"Last Night I cried tears of Joy/ What did I do to deserve this" - Ricky Ross
I have truly been meaning to write something about music. It's been a while since I have listened to a good album and thought, damn, let me put something down and share with friends how I feel about some bout of creativity. That's until I listened to Teflon Don by Rick Ross. Well, while it's a point of contention and embarassment that 50Cent loves to call him Officer Ricky, I think the name actually sound kosher.

Ricky's one mistake is that of thinking beefing people is the way to go if you want to build your rap career. I mean it's actually so childish for a guy who burst into the scene so late in his age. People born in 1976 should be considering retiring now - okay unless you are Dr Dre (1965) or Snoop Dogg (1971). Other rappers born in the seventies are either dead or retired. But Ricky just refused to stop. Also if you are going to have beef with a mogul like Fiddy, make sure your shit is tight.

Here I don't mean you have to spit lyrics like Tupac and Biggie because Fiddy is nothing compared to a lot of cats that are ripping the scene open with pitbull rhymes. I am not afraid to say that Fiddy is not qualified to tie the shoelaces of Drake. He might be on the same downlow, laid back tip like Lil Wayne but there was a time that Fiddy was hot. That's after he failed to die trying but actually got rich.

Now, with Ricky my interest rests with Teflon Don where I can pick a few good songs and write volumes of thesis about them. I am not in the luxury of actually mentioning Ricky's rants by name since he has to pay me to promote his album to that effect but this July 20, 2010 release really rocks. However he was careful about the people he chose to feature in this album, exposing his paranoia about being overshadowed by bloods he might later need to beef.

This is basically because on Mafia Music, which is a cheap diss of 50 he brought Ja-Rule (relic), The Game (ahhhh) and Fat Joe (we're the best!). Ja was fine but often one needs cats who can hold down a diss without going into gutter jabs. The days of Hit 'Em Up are gone. Saying 'fuck you and your muthafucking Mama/ we gon' kill all you muthafuckas' might have sounded shocking in '96 but now we really want stuff that sounds like Nas' Ether. When Ja, says 'i smell pussy/ pussy got lips but it don't talk to me/ that's why you my bitch and you on my dick', one sees a relic dying for attention on the same stage he fell from.

Joe takes it further and raps about having choppers that 50 should not make them use against him and his Gorilla crew. It's Game who sounds hungrier and more lyrical. Ricky, well Officer Ricky sound the same ways he does on Crack A Bottle Remix. He makes jokes about himself when he claims that he 'get more pussy than Curtis Jackson just taking off my shirt'. I can see it, him exposing his bloated tattooed Maybach body.

Now on Teflon Don, there is a jam he does with Jay-Z titled Freemason. I, in my other life as a poet should say I found his lyrical prowess so overwhelming that whilst I got mad love for Jigga I somehow ended up giving Ricky 60-40. For god's sake this is not a cipher but 'damn a nigga made it'. "quarter milli on the muthafucka/ no insurance on the muthafucka/ ain't life a bitch', he raps on another jam with a catchy chorus of 'last night i cried tears of joy/ what did i do to deserve this'. The jam was produced by NO ID and samples Black Panthers' Bobby Seale who loved calling cops pigs. 'i wanna walk in the image of Christ/ but that bitch Vivica nice', he taunts Fiddy.

On the Freemason track he revisits the wisdom of black people. He touches on a lot of them building pyramids without the help of caterpillars. Then he lets us know that he is actually literate when he mocking touches on the assassination of JFK. 'my top back like JFK/ they wanna push my top back like JFK/ so I JFK, join forces with kings and we ate all day'. That's informed and gritty, with a twist of surrealism.

Overall the album was produced by lots of people, amongst them Kanye West who he also features. Among the guests one finds Jadakiss, Kanye, Jay-Z, Drake, Puff Daddy and a few unknowns. Why didn't he bring heavy hitters? Obviously he sounds paranoid.

And with 50 having exposed him as an ex-CO, a prison warder; that doesn't work well for street credentials. When he talks about pushing cocaine on the streets of Miami while driving flashy cars and you are confronted by a picture of a laughing officer in funny khakhi pants and shirt, it's hard to take Ricky seriously. However the nigga has style and strong lyrics.

Ricky will do one show in Cape Town this month. Wonder whether he will rap his whole catalogue of four albums or just touch much on Teflon Don, which while it is the one that gave him worldwide acclaim is still not his best album as Port of Miami had hunger and the lyrics were raw - minus beef. Officer Ricky - hahahaha!

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