Mastermind [Deluxe Version]

Mastermind [Deluxe Version]

by Rick RossRick Ross

CD(Special Edition / Bonus DVD)

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Not one to evolve at any rate above a snail's pace, Miami rapper Rick Ross is gloriously stuck on gangsta rap, having found a simple yet seemingly secret formula that no other hip-hopper has been able to steal, at least not for more than a single or two. Mastermind -- Ross' annual stomp-and-swagger album, 2014 edition -- could be swapped out with 2009's Deeper Than Rap and only those burnt out on the album would know the difference, but when being stuck in a rut means you grind your wheels and all that spews out is gold, you only need to look to successful artists like the always funky James Brown, the always rockin' AC/DC, and the always stoned Devin the Dude for guidance. Always the same and always awesome is how Ross plays it, although to be fair, these clever street rhymes, the raspy and forceful delivery, plus the million-dollar beats are now allowed a little more room to roam as many Mastermind cuts pound past the five-minute mark. It makes the songs feel all the more epic, something that benefits the husky highlight "The Devil Is a Lie," a "crime pays" anthem with special guest Jay-Z, although the biggest monolith here is the Jeezy feature "War Ready," a claustrophobic battle cry that brings all the thrill and chaos of a Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, or even Mortal Kombat showdown. The challenges of living outside the law are addressed from beginning to end with "Drug Dealers Dream" representing square one ("Eating out of trash, sure do make you a killer"), while the Diddy-produced "Nobody" looks at the self-reliant and lonely life of a gangsta, all alone "Having sushi down at Nobu/Strapped like an Afghan soldier, and nowhere to go to" just because folks don't like that "My desire for fine things made me a liar." Variety is added when bad-man reggae enters the picture ("Mafia Music III" with Sizzla and Mavado) or the Weeknd give Ross a rare glimpse of elegant R&B heaven (harps and the pace of a Prince ballad power the great "In Vein"), plus the album is a bit more raw than previous, so expect more fan favorites than hit singles. Otherwise, this is business as usual, and business is absolutely gangbusters. [A Deluxe Edition featuring a second disc and bonus tracks was also released in a clean version.]

Product Details

Release Date: 03/03/2014
Label: Def Jam
UPC: 0602537617500
catalogNumber: 002021500
Rank: 130845

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rick Ross   Primary Artist
Keith Sweat   Vocals
Betty Wright   Vocals
Teedra Moses   Background Vocals
Katt Williams   Vocals
Dernst Emile   Bass
RK   Vocals
Tracy T.   Background Vocals
Derek Garcia   Percussion
French Montana   Vocals,Background Vocals
Tak   Vocals
Tadarius McCombs   Bass Guitar
Whole Slab   Vocals
Cira Larkin   Vocals
Robin Leonard   Vocals
Money Marie   Vocals

Technical Credits

A+   Producer
Sean "Puffy" Combs   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Additional Production
Mike Dean   Producer,Instrumentation
Jason Patterson   Vocal Engineer
Dwayne Richardson   Composer
Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon   Additional Production
Stevie J.   Producer
Timbaland   Additional Production
John Rivers   Engineer
Chris Godbey   Engineer
Deborah Mannis-Gardner   Sample Clearance
Jiv Pos   Producer
DJ Enuff   Producer
Shawn Carter   Composer
Miguel Collins   Composer
Kanye West   Composer,Producer
Roosevelt Harrell   Composer
Chris Atlas   Marketing
Bink   Producer
Robert Williams   Composer
Opio Lindsey   Composer
DJ Khaled   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Eldwardo "Eddie Mix" Hernandez   Engineer
Sharif Slater   Producer
Rick Ross   Executive Producer
J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League   Producer
Dernst Emile   Additional Music
Ben Diehl   Engineer
Matthew Testa   Engineer
Anthony Cruz   Vocal Engineer
Fluterscooter   Orchestration
Noah Goldstein   Engineer
Derek Garcia   Engineer
Leshawn Rogers   Producer
D Rich   Producer
Kevin Cossom   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Ramon Rivas   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Streetrunner   Producer
Demacio "Demo" Castellon   Engineer
Dwayne Carter   Composer
Michelle Trumpler   Engineer
Boi-1DA   Producer
William Roberts   Composer
Brett "Beats" Bailey   Producer
Jason Quenneville   Producer,Vocal Engineer
Joseph McVey   Composer
Alex "Gucci Pucci" Bethune   Executive Producer
Dijon McFarlane   Composer,Producer
Andy Proctor   Package Production
David Brooks   Composer
Kevin Crowe   Composer
Weeknd   Producer
Stephen McDowell   Engineer
Di Genius   Vocal Engineer
John "J-Banga" Kercy   Engineer
Michael L. Williams   Composer
Sean Anderson   Composer
Karim Kharbouch   Composer
Mike WiLL Made It   Producer
Asheton Hogan   Composer
Kenneth Bartolomei   Composer
Abel Tesfaye   Composer
Byron Forest   Composer
Black Metaphor   Producer
Vinylz   Producer
Ben Billions   Producer
Michael "Banger" Cahadia   Vocal Engineer
Vinny Venditto   Additional Production
Stephan Townsend   Vocal Engineer
Willie McNeal   Composer,Producer
Scott Storch   Producer
Hector Marin   Composer,Producer
David Mescon   Producer
Omar Walker   Composer,Producer
Nick Varvatsoulis   Composer
Rony Rey   Vocal Engineer
Brainwash   Cover Art
LaShawn Rogers   Composer

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