Rick Ross – Teflon Don [Review]

It doesn’t matter where you stand with Rick Ross, he makes enjoyable music. Weather you dismiss him because of his past, dislike him because of his lack of depth, or marvel at his fantastic world of lush and seemingly endless extravagance, you still nod ya head and turn his music up when you hear it. I have noticed that the music he’s kicked out on his own imprint is a lot more musically plush than before and he’s shortened each offering since his debut from 19 tracks, to 16*, then down to 15* . The one thing we can probably take to the bank is that Rick Ross will be talking about money…lots and lots of money and a lifestyle that defies the recession.

*number includes iTunes bonus tracks

1. I’m Not A Star
Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
This track and flow sounds like a throwback to when Ross first got on the national scene on Port Of Miami. The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League gives us an uptempo track that features Rick spitting at a more incessant pace than he has in recent memory. The title of the song is misleading or facetious at best, as the entire song is an exhibition of garishness that is, apparently, Rick Ross’ everyday life.

2.Free Mason
Featuring Jay-Z & John Legend; Produced by Inkredibles
Man, let me just say damn. I love every aspect of this song. From the John Legend vocals that are just the right tone to blend with the magnificent musical direction of the track, to the lyrical exhibition of Rawse and Hov. These two always tend to have great synergy, but this time they’ve outdone themselves. Unfortunately for Mr. Teflon Don, he shared this song with Jay spitting one of his best verses ever:

“Niggas couldn’t do nothing with me, they put the devil on me/I’da preferred niggas squeeze the metal on me/rumors of Lucifer I don’t know who to trust/the whole word want’s my demise, turn the music up/hear me clearly, if y’all niggas fear me/just say y’all fear me/fuck all these fairy tails/go to hell, this is God engineering/this is a hail mary pass, y’all interfering/he without sin shall cast the first stone/so y’all look in the mirror, double check y’all appearance/bitch, I said I was amazin’/not that I’m a Mason/It’s amazing that I made it through the maze that I was in/Lord forgive me, I never woulda made it without sin/holy water, my face in the basin/diamonds in my rosary shows He forgave him/bitch, I’m red hot/I’m on my 3rd 6 but a devil I’m not.”

3. Tears Of Joy
Featuring Cee-Lo; Produced by No I.D.
The introduction of this song is a speech by Stokely Carmichael Bobby Seale (I think) that doesn’t seem to blend well with the song at all. The speech calls for rebellion and defines power on to a revolutionary stand point, and this song is about…man, I have no clue what the hell Rawse talking about. He goes from speaking about how he’s unimpressed by himself and what he’s accomplished, to being overwhelmed and fearless at the same time, then onto proclaiming that he’s a threat to cats in the game. I imagine that this song is about the duality of man. The constant struggle between being righteous and living in this world and being prosperous as defined by material possessions, respect, and basic vanity. Definition of the song aside, the musical quality of this track is fantastic. The wailing guitars and soulful tempo of the track lend themselves perfectly to Cee-Lo’s pain-filled vocals.

4. Maybach Music III
Featuring T.I., Jadakiss, & Erykah Badu; Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
I must confess that I look forward to each original version of this ongoing collection from Ross. Previous versions saw him work with Kanye, T-Pain, Lil’ Wayne on II, and Jay-Z on the first episode. This collaboration isn’t as engrossing as the other two were, however, the track is again, fantastic. T.I. and Badu stand out on this one while Jada sounds terribly out of place and uninspired…his lyric that lead to “Cold Stone….Ice Cream” damn near killed the entire song.

5. Live Fast, Die Young
Featuring Kanye West; Produced by Kanye West & No I.D.
I think this may have been a throwaway track from Kanye’s upcoming album. I say throwaway in the sense that this song sounds handcrafted for Yeezie and not Ross. That’s not a good or bad thing, just an observation on the musical sensibility of the track. That also goes to say, that Kanye sounds a lot more at home with flow reminiscent of The College Drop Out,

“My outfit’s so disrespectful/You can go ahead and sneeze cause my presence bless you/I mean, we walked in this bitch so stylish/Niggas done mistook me for my stylist/and I know it’s superficial and you say it’s just clothes/but we shoppin’ in this muthafucka and they just closed/So go ahead and just pose/when she walked up out the dressing room the store just froze/and I know, they tryna’ get they cool back/and the ghetto bitches hollarin out “You doooo thaaaat/uh, so they can never say we never lived it/and if I see Biggie tonight, I loved every minute!”

