Album review | HIP-HOP

Rick Ross, ‘Hood Billionaire’

Rick Ross’s insular, drug-obsessed seventh record unintentionally evokes the scene in “Scarface” where Tony Montana, isolated and a caricature of his former self, realizes the world is passing him by as he sits in front of a mountain of cocaine. A mere half-year after his bloated “Mastermind,” Ross offers more redundant songs about moving coke and stacking money. Only the incensed “Burn” resonates; elsewhere, “Coke Like the ’80s” and “Neighborhood Drug Dealer” are blustery narratives with little imagination. “Heavyweight” features odd, dated boxing references (Don King, really?), while “Phone Tap” displays a tweaker-like paranoia bordering on farcical. Creative, turbulent beats from producers like Timbaland (poppy “If They Knew” and insistent “Movin’ Bass”) mask the slack verses and give the tracks some juice. The disc ends timidly with two sentimental songs, in an attempt to inject soul into this mostly hollow affair. (Out Tuesday)




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