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leak of the week

Leaked: Rick Ross Is No Biggie, But That’s All Right

Rick Ross, Teflon Don

Official release date: July 20, 2010

The Verdict: Ever since Diddy started hanging out with Rick Ross, the naysayers have taken both to task for thinking Ross could fill the shoes of that other portly rapper who liked to talk about all the sex he was having and whom Diddy once worked with. And not that it needs to be said, but, no, Rick Ross is no Biggie Smalls. Primarily, that’s because while both love to talk about the fast life and the expensive cars and the attractive women, Biggie had a sense of humor about it, while Ross is all-consumed with the braggadocio. (Put it this way: Having dinner with Rick Ross sounds like it might be kind of boring, but we’d sign up for a two-week Caribbean cruise with Biggie without a moment's thought, and not just so that we can ask him how FDR is doing.)

All of which is to say ... on Teflon Don, his fourth album in four years, just being Rick Ross is good enough. It’s the same balance of Ross’s grating personality with his funny, overarticulated flow and impeccable beat selection (Kanye’s triumphant “Live Fast, Die Young,” Clark Kent’s blissed-out “Super High,” the Inkredible’s spacey “Free Mason”), boosted this time out with sterling hooks from Erykah Badu and Cee-Lo Green. There’s also a song in which Rick Ross boasts, wholly unironically, of being like M.C. Hammer (“M.C. Hammer”) and a Diddy verse that includes the line, “First one to write a check in a earthquake/same mothafucka that’ll make the earth shake.” Just ignore the bit on “Tears of Joy” where Ross calls himself “Biggie Smalls in the flesh,” and Teflon Don’s hard to resist.