I think aside from the grand larceny of his record by Kanye, the length of the song itself was the next most surprising clocking in at 6:13.

6. Super High
Featuring Ne-Yo; Produced by Clark Kent & The Remedy
This lead single and video from the album that helped tattoo the image of Stacey Dash dancing on a motorcycle to this tune. When I heard this song, I had an entirely different idea of what the album would sound like.

7. No.1
Featuring Trey Songz & Diddy; Produced by Danja
Diddy’s fascination with the bottles clanking sound makes this track as well giving it that familiar dance injection that seems to be the hallmark of his songs. Ross sounds okay on it, but overall, it’s just an odd song and even more odd on the album. I think the star power kept this one the album and wouldn’t be shocked to see this become the next single…I hope not, but I wouldn’t be shocked. With Trey seemingly the face of R&B lately and Diddy’s album on the horizon, I don’t know how they can deny this one.

8. MC Hammer
Featuring Gucci Mane; Produced by Lex Luger
The track, eh…it’s okay. It’s not a bad track, just sounds typical. The more I listen to this song, the most “creative” thing about it is the reference to MC Hammer with the meaning (I believe) to be his affinity for spending cash somewhat recklessly. Lyrically, I’m not sure if it’s because of Gucci’s inclusion or just happenstance, this is the worst song on the album…although, Diddy’s verse in the previous song is damn near won that honor by itself.

9. B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast)
Featuring Styles P; Produced by Lex Luger
Without realizing this song was made by the same producer as the last song, I was like “damn, this sounds like MC Hammer part 2.” It very well could be, in all aspects since it’s just as mediocre as the previous song.

10. Aston Martin Music
Featuring Drake & Chrisette Michele; Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
This is the music I expected to hear a lot more of based on the single, and frankly, he sounds much better being the thugged out Teddy P of Hip-Hop rather than the Rick Ross of old. The Drake’d up bridge sounds good, but I don’t know why he didn’t rap on this one. Ross does a great job and like I said, he really sounds at home on this kind of R&B influenced track.

11. All The Money In The World
Featuring Raphael Saadiq; Produced by The Olympicks
Ok, folks cried about Marshall Mathers singing on his latest effort…clearly, you haven’t heard Rick Ross sing yet. WTF. Now, I gotta give dude props because this songs kind of levels off the entire album. It balances out the egotistical verses of the previous songs with this “I don’t take myself too seriously” vibe that comes with him singing, he even takes a shot at himself singing in the song. This fits in with the overall enjoyable vibe to the album.

12. Audio Meth
Featuring Raekwon: Produced by The Runners
This song could have, should have easily replaced one of the weaker tracks on the album such as “MC Hammer”, or “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” . I still haven’t figured out how I feel about the sample used here, but the song isn’t bad at all. Again, as with the Drake track, I would have liked to hear an actual verse by Raekwon on this song where he’s featured basically as part of the track.

Bottom Line:
This album is one of those albums that you have to appreciate for what it is first, then you can evaluate it. Rick Ross isn’t, never has been, and probably will never be, a lyrical heavyweight. He makes feel good music to ride to and just simply enjoy. While he has evolved in his music selection greatly, his lyrical content is what it always has been. With a deceptively long 11 (or 12) track album with brief missteps, this album is definitely worth the purchase. Ignore the score here, don’t let a rating influence this choice for you, you need to enjoy this album. After enduring an attack from one of the most feared career finishers in the game (50 Cent), seemingly increasing comparisons to one of the greatest to ever do it (Biggie), and a history that would have ended most rappers claim to the lifestyle he touts on his albums, Rick Ross drops an album that is flat out enjoyable and helps cement his claim to being the Teflon Don.

nappypicks: “Free Mason”, “Maybach Music III”, “Live Fast, Die Young”, “Aston Martin Music”

Download: Rick Ross feat. Raekwon – “Audio Meth” [Bonus Track]

  • DJ LP

    How could you NOT like MC Hammer or B.M.F.!! And a 3.5…whaaaaaaat. Where is Jerm at!?.
    good review though

    • Jerm is probably somewhere mad about this review. Real mad. Like he’s calling Saule RIGHT now mad.

