For his fifth album Ross wanted to create the equivalent of a Scorsese or Tarantino film. Beginning with Sweatpea’s prayer it gets cinematic immediately, “3 Kings” declares its protagonist’s early ambitions, and alongside Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, Ross discusses the spoils of swinging a scepter. It’s a bragging raps record which Hov is no stranger to. Rozay goes solo on “Ashamed.” Cool & Dre re-imagine a classic while the Boss talks about the American drug dealing dream. This plot line gets orchestral for the fourth chapter of “Maybach Music.” The J.U.S.T.I.C.E League returns to conduct the symphony and Ne-Yo soulfully backs ross. Ross delivers some of his best lines: “Such a breath of fresh air/ Get a blowjob, have a seizure on the Lear,” and “I’m a Mike Tyson type of; typewriter sniper; double-M lifer ‘til a nigga pay the piper.”
the Andre 3000 assisted “Sixteen”, where Three Stacks and Ross go in sixteen bars deep. The tempo is taken up and far more rowdy on the single, “Hold Me Back”. While this banger gets ignorant its arrogance is infectious. It’s that hunger we know him for, and on “So Sophisticated” it echoes with Meek Mill by his side. Backed by a heavy beat, Ross recruits the rest of his crew minus Gunplay on title song, “God Forgives, I Don’t,” Wale gets poetic, Omarion hits the high notes, and Stalley does it justice.
Despite the top-notch features, Ross controls the lead role. Songs like “Amsterdam” and “911” display how he has improved lyrically while the subject matter remains similar. “Touch’n You” shows another side of Ross, one destined to be appreciated by his female audience.
“Diced Pineapples” is I’d say the best track on this album, second to “Three Kings.” With T-Minus on the beat, Drake on the chorus, and some poetic justice from Wale. But it’s the story behind the music. Ross stated the inspiration for it came when he had to eat healthier. Every morning he awoke to diced pineapples and ate while he pondered. As Ross would say; it’s deeper than rap.