Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Rick Ross is the Eagles of rap.  They are not so much artists as blunt-force arrangers of genre signifiers, assembly-line producers who distill the form to its biggest and dumbest cliches.   They are maligned, justifiably, as commercialized outgrowths of their original genres; and yet there will always be apologists like myself, those of us who can accept the criticism and still appreciate the schlock and excess in the same way one appreciates Imitation Of Life.

That Ross was born in Mississippi matters only in the sense that his music is different from anything else that came out of Miami.  Perhaps this explains why he is less than interested in faithful representation.  Ross's Miami is pieced together from old episodes of Miami Vice, that streamlined fantasy of dangerous living in the subtropics that came to be the lens through which we see ourselves.

As the Eagles simulated an idealized California in a studio, so does Rick Ross with his Michael Bay blockbuster of Miami.  No one has to like them.  In all honesty, no one should like them.  But we should at least be aware of what they are doing.

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