      • saule wright

        he sent the cops by my house 3 different times, all with different reasons. “We had reports of a woman screaming, can we come in?” “We had reports of weed smoke coming from this location, can we come in?” “We have reports that you are holding a small white kid hostage here, can we come in?” He sending the feds out for me, all over a .5 difference. lmao

  • C

    3.5? I think it deserves a 4 this is his best album. MC Hammer is the only ehh track. Audio Meth is a banger and the Shook Ones 2 sample is nice.

  • saule wright

    Like I said folks, fuck the rating, go get the album. lol. Let’s put it in perspective. In relation to the Em album I reviewed and the Roots album I reviewed, I don’t think this is as good as those. Those two albums sounded great AND had better content and delivery…not to mention more music. I think this is a really good album, just not as good as those.

    • DJ LP

      I already copped. Showed up at Best Buy right when it opened. So check on go get the album.

      • saule wright

        good stuff man! We need to start posting up albums with receipts and shit in the forums. I mean, we post the leaks, we should post the support ya know? You know Jerm was about to call this shit a classic. I’m sure he’ll show up to let you all know that he woulda gave his a 4.5 or close to it.

  • It hurt my heart that you didn’t like “B.M.F.”. It’s a one of the biggest rap songs of the summer. That “I think I’m ….” line is used like crazy these days and it makes it sound cool no matter how it’s used. Example: “I think I’m Archie Bunker!” “I think I’m Tyler Durden!”

    Nice review. Nice album.

    And I’m half a sleep if you can’t tell.

    • saule wright

      man, maybe it will grow on me. It too MONTHS for me to appreciate BP3 so maybe that song will be one of them that does the same. So far tho, it’s mildly annoying.

  • C

    Yea I got the album already too. Always cop my albums 1st day out.

    • saule wright

      much respect to that man! we gotta support our music or it will go away.

  • Z Money

    You don’t like BMF wtf?? That is one of the hottest songs in the streets of the whole summer. You think that should have been left off lmao? That is Ross’ biggest hit off the album.

    • saule wright

      Eh, I guess. I like it more than MC Hammer, but I didn’t say it should have been left off, I said it could have been replaced by Audio Meth.

  • volger

    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disapointed with this album. Deeper Than Rap made me a huge fan, but Teflon Don is definitely a step down. I didn’t feel like it was on the same caliber of material that he’s been putting out lately (eg. Angels Remix, Window Seat Remix). Plus it had too many unnecessary gueat features, sorta like Jay-Z’s Blueprint 2 album.

    Is it listenable? Definitely, but it’s far from his best effort.

    • saule wright

      Glad to see you comment volger, just for a different opinion. I do think some of the appearances are name grabs though. We’ll see when we post the numbers next week how effective it was. I expect this album to do some good numbers this week.

      • C

        You guys are right about the features but TD has a lot less filler. All I Want, Face,Lay Back,etc messed up the flow of the album.
        So, imo TD > DTR (slightly)

        • volger

          True. DRT had its misses, but TD only has a few songs that can compare to tracks like Usual Suspects or Valley of Death (just as examples)

          And saule your onto something about Ross using the guest features as name grabs, I never thought of it that way.

  • P-Body

    This album was pretty good to me especially with me not even being a Ross fan and not believing everything he rap about.

    “Maybach Music III” is probably my favorite instrumental on that album since it is live and it sound like a movie them. That shit goes hard and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. league are some dope ass producers and composers!!! Its going to be hard to top a track like that!

    B.M.F. and MC Hammer sound so much alike man. I kept going back and forth to make sure it wasn’t the same song two times. The beats go hard but its typical but once again that damn Maybach Music III track itself is so hard and smooth, T.I. stole the show!!

    Audio Meth goes hard too! I like how they resampled Shook Ones II which Mobb Deep had sampled from Quincy Jones and other artist.

    I think this album should have got a 4 for real, maybe a 4.5 to be honest. Deeper than rap was good too though! I’m impressed by the last two albums Ross put out, Trilla was decent. Every album dude put out is getting better.

