Maybe it's the tie...? I don't know, but for some strange reason, I find myself NOT drinking such a large bottle of Haterade when it comes to Deeper Than Rap... maybe I'm ill...
I can't really explain it. Everything about Rick Ross makes me think that I should truly dislike Deeper Than Rap. Yet I find myself nodding my head at quite a regular pace. Do I care that he doesn't really have Manuel Noriega's number in his cell? Not particularly. Do I care that he has a song on this album called "Rich Off Cocaine," despite his negligible alleged previous career as a corrections officer? Eh, not that much.
What I do care about is that while it does have a couple of overly skittery trap-rap-by-numbers songs, much of Deeper Than Rap is actually aiming for the executive lounge: the type of glazed-but-natural samples that provided the backdrop for Jay-Z's Big Willie Movement back in the day, but with a heavier bounce perfect for riding around in the Carol City sun.
Not that I've ever been to Carol City.
Anyway, it's southern rap for the executive lounge or, as Ross refers to it several times, "Maybach music." And okay, that's a little galling during the deepest recession in recent memory, but who gives a fuck? One of rap's many purposes has always been to function as escapist fantasy... kind of like a former prison guard fronting as though he were Pablo Escobar.
Okay, that was a cheap shot. Besides, I'm jealous of Ross's tribal-Afghan-warlord-style beard... seriously.
Regardless, Deeper Than Rap is way better than I would have ever thought it could be, and definitely worth checking out.