Deen never drinks wine and doesn’t eat swine, but if you don’t bring him his motherfucking cognac, he’ll kill you.
I think it’s safe to say that few folks still give any fucks about Rick Rawse in 2014. If you disagree then you’re either a stan or as delusional as the man himself. After all, none of the singles that were supposed to get Mastermind off the ground took off and if we’re keeping it all the way 100, Rawse has been dropping dud ass singles for the last 3 years or so. Some are better than others, but I’d probably select “9 Piece” as his last really good and successful single. On the current album cycle, he’s dropped … man, fuck it. Y’all didn’t care when he actually dropped the songs, so I don’t see how me bloviating about said failed singles is going to change anything. Let’s just say they’ve all flopped and leave it at that – despite all manner of features (Jay-Z, Future and even Jeezy). Nonetheless, he’s still what we’d consider an important artist in today’s rap industry. And I concur, even though I’m still not entirely sure why, given his origins and my continuing distaste for his existence.
Despite the cold reception his album is about to endure, someone has to listen to this shit and tell you if it sucks or not. I’m here to tell you that it sucks. I mean, you could spend the time downloading and listening to this shit or you could just take it from me: it sucks. Rawse’s saving grace, even at his most amateur, was his immaculate ear for beats. That seems to have deserted him and his rapping, while much improved and occasionally impressive, isn’t consistently excellent enough to carry average production.
But the weak ass music isn’t even the most egregious shit to me. So much about this album offends the rap nerd within. So much so that I need to list shit out for y’all:
- The ‘remake’ of Biggie’s “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Tries To Kill You”: I don’t understand why anyone would ever consider this a good idea. Diddy is the worst. And I don’t care about the quality of the song; some shit deserves to remain sacred. I think Biggie’s tiny ass catalogue is one of those things.
- Dancehall and Reggae: Somehow, Rawse managed to get Sizzla AND Mavado on a BORING song. “Mafia Music 3” is aggressively boring. I can’t list all the rap + dancehall combos we’ve heard over the years, but this is easily the least memorable one ever.
- The same charge applies to Rawse’s reunion (?) with Jeezy. I didn’t care 3 weeks ago and I care even less now. Terrible song.
- Gunshot effects: they’re all over the album. It’s nauseating. For a guy that supposedly got shot at (I still think that was a calculated set up – niggas missed everything during what was supposed to be an assassination attempt), Rawse is kinda enamored with gunshots. If he really wanted to be a G, he should have recorded the sound of himself fucking seizing on the floor of his private jet and used that in lieu of gunshots. That was a legit threat.
- Camp Lo’s “Luchini” hook: French Montana returns to bastardize one of the greatest things in rap history. And right as you’re trying to figure out just how irritated you should be by that shit;
- ODB’s ‘Shame on a Nigga’ hook gets dragged in to the morass. This is all very tiring. This must be how folks felt when Michael Bay signed on to do the Transformers movies. I was around for that too, but drugs – I does them.
- Then Justice League decides to take a run at reusing the sample from Souls of Mischief’s ’93 Til Infinity’. So much outrage coursing through my veins mane. I can’t take too much more of this shit.
- And to make matters worse, Lil Wayne, the undisputed A-list gawd of trash raps, shows up and washes Rawse. Sad. If Wayne washes you in 2014, you need help. He didn’t even crack any dick or pussy jokes.
- Then someone let Scott Storch outta storage to lace Rawse with a boring ass beat. I’m beginning to suspect that I’d enjoy Mastermind a lot more if I could afford cocaine.
- And for the most egregious offense of all, Rawse thought that it would be appropriate to use Trayvon Martin’s name in a lame ass punchline. I’m not even sure I’m offended or even upset, but given annoying nature of Rawse’s last excursion into the world of controversial rap lines, one would hope he’d think better of being a tasteless hack.
So that’s ten (10) solid reasons why Mastermind sucks. Don’t say I never did shit for you. The album has its moments (The D.Rich productions, Scarface, Z-Ro and Kanye strangling every vestige of DJ Mustard outta their co-production on ‘Sanctified’), but Rawse’s music simply ain’t good enough to keep our attention anymore. Whatever is after running on fumes is what Rawse is on at this point. Kinda where Jeezy was circa TM103. So I guess I’m looking forward to a new Jeezy album now – provided it doesn’t have as many DJ Mustard beats as YG’s album. Mastermind is utterly forgettable.