On Rick Ross“Rich Is Gangsta,” a song off his most recent album, Mastermind, Ross makes a boast few of his contemporaries can repeat, “So what's your goals, nigga?/All my shit went gold, nigga.” That’s a pretty substantial claim considering his first album, Port of Miami, was released in 2006 as record sales kept falling off a cliff. But Ross’ sales figures aren’t the improbable part of his career. The self-proclaimed mastermind is a master of beating the odds. Although he’s certainly had his blunders along the way, the Teflon Don (another moniker he’s awarded himself, though that one is quite fitting) Ross built a formidable empire with this MMG imprint while creating an impressive musical catalog.

Now, if in 2006, someone had told us we’d be having a serious debate about Rick Ross’ catalog we’d probably just laugh. “You mean the guy who rhymes ‘Atlantic with Atlantic?’ Um, yeah...no.” But in typical Rick Ross fashion, he’s defied the odds, defied all logic, and here we are: Debating Rick Ross’ catalog.

A unique aspect of Ross’ musical growth is that it can be divided into two parts using two different metrics. Sonically, it’s everything before “B.M.F.” and everything after. Lyrically, it’s everything before “Mafia Music” and everything after. In other words: Everything before he learned how to rap and everything after. And yet, his projects don’t stack up so nicely. His first three albums showed steady improvement, but in the past five years—when he reigned as hip-hop’s top “street rapper”—Ross released an abundance of material with varying levels of quality. To help sort it all out, we put all of Ross’ projects against each other for Ranking Rick Ross’ Albums From Worst To Best.

Written by Insanul Ahmed, David Drake, Claire Lobenfled, Kyle Kramer, Justin Davis, & Justin Charity. 

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