2007 has been a miserable year for hip hop. Kanye’s new one is good, but it’s not great, and no matter how many people call me names and get in my face, I just can’t get behind “Curtis” in any way. It’s boring and ordinary, and he’s done it before and much better. So far, only Blue Scholars and Brother Ali dropped anything approaching a classic. Maybe that’s why the “new” Rick Ross CD, “Rise to Power,” is getting a post: It’s not new.

Suave House Records has packaged early Rick Ross, before he got a major label deal. This album is full of Rick’s crunky, raw, Miami street rhymes back in the days he worked with Tony Draper. Rick falls prey to the biggest problem in hip hop: Too many guests, with appearances Scarface, Clipse, Devin Tha Dude, Big Duke of Boyz N The Hood, and many others. Some of these guys do show him up (in particular Pusha T and Scarface), but he largely holds his own – young Rick had a hard and fresh voice, and it’s obvious why he got his record deal.

Kinda like listening to Fiddy’s “Power of the Dollar” mixtape . . .

Rick Ross – “B.L.O.W.” (with Clipse)

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