Teflon Don

Teflon Don

By the dawn of the 2010s, Rick Ross had endured one-hit wonder accusations, a beef with 50 Cent, and assaults on his reputation by reports of his stint as a correctional officer—yet he’d still solidified himself as a formidable artist. Ross could make trap records that knocked just as hard as any other acts from below the Mason-Dixon line, and larger-than-life luxury raps that oozed with ornateness. But his fourth release, 2010’s Teflon Don, proved that Ross could make a body of work that shined beyond specific highlights. The album’s 11 tracks are assembled as intentionally and efficiently as any of his works to date. Telfon Don leaves no stone unturned when it comes to Ross’ strengths. “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” and “I’m Not a Star” are thunderous and triumphant trap bangers, his booming voice swinging through synths like an axe through wood. “Maybach Music III” elevated his signature series to new heights, with an orchestral J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League instrumental, a soulful Erykah Badu chorus, and opulent rhymes by T.I. and Jadakiss—all of it making way for Ross’ own scene-changing finale of a verse. Ross is often known more for the fantastical than for the introspective, but he even gives himself a chance to reflect on Teflon Don. “Tears of Joy” utilizes a Marvin Gaye hook morphed by No I.D.—and stirring vocals by CeeLo Green—to tell Ross’ rags-to-riches story with a perspective of gratitude and incredulousness. And the album’s closer, “All the Money in the World,” contextualizes his family’s happiness as his number-one priority.

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