyped up and like okay, but then that’s it….you gotta start over. To me he put himself in the same category as these other rappers…meaning that his Albert Anastasia is almost tougher than his album. I had more respect for Ross and I can’t lie, I’m a little disappointed. And another thing, why the hell are there so many features…damn. This is your album, do ur own thing on most of the tracks. I’m starting to think Ross can’t handle tracks on his own. That’s putting him behind T.I. & Jeezy. I was gonna put him in front of them with this album, but can’t. Only 11 tracks and features on everyone except the intro….come on dog.

  • http://twitter.com/pinklimo_lex lex!

    wtf dis album deserves a xxl
    to me this is the best album of the year
    so far way better then drakes freshman effort how dare they give the same rating as it and as far as originality it deserves a xxl who in mainstream hip hop would make a track call free mason and music comes out so potent as far as lyrics it deserves a xxl ross hasnt spit this hard he’s growing as a artist but i guess the people at xxl have there head up there asses once again…

  • jonny bizness

    Album of the yr so far without a doubt the beats really are a xxl and weather it is fiction or not his lyrics are on point.Ricky is no christopher wallace but his voice catches the ear he has made 3 dope albums now on the trot he is now imo undeniable!!!!

  • Escobar9300

    I would definitly say this album is XL worthy. Its a solid B, B+ effort from Ross. Like it or not, dude know how to put an album together and has proved it twice with Deeper than Rap and Teflon Don. While personally, I think DTR was a little bit better than this one, I think Teflon Don was very good. My one question is, where was Avery Storm on this joint? Ross and Storm always have beast collabs, and I was disapointed he didnt show on this record.

  • T

    1st off this album isnt undeniable hot…..2nd this is def not the album of yr, Recovery, Distant Relatives are far better & Kanye will shit on this, so will Game, & Jeezy, & TI lol Yall sum biased stan fools of that fat, ugly, no-swag, non-cool, loser ugly C.O. liar FAKE monkey!!!!!!!!!!!! MONKEYYYYYYY

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  • Juke

    So let me get this straight…. Def Jam found a fat corrections officer, probably put the tattoos on him then gave him some jewelry and told him to tell Ricky Donnell Ross “Freeway Ricky Ross” story. IT WORKED.

    I’m not hatin, a record label presented him with an opportunity to make a better living for himself and family what was he supposed to do say no?

    To the people who don’t like Ross music and says he’s fake guess what he’s not the only one. Music is a form of ENTERTAINMENT 80-90 percent of entertainment is FICTION.

    To Ross’ fans please don’t confuse it with REAL, as I said it’s ENTERTAINMENT.

    Rick Ross has found a way to make it in this world. I don’t listen to his music nor do I listen to rap I listen to Hip Hop, YES there is a difference look up the KRS-One interview, but I’m certainly not going to HATE on someone who is making a living a helping his people along the way.

    Remember at the end of the day, WE ALL FLOAT!!!

  • http://www.yahoo.com SC

    ^^^Ditto homie “ENTERTAINMENT” call it ENTERTAINMENT rap or FANTASY rap.

    Obvious differnce……

    Listen to BAWSE’s “BMF”

    Then Listen to JEEZY’s “THE REAL BMF”

    BAWSE’s is FANATSY ENTERTAINMENT

    JEEZY’s is REAL MUSIC

    REAL LIFE MUSIC IS WAY BETTER….

  • Q461

    Ross simply know how to make good music. he has an incredible ear for beats and most songs that he has a feature on are dope. You can tell he works hard at getting each joint perfect.

    My only beef is that he doesnt seem like he can carry a song by himself with the exception of early hits like Hustlin..he’s almost ALWAYS gotta have a guest on the track. I think if he really wants to prove himself as an MC, next album limit it to one feature and just get dope production like Em just did on Recovery, the only guest rapper is Weezy.

    Can’t wait to hear MC Hammer’s new track “Rick Ross” lol!

  • Caino

    so distant relatives dooesnt get reviewed or at least Em!!! outrageous!