    I wish he’ll stop saying “Uh” like Biggie because he is no damn Biggie Smalls.

    • saule wright

      lmao, how you say the same stuff I did but want it to get a 4 or a 4.5?

      • P-Body

        I didn’t say the album had flaws except the two joints “B.M.F.” and “MC Hammer” sounding the same. Otherwise the album is dope to me, its on rotation. I like all the songs on the album to be honest. It really should get a 4 at least.

  • C

    Yea you right Usual Sepects is one of Ross’ best

  • SBA

    I felt like this album was a 4, maybe a 4.5. MC Hammer and BMF were some dope ass songs that kinda balanced out the “orchestra feel” of the album if you catch my drift. TI’s verse on MMIII was one of his best in a long time. The Diddy song should have been left off the album and he should have put Mafia Music 2 or Teflon Don on there

    Good review though, and I just copped my copy today. First album I’ve bought since Kanye’s Graduation

    • saule wright


  • Pitbull

    Alright Saule, let me begin by saying i always dig your reviews. You always seem to give background information on anything, whther it be the artist, the album, the song, or the lyrics, and i like that.

    BUT when you said “MC Hammer” was the worst song on the album, I almost lost it. I agree with you on “B.M.F” and “All The Money In The World”, those two should not have been on the album. “B.M.F.” could have been replaced with “Sweet Life” feat. John Lengend, and like you said “All The Money In The World” could have been replaced with “Audio Meth.” Then it would have felt like a complete album…not a Greatest Hits Collection.


    • saule wright

      Thanks Pitbull for the shout out, it’s def appreciated fam. But ok, “MC Hammer”, let’s talk about it. I think the music is really mediocre. It sounds like there are a lot of elements, but all of those elements come with my demo version of Fruity Loops. In other words, there are a lot of parts, but none that work extraordinarily well together. Lyrically, “My gun dirty, my brick clean, I’m ridin’ dirty, my dick clean, she talk dirty, but her mouth clean, bitch I’m MC Hammer, I’m about cream” doesn’t do shit for me. It sounds like he’s just grabbing shit to say. Not only that, MC Hammer didn’t spend money that recklessly, he spent a lot of it on folks around him and such. Yeah, I’m sure I’m over analyzying the song and analogy as most everyone else I know loves this song. If you are making senseless fun music, ok, I can put you in that lane and take you at that, but the choice of MC Hammer and the tone of the song, he’s trying to make a point and a statement, and that statement didn’t come off well for me at all. On top of that, Gucci’s verse was terrible and makes that entire minute of the song completely unbearable for me.

      • Bron

        “Diamonds moving on my chest, doing the Hammer Dance
        110 grand make my jeans sag like some Hammer pants
        Amberlance, amberlance
        911, 911
        It’s Gucci Mane yea thats my name
        I’m going dumb, going dumb”

        GUCCI RIPPED HAMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Pitbull


        • saule wright

          I’ll give him the nod at being more related to the topic, but ripped? not hardly. Outside of the first 2 lines, the rest of that shit is nonsense. Of course, that’s my opinion though.

      • Pitbull

        See I agree with you on the hook, it did seem like he was just pullin random shit out of his ass. As on the other hand, I LOVED THAT BEAT! I Can omit the horrendous hook if the verses are good, which they were, and the beat is bangin. Man I was driving to work one time and I had that shit BLASTING! I didn’t know that Gucci had hopped on the track, since the only version I had heard was the Albert Anastasia one, but when Gucci came on I was feelin the song so damn hard I almost wrecked.

        All in all, I love that track. “B.M.F”, I just lost all hope after Styles said, “And did I mention/Guns from Red Dead Redemption”

        • saule wright

          lmao, Styles P shit was made me say what? lol. I got folks in my camp screamin that like it was the bidness.

  • *checks into hospital for chest pains*

    • saule wright

      I know, i know

      • you got Jerm doin’ the Fred Sanford shuffle *snicker*

  • P-Body

    I wonder why Mafia Music 2 wasn’t on the album???

    • Pitbull

      I don’t know what he was thinking when he left that and “Sweet Life” out. I guess he looked at it as too old to be on the album, cuz when you think about it “Super High” barely made it on the album. What I mean by that is that it’s an excellent song but it feels out of place.

