MUSIC

Rick Ross's "Port of Miami 2" Is Stale and Overrated

The 43-year-old emcee's latest effort is mostly a tepid recycling of the same thing he's been at for the last 13 years.

Rick Ross, if nothing else, loves to repeat himself.

Whether it's his famous "Maybach Music" adlib or the endless repetition of themes and rhyme schemes, Rick Ross has struggled for years to be original. Ross's imaginative shortcomings even seep into his persona. In 2010, the rapper was sued for $10 million by former drug kingpin, Rick Ross, who claimed that the emcee appropriated his name and criminal history, which resulted in a rather lucrative music career. Ultimately, though, according to The Independent, California judge Robert Baron ruled that "Roberts [Ross, the rapper] created a celebrity identity, using the name Rick Ross, of a cocaine kingpin, turned rapper. He was not simply an impostor seeking to profit solely off the name and reputation of Rick Ross. Rather, he made music out of fictional tales of dealing drugs and other exploits..." Either way, 13 years is a long time to be churning out tales of drugs, opulence, and promiscuity, especially when these subjects are not being offered up in any new, daring, or innovative ways.

The creative stagnancy of Ross's latest album, Port of Miami 2, is seen early on. On "Act a Fool," which features Wale, Ross raps, "10 stacks on the stage cause a whirlwind (Whirlwind) / Take a couple stacks and give that to your girlfriend (Woo) / Love to see pretty bitches kissin' on pretty bitches / Number one in my book is all the realest bitches." Ross's stale rhyming of "whirlwind" and "girlfriend" could probably be overlooked if he was leaning on the tired rhyme to say something new. But he isn't. It's the message of 'I'm so rich, I could steal your girl."

To add to this barrage of antiquated sentiments, Ross follows it up with a declaration of how much he loves attractive lesbians (or, at the very least, girls who are willing to engage in bisexual behavior solely for his viewing pleasure). The other 14 songs on the album, unfortunately, do not show much in the way of departure from these bars in "Act a Fool."

The project has some occasional highlights, but those moments have little to do with Ross himself. The production, for example, is on point, thanks to beat-making masterminds like Just Blaze, Jake One, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and Beat Billionaire. And there are some head-turning features from heavy hitters like Meek Mill, Jeezy, Nipsey Hussle, Teyana Taylor, Lil Wayne, Drake, and John Legend. Rick Ross is at his best when he's surrounded by talented artists that force him to step up his bars lest he be outshone.

While Rick Ross shows little growth as an artist on Port of Miami 2, that's never been his aim. He has always (and likely always will) continue his one-note shtick of drugs, sex, and violence. And it can be fun in the right context: at a club or a house party, where you will likely only hear a song or two throughout the night. And most of the songs on this album could easily slide into rotation at a wild Miami night club. So, in that regard, Port of Miami 2 sees Rick Ross at his best--making background music to party to, as opposed to crafting innovative and creatively satisfying albums.

Port of Miami 2

Music Features

On This Day: Shakira Liberated Everyone's “She Wolf”

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

By Fabio Alexx

11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.

"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."

Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com


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MUSIC

What Happens in Vegas? Lady Gaga, With Double the Delight!

A Las Vegas Residency is Planned with Two Separate Shows Featuring the Singer

vogue.de

Brace yourself, Sin City!

Las Vegas is known for being over-the-top and outrageous, making a Lady Gaga residency in one of the city's newest resorts a match made in heaven. The performer is gearing up for a 27-performance gig at Park Theater at the Park MGM resort, reports Rolling Stone.

thefader-res.cloudinary.com

Beginning with a bang on December 28th and lasting through the first week of November 2019, Gaga will give her all to the audience with not one, but two special shows, each entertaining and engaging in their own right. "Lady Gaga Enigma" and "Lady Gaga Jazz and Piano" shows will showcase Gaga's versatility and variety. The first, "a brand-new odyssey of her pop hits built as an experience unlike any other," will give guests the Gaga experience that will only be further fueled by the energy of Vegas' vibes. "Lady Gaga Jazz and Piano" will be more low-key, stripping down the popular versions of her songs to reveal their basic beauty, highlighting Gaga's vocals and stylings, and reiterating how imaginative and creative the singer truly is. This batch of shows will also feature tunes from The Great American Songbook. Of the 27 total residency shows, only four will be "Lady Gaga Jazz and Piano," making these performances super exclusive.

etimg.akamaized.net

"I can't wait to share ENIGMA with all of my fans and with Las Vegas. We're creating a show unlike anything I've done before. It will be a celebration of all that is unique and different within us. The challenges of bravery can be overcome with creativity and courage that is grown out of adversity, love, and music," Gaga shared with People.

www.ocean985.com

And the folks at MGM are just as thrilled. In a statement to People, Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International beamed, "Working with Lady Gaga and her team has been a career highlight for me. What she is planning for Las Vegas audiences is nothing short of spectacular. Welcoming her into our family will firmly position Park MGM as the city's most exciting new destination."

Gaga fans are already scrambling for tickets, but they won't be available until August 13th, (the 12 th for Citi® cardmembers. Prices start at $77.90. Get ready to click for tix on Lady Gaga's website.

These performances are sure to be stunning, from the music to the wardrobe to the choreography. Vegas shows are magical, Gaga is legendary, and this incredible combination is sure to wow the crowds. Brace yourself Sin City!

https://www.vogue.de

Lady Gaga's Las Vegas performance dates below:

"LADY GAGA ENIGMA" Shows

Dec. 28, 30 and 31

Jan. 17, 19, 24, 26 and 31

Feb. 2

May 30

June 1, 6, 8, 12 and 14

Oct. 17, 19, 23, 25 and 31

Nov. 2, 6 and 8

"LADY GAGA JAZZ & PIANO" Shows

Jan. 20

Feb. 3

June 2, 9


Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.


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