  • S-Double

    There’s a feature on Distant Relatives in the issue out, but no review, and no mention of it on next issue’s cover.

  • RAYTARDED

    If Ross had replaced that diddy song with ‘Audio Meth’ featuring Raekown (iTunes bonus track), the album woulda received a solid 5/5. Still the BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR so far. Don’t let the sales of Em’s Recovery fool you, and I like that album too by the way. Is just that Teflon Don is better in my opinion.

  • Kiwi-Kid

    yeah why dnt they have a recovery review lol they must b 2 afraid 2 rate it i thnk it wud get an xl anyway. On another note the boss delivers again solid album i like the features cause if im honest i dnt think he wud get an xl without them. As for album of the year nah he’s at best even with other efforts so far but im anticipating kanye 2 take album of the year award hes just a beast and far more entertaining than ross more creative or original also j.cole for freshman effort cause as he mentioned he got dat flame

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    they are very afraid to rate em’s album. Why? it would get a xl or an L. its def not a classic and his fans are too loyal. listenin to this album again today it def is xl pushing xxl. the diddy track can stay get rid of mc hammer because the songs are the same. what he should’ve done was chop n screw one or change the beat sorta like paster troy did on mister don’t play track 3 and 4. album of the year…idk…kayne got something brewing in a volcano in hawaii, jeezy still cooking, jayz might drop one before the end of the year. Hip hop is in the buildin :)

    • jonny bizness

      co-sign if they gave em’s album a xl they would have 200 comments dissing them saying how can drake,ricky and co be on the same level when in reality the album ain’t all that

  • http://XXLmag Shacooz

    the album sux hard..pinky rosay fraud

  • http://facebook kamaldeen

    i just dont understand when people always find fault when they are aware there is no fault.how many artist can realy bring an album like rozays.rick ross is really making it in the hip hop scene,with 4 albums to his belly and a platinum artist,i think he stands a chance of being a mogul soon to come base on his works.This guy will be the heaveyweight in hiphop.the boss.

    • S-Double

      He has one of the biggest buzzes in hip-hop right now. All the hate just brings him more attention. All publicity is good publicity. People are salty, but Ross stay winnin’. I don’t listen to his music that much. I just call ‘em how I see ‘em as an objective fan of hip-hop.

  • RWord

    Ross is killing them. 50Cent lost. Top album on iTunes NOW!!!

    BOSS!!!!

  • alderman j

    Well its safe to say ROSS CRUSHED FIFTY CENT, TOOK HIS SPOT, AND IS STILL MAKING DOPE MUSIC, KARMA IS A BITCH!!!! ALL YOU FIF STANS WHO WERE ON HERE LAST YEAR SINGING HIS PRAISES, WHERE ARE YOU AND WHERE IS HE????? ALSO THE CO SHIT IS PLAYED OUT, I AINT NO CELEBRITY SO LET ME SHED SOME LIGHT, WHEN YOU IN A BIG CREW THAT GETS MONEY ITS LIKE FAMILY SO WHEN SOMEONE GETS LOCKED UP THEY NEED SOMEBODY TO TAKE CARE OF THEM, GET STUFF IN AND OUT, MAKE SURE WHEN THEY GET READY TO OFF SOMEBODY AINT NO OTHER COS AROUND, SOMBODY TO TELL THEM THE SCHEDULES OF THE OTHER COS, THEY NEED SOMEBODY ON THE INSIDE, USUALLY A YOUNGER GUY, SOMEBODY WITH SMARTS AND OTHER INTERESTS BUT SOMEBODY THAT IS DOWN!!! YOU NIGGAS AINT NEVER HUSTLED, AINT NEVER TURNED CRUMBS TO BRICKS, THATS PROBABLY WHY YOU CANT UNDERSTAND THIS!!!!!

  • JB

    Album Not Bad/ Don`t 4get Big Boi Album Killer

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  • ee bubble

    can i see the XXL for big bois album which plays from the beginnign to the end with no skips please, please

    rick ross album is good through except for that diddy song

  • Teddy

    if recovery gets same rating as this album and drakes album ur rating system is stupid and contridictory according to you everything is XL

  • Teddy

    if recovery gets same rating as this album and drakes album ur rating system is stupid and contridictory according to you everything is XL except clipse hell hath no fury….tha fuck!?

