Beset by attacks on his character — including the revelation of his past history as a correctional officer, and a slew of defamation stunts launched by 50 Cent — Rick Ross was in danger of losing all credibility. But his detractors ire has given him focus, and Deeper Than Rap embraces a kind of sleek, low-key funk and proves to be his most consistent effort to date. Replete with wah guitar, rim cracks and rotund bass, “Magnificent,” “Yacht Club,” “Rich Off Cocaine” and “Gunplay” echo the live instrumentation of the Roots and funk-laden authority of Scarface. Of course, there are a couple songs that delve into signature Miami glitz: “Lay Back” might be a tad too saccharine, but “All I Really Want” is the ideal futuristic club jam. Ross uses most of his lyrics to reassure listeners that his public relations problems have not stopped him from living the high life, but when he decides to vent his rage in “Valley of Death,” the results are downright venomous. With Deeper Than Rap, Ross is once again rhyming with purpose, the fire in his belly stoked by controversy that could have paralyzed a lesser rapper.