      Like I said, this is a solid album, but it feels more like a Greatest Hits Collection. Every song sounds like it was picked from his previous 3 albums.

      • DGAF

        Man, Mafia Music 2 would have been one of the highlights of the album…that song is sooo smooth

  • DJ LP

    What happened to Veterans day with Weezy and Birdman? That song waaaaas tight

    But MC Hammer is a BANGER with out question. Fuck if it don’t go together well.

  • P

    I liked the street aspects of the album but I felt like it was too short and a little to commercial. I mean from a guy they call the “Boss” you would wanna expect some more of a street album. I dont really think Ross fans are pop fans so he needs to keep it street. If the whole album was full of B.M.F’s and Audio Meth’s and the street tracks we know Ross could make this would be a classic. Def Jam didnt promote this album much anyway so he needs to make the kinda music he proably wants to make.

    • DJ LP

      Too commercial?? I hope your not serious….

      • saule wright

        yea, even I don’t agree with that. I think he did some name grabs (like I said before) for commercial appeal, but the sound isn’t commercial at all.

  • DJ LP

    What really gets me about the album is that its short. 11 songs isn’t enough for me ESPECIALLY when you KNOW he has some songs that were released that should have made the album.

    For example on The Albert Anastasia EP you had All I Need, Knife Fight, 300. I can understand if they didn’t fit on the album BUT then there was Mafia Music 2, Veterans Day and Cigar Music Pt. II that just weren’t heard of again although released (I’m still waiting on that final version of Cigar Music II ft Game and Nas if its ever going to get released but THAT SHIT IS DOPE)

  • Chip

    I think it was a 4. One thing i was surprised it is that he doesn’t get drowned out by the features. True enough Hov and Ye outshined but I dont skip Ross to get to their verses. Ross is keeping up a steady flow of solid albums but I think Deeper than Rap was the closest he got to cohesive greatness. (I say closest even tho that album couldve lost songs like Bossy Lady and Face)

  • Spektah

    Saule you was on point with this review. B.M.F. and Mc Hammer were mediocre songs.

    Good job man.

  • Kev

    Man. This deserves a 4 IMO. But to each his own. Well written review Saule.

  • Chip

    Is there an unedited audio meth yet??

    • DJ LP

      Just came out today.

  • Pabelow

    Lex Luger > you.

  • don’t let it faze you SW, I’m glad you got this one, you did your thing as usual.

    infact I’ll go against the obvious grain and say that even tho a few of the songs were downright amazing, as a whole I’d only give the album a weak 3 myself

    *ducks head*

    • Statlanta

      “A weak 3” this coming from a guy with a white gorilla in his gravatar.

      • you need a napkin?

        you got a little Ross on your chin there “Statlanta”

    • Vic D

      I agree with a 3

  • Unknown One

    I look foward to Nappyafro review and apperciate the clarity of the reviews. With that said…..

    — You lost creditabilty on this review by saying B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast) “in all aspects since it’s just as mediocre as the previous song.” lol REALLY. I think this is Rick Ross best album and BMF is just street Hop at its finest…. 4 stars IMO……….. but good review..

    Distant Relative = Recovery > Thank Me Later = Teflon Don = Revolutions Per Minute=How I Got Over
    Great so far in Hip Hop

  • Damn, looks like we were “damned if we did, damned if we didn’t” with this review.

    If I would have given Ross 4.5, mad niggas would have been complaining, and Saule gave it a 3.5, and niggas are complaining.

    That is why it’s so cool to debate Hip-Hop. Everybody isn’t going to agree on everything.

    Good Review Saule, and I liked the way you was in here on the ropes like Ali, but you never lost your cool.

    • DJ LP

      Thats why everyone was demanding a 4. The reason we complained about you last year was cuz DTR did not deserve a 4.5. That was also a 4

      • saule wright

        i think whats comical is how folks go HARD about that .5 in a rating Its all good though, I love reading the feedback and criticism. This is the stuff that helps me get better…or at least attempt to get better.

    • saule wright

      lol thanks bruh.