  • mikr

    Its a good album, but I think XXLMag should slam Ross even MORE for having features on 11 of 12 songs. . . cuz they gave it to Game on LAX . Bitch Please!

    … i kno they talk about it, but the WHOLE album is features, and i give it an L because of that.

  • balaramesh

    album of the year?!? wow, what low standards you guys have these days.

  • Truth

    Not even a top 5 album of the year and we are just barely half through the year.Record companies spend all this money trying to brainwash you into liking something, go cop some real hip hop not 22mins of Officer Rickys album lol.Just to name a few bangin albums for you fuckin retards… Distant Relatives, Big Boi solo,Ras Kass new joint a.d.i.d.a.s(fuckers probably don’t even know him lol),Vinnie Paz solo and The Mother Fuckin ROOTS album. Fuck all you idiots

  • TheBigO

    ALBUM of the year…still keeping it Trilla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….its not the fact he has gues appearences. Its the fact he out raps everybody except Jay…and the singers dont count thats for musicality, something alot of rappers know nothing about.

  • Anonymous

    the real cats mess wit jeezy!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Big A

    its a preety good album, beats are sick as always. his lyrics and flow has improved alot. but definately not a classic, not album of the year. and nowhere near eminem’s “Recovery” anyone who says it is is just Fuckin retarted!, recovery is a classic in my opinion. but this album still goes hard though.

  • Anonymous

    why didn’t xxl review nas & damian marley . that is a excellent album what the fuck is up with that?

  • michael

    what the fuck is up with the distant relatives review. that is an excellent album

  • Gemz

    The NCAA series, first Album: The Sweet Sixteen October “Oh 10″

  • http://twitter.com/swaggbellamy Swagg Bellamy

    Are you fucking serious?! this album was bigger than drakes! and will be able to remain relevant for a minute. How the fuck yall give him a L on originality?! who was there for him to mirror?!

  • Hello

    I think the problem is that people do NOT listen to the lyrics. To be HONEST with you… the beats carry Rick Ross. Also people complain about the “Recovery” CD. Well Eminem lyrics? He destroyed any doubts he put out there with Relapse. I say listen to the lyrics. We use that reason of “Good beats” as the ultimate measurement of a Great MC or album. But The words, to me, plays a more important role. Try it! I promise you will not look at music the same. Jill Scott said that at one of her concerts. “Listen to the Words.” Even though Eminem, along with every MC in the world, speaks about the same thing…the way he spoke it on Recovery was crazy! You can only reword your drug and money stories for so long. It’s boring. Listen to the WORDS!!!

  • The Boss

    I’m not a star. Somebody lied, I got a pistol in the car, a 45. If I died today, remember me like John Lennon. Buried in Louis. I’m talking all brown linen. Make all of my bitches tattoo my logo on they titty. PUT A STATUE OF A NIGGER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY.

  • Mobsta

    I give this album a S you cant believe anything this guy says.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m not a star. Somebody lied, I got a pistol in the car, a 45. If I died today, remember me like John Lennon. Buried in Louis. I’m talking all brown linen. Make all of my bitches tattoo my logo on they titty. PUT A STATUE OF A NIGGER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY.”

    Yep…This is what Ross is about. Along with 90% of other rappers. We’ve heard such talk…and to me it gets boring. Not hating….but Ross doesn’t stand out. Sounds like the rest.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM MIDWEST118

    WELL ITS GOOD 2 SEE RICK ACTUALLY GOT MO FAN BLOGGERS DIS TIME THAN HATERS AND IM NOT MAD AT DA XL RATING IT DEFINITLY DESERVES 2 BE UP THERE TEFLON DON IS DA CD DAT PUT HIM OVER DA TOP AND ONDA MAP AND YES HES NO CHRIS WALLACE BUT DA CLOSEST WEVE SEEN SINCE HIM DA FLOW DA WEIGHT,HEIGHT AND ALL EVEN WATCH HIM ON STAGE FAR DISTANCE YEAH BIGGIE FOSHO COMES 2 MIND.4 ALBUMS LATER ROZAY!!!HAS ARRIVED BIGGUP MY NIGG ROSS DA BOSS.

