NEW YORK — An overly excited Rick Ross is quite the sight. Most nights the Maybach Music CEO is too cool, speaking in his patented boss-isms, hiding behind shades and masking his emotion. On Monday night though, at his album release concert in New York City, Ricky Rozay was overjoyed.
Mastermind, the rapper’s sixth solo LP, was scheduled to hit stores on Tuesday (March 4), but the boss made an executive decision to release the album on iTunes a day early. By the time Ross hit the stage at the Best Buy Theatre at around 10 p.m., fans were ready to rap along to the new tunes, which they already had a chance to soak in.
DJ Sam Sneaker dropped the ubiquitous “Maybach Music” sound drop from his laptop and cued the Miami MC to march out with a red leather jacket and hood to the sounds of his 2010 street classic “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast).” From there Ross and his band, 1500 or Nothin’, bopped through tracks like Lil Wayne’s “John,” Meek Mill’s “I’ma Boss” and Jay Z’s
By the time Rick hit “Blk & Wht,” a Cash Money-inspired track from his new album, he stripped off his shades and bounced across the stage, stopping to pose for pictures with his arms outstretched.
Rozay continued to roll out hit after hit, mostly showcasing material from Mastermind but it was the concert’s unrehearsed moments which really set the tone for the evening. After wiping sweat from his brow with a rag, Ross played tug-of-war with a front-row fan as the Weeknd-assisted “In Vein” played.
He started to play the Kanye West and Big Sean-assisted “Sanctified,” but teased the crowd by promising that he wouldn’t uncap the gem live until Kanye was there to do it with him.
Yeezy wasn’t on hand, but French Montana was there to pay homage to the Notorious B.I.G. on Ross’ new single “Nobody.” The LOX and DJ Khaled also graced Rozay’s stage to rock “Money, Power, Respect” and “I’m On One” respectively. However, when Busta Rhymes took center stage to perform “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” Ross was overrun with joy.
Bus stopped his 1998 classic halfway through to address the crowd and tell Ross that he was “one of his favorite MCs,” something that Busta says he doesn’t say to rappers too often.
Rick Ross let that hang in the air, choosing not to perform a closing track and walking offstage to the sounds of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “One More Chance” and acting like the rap boss that he is.