When MTV News had the chance to listen to [artist id="2000082"]Rick Ross[/artist]' Deeper Than Rap on Monday, two things stood out to us immediately about the much-discussed track "Valley of Death": It does not feature [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] as advertised, at least not on the album, which is due out on April 21. But Ross does speak briefly on his controversial stint as a prison guard.
"Keep it trilla, n---a, never had a gun and badge," he stresses, dismissing the word that he was indeed an officer of the law. "Kept a nice watch, smoking on a hundred sack/ Back in the day I sold crack for some nice kicks/ Skippin' school, I saw my friend stabbed with an ice pick/ Can't criticize n---as trying to get jobs/ Better get smart, young brother, live yours."
Later, he implies that while he was working as a corrections officer, he was also on the streets. "Only lived once and I got two kids/ And for me to feed them, I'll get two gigs," he raps. "I'll shovel sh--, I'll C.O./ So we can bow our heads and pray over the meatloaf."
On "Face," Ross teams with Trina to talk about receiving oral sex while driving in traffic. "Bossy Lady," meanwhile, is more of a grown and sexy track, which features [artist id="2002414"]Ne-Yo[/artist] on the hook. "Baby, you will shine just like I do," Ne-Yo sings. "Just like you're supposed to/ Everybody knows you're the boss' girl/ Envy of all your friends/ Moves that we're making got us on top of the world/ Baby, you're the boss' girl. ..."
Rick makes a bevy of promises to his woman on the song and even spews a few satirical lines. "My kicks Brown, now I'm lookin' for [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] and them."
"The fat Tommy Lee, I made out with, like, eight broads," the Miami kingpin jokes on "Yacht Club," a ragamuffin-inspired party record that features newest signee to the Maybach Music group, reggae artist Magazeen.
[artist id="1356440"]Robin Thicke[/artist] checks in on "Lay Back," another party jam aimed at the ladies. "If you came to get this party started, girl, just say, 'Dadadadada,' " Thicke commands. "Take off your clothes and just lay back."
"Shawty laid back, so we laid up," Ross raps. "When I fade to black, we made up.../ My car's a virgin, first one to hit it."
For the most part, the production on the album is cinematic, thematic and soulfully rich. The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Drumma Boy, DJ Toomp, the Inkredibles and the Runners are among the main producers. [artist id="1998098"]T-Pain[/artist], [artist id="1784962"]John Legend[/artist], Lil Wayne, [artist id="1000"]Nas[/artist] and [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] are among the guest stars. [artist id="854"]Mary J. Blige[/artist], who Ross beamed about working with, is not on the LP.
Deeper Than Rap's track listing, according to Def Jam:
"Maybach Music 2"(featuring Lil Wayne, Kanye West and T-Pain)
"Magnificent" (featuring John Legend)
"Yacht Club" (featuring Magazeen)
"Usual Suspects" (featuring Nas)
"All I Really Want" (featuring The-Dream)
"Rich Off Cocaine"
"Lay Back" (featuring Robin Thicke)
"Murda Mami" (featuring Foxy Brown)
"Gunplay" (featuring Gunplay)
"Bossy Lady" (featuring Ne-Yo)
"Face" (featuring Trina)
"Valley of Death"
"In Cold Blood"
[This story was originally published at 2:14 p.m. ET on 04.14.2009]