Teflon Don

In the past two years, Miami MC Rick Ross has been dissed by 50 Cent, mocked as a phony gangsta when photos surfaced of his tenure as a corrections officer, and slapped with a $10 million lawsuit by his namesake, reformed drug kingpin Freeway Ricky Ross. He's also made the best records of his career. Here Ross surrounds himself with big-name guests (Kanye West, T.I.) and pours out smart rhymes over sleek, synth-heavy beats. The old Ross was mired in drug-rap clichés; today, he sounds easeful, letting his basso profundo do the heavy lifting in the Jay-Z collabo "Free Mason," and gloating with wit and goofiness, of which he once seemed incapable.

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