  • John

    “my top back like JFK,
    they wanna push my top back like JFK,
    so…so i JFK”

    how does this album have an XL? i’m appaled. The ONLY redeeming feature is the fact it’s got some really solid featured artists. I wonder if I could find a version to download where Ross has been removed from the songs…

  • dresmith

    If your Supporting this fruad then your a fruad yourself. his a fake as wanna be Gansta. who couldn’t survive on the streets with out his security and money.

    • datruthtella

      You can say whatcha wanna but Double-R is doin’ it big right now. Y’all can call him fake, a hater, a busta or whateva…I call him PAID…how many of y’all can say that?

  • *****

    Yo that comment sound mad frontal. Blowin Money Fast Video is hard son. That nigga ross is gangsta how you think he got a squad full a trill niggas in the streets nigga. OG status nigga

  • yo dresmith

    Its called power in the streets (thats not security, thats G Related)

  • Anonymous

    Much respect to all the 2010 freshman and congrats to Wiz but keep an eye out for this kid named Tito Montana! I’m very paticular about who and what I listen to but for real dude is that deal! I downloaded his mixtape on DatPiff and it was crazy! Talk about unsigned hype… I seen he put a video called “Dilemma” on youtube and that further proved that dude lyrical concepts go beyond the majority! Anyway just passing along the word… PEACE

  • Laron Johnson

    Much respect & congrats to ROSS but keep an eye out for this kid named Tito Montana! I’m very paticular about who and what I listen to but for real dude is that deal! I downloaded his mixtape on DatPiff and it was crazy! Talk about unsigned hype… I seen he put a video called “Dilemma” on youtube and that further proved that dude lyrical concepts go beyond the majority! Anyway just passing along the word… PEACE

  • gold digger 101

    rick ross is fake
    1. he was born in mississpi not florida
    2. he used to work with law enforcement
    3. how you talking bout sellin crack when you u use to supervise inmates
    4. he lied bout his past

    i will never support his music.

    • General

      Damn, and yet Ross will continue to cash checks…

      Wave when you see the Maybach go by and holla “Boss!!!”

  • Anonymous

    ross is da bomb
    rickey ross usda miami we the best

  • wow

    how is 50 cent crushed? it will take rick ross like 5 albums to sell what 50 did in 2…lmao..ppl now or days…wtf is wit this microwave thought process..a few years ago he was the highest selling rapper on the planet next to eminem..this fat dude sells less than 200,000 records, cnt even beat em’s album which been out for a month already..and already you crown him…smh..clowns

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  • DJ DRAMA

    got the next niggah bout to blow out the south…he is the realist ngga I eve seen in my whole career…google,myspace,youtube COFA BOY!

  • TNUTTS

    MAN I DIDN’T BUY THIS I GOT IT FOR MY BIRTHDAY AND ALL I HAVE TOO SAY IS THIS he shoulda called this album TEFLON VALIUM this album straight puts me to sleep the beats are BORING and his mono tune barritone voice starts blending in with the BORING beats and then starts sounding ALL THE SAME NO DISTINCTION SONG AFTER SONG STOP WITH THIS SLOW LAID BACK BOSS OF ALL BOSSES AND go back to really concentrate on making quality music BECAUSE THIS AND DEEPER THAN RAP HAVE BEEN TRASH OFFICER RICKY FELL OF HARD GIVE IT UP OR MAKE BETTER QUALITY MUSIC PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TEMPO.T

    haters hate ross bcs the gay is making it. GOOD JOB, BOSS.

  • unity

    best album of the year so far!

  • rik ros

    dis fo da tril niguz

  • jim brown

    should have named it……….THE TEFLON COP fuckin fake ass pigster!!!!!!!! only powder ross moves is pancake mix!!