Rick Ross’ ‘Hood Billionaire’ By The Numbers
To use his own vernacular, Rick Ross is having a Bawse year. This past Spring saw the release of Mastermind, his first solo release at retail since 2012's God Forgives, I Don't. Mastermind was generally well received by fans and critics alike and became Rozay's fifth No. 1 album. Then a few months ago, there were rumblings of another album. Not a mixtape, not an MMG compilation set, but another whole Ricky Rozay album. Maybe Ross wasn't happy with Mastermind's sales, or maybe he felt MMG needed another major release this year after Stalley's Ohio dropped last month and Meek Mill's album had to be shelved when he got locked up. Regardless of the reason, Ross had aimed to do something that no rapper has done since DMX in 1998—have two No. 1 albums in the same calendar year on the Billboard 200.
Where Mastermind seemed to focus on how far Ross had come and what he had made of himself, Hood Billionaire looks back at where he came from and what he witnessed along the way. While it features the usual accoutrements of any Ross album—white girl metaphors for coke and plenty of braggadocios bars—it also feels very personal. He weaves a recording of a very profound phone call with Kenneth "Boobie" Williams, the jailed leader of the Carol City Cartel, throughout the album. The call seems to wash away the previous doubt about Ricky's credibility and bring some perspective and clarity to why these guys do what they do. Ross also touches on troubling times in his life, like the run of seizures he experienced a couple years ago and the failed attempts on his life last year, which he also touched on on Mastermind.
With the album out now, XXL dove a little deeper and broke down Hood Billionaire by the numbers. Check out how Ross stacks up below, and compare it to Mastermind, God Forgives, I Don't and Teflon Don as well. —Duke London