Released earlier on in the year, "Trilla" is the second album from the Miami rapper Rick Ross. To be honest I was never a fan of this man as he took on a lot of elements of rap which were outdated, such as the Mafioso style and his average rhymes, but I saw potential in what he did with his debut album, especially the single "Hustlin'", as it used a good mixture of what the 'Dirty South' is known for in Hip Hop. After it's offical release in May, it has managed to reach Gold sales, similar to the success of his debut, "Port Of Miami"
1. "Trilla" (Intro)
This intro is a big way to show exactly what Rick Ross is about as he gives shout outs to all of the big men in the criminal game and Hip Hop, creating such a high status where they can be considered a 'Boss'. I felt that it was just what an outsider needs to understand who Rick Ross compares himself, obviously saying htat he out-does them all (not that I agree with it in regards to Larry Hoover or any of the MCs who he names.
2. "All I Have In This World"
Mannie Fresh provides his speciality in Dirty South Hip Hop for this track, and I thought that it made for some great listening by blasting bass at you. "I'm talkin' Japanese denim. Money stuffed in 'em" is one of the best hooks of the album as even with so little said, it is still thought-provoking asyou understand exactly what rap stars are about now; the best clothes and scrilla to fill the pockets up.
3. "The Boss"
For me, this was the only singel from the album which really had an impact on me. I think that this probably has something to do with the fact that the compulsory appearance of T-Pain comes through in this track (don't worry Lil' Wayne has his chance to make his mandatory collaboration later on). Here Ross asserts his position as "The biggest boss that, you've seen thus far" in this particular tune as his recounts past events to us. However since a picture has recently surfaced with him apparently as a prison warden back in the day, you have to question the realibilty of these accounts.
This was the first track to be released as a singl, and it has The Boss of southern rap collaborate with his R&B counterpart, R. Kelly. I thought that this combination of musicians would result in some very interesting msuic, and I wasn't disappointed. However this one does take a while to warm up before you can get into it. The apir talk about how ther is never enough time in the day to fit in all the activies whcih the attempt to fit into it, causing them to 'speed' inbetween each event.
5. "We Shinin'"
Rick Ross offers a nice track whcih celcbrates all of the luxuries which come with fame. I thought that Bink! worked well with him to come up with something to express the feeling of generally being successful in life and walking tall to let everybody know about it. This is an up-lifter and makes a change to all of the hardcore lyrics in the rest of the album. Yet, Ross manages to keep t within what should be comforatble to him with a little hint on what he usually raps about.
6. "Money Make Me Come"
Rick Ross justifies all his actios in commiting various crimes and hustling on the way to the top by saying that they do it because of the satisfaction which the girls get from it. I don't really see why it means that you have to go about making the green this way, but I respect that he did what he could to get by. EbonyLove sings in the chorus, but as she only provides a single line, you can't really rate this contribution from here.
7. "DJ Khaled" (Interlude)
This lude features DJ Khaled, and that's all I ned to say. He's so annoying and I couldn't bare to listen to him at all.
8. "This Is The Life"
This one follows on well (ignoring the interlude) from where "Money Make Me Come" and "We Shinin'" ends because this, as the other two I mentioned, are all celebrations of the money which Rick Ross is seeing now. I think that he has to express this as you know that his life will have changed considerably sincce his debut album with the levels of exposure which he has received. Hpwever, as I I thought that he rinsed out this theme, he had little to offer by this point on this specific theme. It had so big an efect that I didn't even notice contributions by Trey Songz in the chorus.
9. "This Me"
Immediately I realised that htis track uses a sample of one of the tracks off Kanye's new album "Graduation", with "Big Borther" used quite heavily by T.I.'s right-hand-man DJ Toomp. I felt that this cast a rather frightening cloud over the track. i think that it was more subliminal than anything else as the lyrics weren't too blatant in expressing it; it just had a obminous feel to it. I thought that by doing this type of thing, Ross shows that he can bring out emototions in listeners without making it obvious through the words.
10. "Here I Am"
This was the third track to be made a single for the album, and it contrasts heavly from the rest of the material on it as it isn't as tough as the rest of the LP, it changes the whole direction of it by taking on the assistance of Nelly and his Derrty Ent. signing Avery Storm, who offers his R&B vocals to suit this softer Drumma Boy-produced tune.
This one really took some time to get used to, so don't be put off by it on one listening as it does improve with time. I think that it's bes tto listen to it away from the album as it doesn't really fit in with what "Trilla"'s objective is; to show off Rick Ross' gangsta lifestyle.
11. "Maybach Music"
I haven't got a clue what's going on at the beginning of this track as you hear two Australian girls having a conversation and talking about how they enjoy listening to it. I don't get why it was put in at all. Moving on from this, Rick Ross should be completely ignored as by the second half of the track you completely forget about him being a part of it; the focus is on Jay-Z. Obviously, with a collaboration with such a big Hip Hop MC, you expect a lot from them, but Jay-Z surprised me with how much effort he put into rapping on a J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League beat as it's so unlike what he usually does, but he adapts to it perfectly.
A sample of Nancy Wilson's "I'm in Love" leads this track, giving it a laid-back feel to give it strong foundations. To be honest, I don't know what Rick Ross means by saying that he's a "Hood Billionaire", because he defiantely isn't pulling that much in from a single album, and so little to follow it up with. Regardless of this, it's a decent track from him which you would expect to hear.
13. "Luxury Tax"
Here's the big collaboration track on the album, as there has to be one on a Dirty South album, here Rick Ross gets help from the local, Trick Daddy, as well as the nearby rappers Lil' Wayne and Young Jeezy. I ddin't here where the title, "Luxury Tax" came in for this track, but I don't think it really matters. Weezy had to be on this album, and as he knew tha it was going to be a top rival to his "Tha Carter III" later on in the year for the top Hip Hop release of the year, he didn't go all-out, but he did enough to excite you for whatever he was going to provide for his most anticipated album to date.
14. "Reppin' My City"
I found this track to be more predictable than expected from Rick Ross because just about every rapper has the urge to represent their ends, and as Miami isn't really known for too much mainstream Hip Hop talent, I think that it is important for Ross to express it as much as he does here. Although I had such feelings towards doing a tune of this sort, I thought that he did quite alot with it, a lot more than thers tend to .
15. "I'm Only Human"
As the final track on the album, I thought that it was good for Rick Ross to change the tone of the album and show that you can't be a 'G' all day every day as many claim, and here he does calm things dowwn and admits that at times he feels overloaded by the pressures which he faces on occassions.
This album took me by surprise because prior to this, I didn't really think much to what Rick Ross has given in the past. The whole album is quite samey as pretty much all the production follows the same trends, especially when J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League are involved, but the collaborations with unexpected guests like R. Kelly, Nelly and Jay-Z, it offers some variation.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Hood Billionaire
2 All I Have In This World - Ross, Rick & Mannie Fresh
3 Street Money - Ross, Rick & Flo Rida
4 Speedin' - Ross, Rick & R. Kelly
5 Pedal To Da Floor
7 This Is Life
8 We Shindig
9 Here I Am
10 Mayback Music - Ross, Rick & Jay-Z
12 Luxury Tax - Ross, Rick & Lil' Wayne/Trick Daddy/Young Jeezy
13 Ridin' Thru The Ghetto - Ross, Rick & Triple C's
14 Only Human