  • saule wright

    I dont give street hop a pass because the beat is hot or whatever. I know those songs were for the streets, but there needs to still be some substance. Hell, if its not at all about the lyrics, it would be an instrumental. That said, I respect all opinions (such as the ones on this review) when they come from love of the music and culture, and not draped in venom. Thats why we do this folks!

    And I agree Unknown One, this is going to be a rough decision for album of the year. I think that for the first time, no one will really be able to complain. Each of those albums you listed will get votes I’m sure.

    • Unknown One

      I can feel you on that. It’s cool to agree to disagree. I still think lyrics are good on BMF….

      —– But I do agree with you. Audio Meth should have replaced MC Hammer. Just seemed both beats sound excatly the same for BMF and Mc Hammer (scratching my head). But still a good review as always. Just coped Big Boi album so I hope is nice as everyone saying. And yes this has been a great year in Hip Hop and debates are good to get different perspective on albums.

  • Mike L

    Teflon Don is a straight up banger! It’s just too damn short! Ross did surprise me on this album though, his rhymes have a subtle depth to them, and his production on every track was pretty much on point.

    In comparison to Recovery, it has better production and better cohesiveness, but falls short on lyrical content and flow.

    Both should have gotten a 4 in my opinion.

  • Vic D

    This is a lyrical stepdown for Ross. “I’m Not A Star” is below average. “No. 1”, “MC Hammer”, and the delivery of “Tears of Joy” are terrible.

    • Vic…you trippin real HARD right now.

  • Pitbull

    Am I the only one that didn’t like Recovery?

    • *raises hand*

    • King Jerm

      I didn’t like it either. I haven’t felt an Em album since The Eminiem Show.

      • volger

        ^ co-sign ^

        • if I’m honest, I havent liked the guy since The Slim Shady LP

          • Chip

            WOW to all of the above

          • Pitbull

            THANK GOD I’m not the only 1. I saw how much everybody was talkin it up and I just couldn’t agree. It was plain out boring. To be honest it just sucked.

  • jeff

    It’s one of those albums where after you’re amazed by the production, you go back and listen to the content and you are left like ok…well, like okay whatever. Maybach Music III’s production is FANTASTIC though. I dunno how long it’s gonna take for that to get old in my ride.

    • marcus

      I agree. The production deserves a 5…other than that I’m sorry I paid for it.

    • saule wright

      NO DOUBT. I listened to this one looooooooooooooooooooooong to get to that bottom line man. Well said.

  • Depper Than Rap and Trilla are both better than this. Haven’t listened to Port of Miami in depth, but I’ll chalk this up as Ross’s third best album.

    • Nah homie…this is his best to date. He keeps getting better with each album.

      • DJ LP

        ^ Agreed

    • Mr. Jones

      this is his best album. Trilla is easily his worst with Port of Miami and Deeper Than Rap just isn’t as consistent as this.



    • DJ LP

      FUCK OUTTA HERE with that ignorant ass bullshit.

  • volger

    btw according to vibe.com, the speech at the beginning of Tears of Joy is Bobby Seale, not Carmichael. they happen to have a humorous review of Teflon Don 😀

    • Thanks. Correction made.

  • Steve Jones

    I once drove Rick Ross in a limousine. He was the biggest loser I ever met in my life. He lit up a marijuana joint in the car without asking. He was politely asked to put it out and refused to do so, even when it was explained that we use the car for other customers who are more conservative and might not appreciate the marijuana smell.

    We had to call the police and only then did Ross leave the vehicle. He could barely speak English and called the car an as*hole. (I didn’t realize cars could actually be as*holes).

    I have met tens of thousands of people in my work, including hundreds of extremely famous rock stars and actors, and without a doubt Rick Ross was the most disrespectful loser of all time.

    • P-Body

      Dayum. Some reason a lot of people in the spotlight tend to think they can’t be touched

    • Cool Story Bro!

      Uh…it was just weed. I guess ya’ll don’t clean the car between customers..but the only LOSER in the situation was you…YOU LOST YOUR TIP!


      • gotta agree with KJ on this’n

        when I’m Ross status and I hire a limo, I expect to be able to kill hookers and shit on the floor if I want to.
        If it were me I just woulda had you pull over and had my people find me a non-lame limo company.

        “yer Limo is an asshole anyway” is pretty funny tho