And that's saying something! (Skip to the link if you don't want to read some BS musings on Rick Ross)
If you live in Bed-Stuy, like I do these days, your life is little more than the time spent between cars passing by playing Rick Ross' "Blowin Money Fast". There was a week when - I swear! - I did not hear a car with a loud stereo playing anything BUT this one Rick Ross song. Needless to say, it was a good week. It also raised a lot of questions in my head about whether people listen to the song on repeat (on occasion, I do), or if I was fated to only hear these certain cars at certain points in their journey: the part where they listen to "Blowin Money Fast". A sort of inverse tree-in-the-woods type puzzle, I guess: If a car is playing "Blowin Money Fast" in Bed-Stuy, Willy will be there to hear it(?).
Steering the conversation away from unanswerable metaphysical questions (or assertions), the point is this: Rick Ross has the most popular rap single in New York City, and he's from Miami. Also, the song is interesting with regard to gangsta rap's inherent issues with authenticity and identity, as many have already pointed out. I'll keep this brief.
Rick Ross stole his name from a real, incarcerated drug dealer, Freeway Ricky Ross (Freeway stole the other half), a la the plot of CB4. Ironically, Rick Ross used to be a corrections officer. He quit (got fired?), and eventually became a rapper who - on his first single - claimed that he knew Palbo Escobar and Manuel Noriega, and moreover that the former president of Panama owes him no less than 100 favors. The sheer absurdity of the claim is demonstrative of Ross' unique relationship with reality. He knows that he's lying, and you know that he's lying, but he's going to stay in character as best as he can. And this strategy has worked for him, especially in his beef with 50 Cent. But this persona has gotten more complex.
On "BMF", he admits more outwardly just how he sees himself, or wants you to see him. Rapping "I think I'm Big Meech, Larry Hoover" over and over again on the hook is a funny way of admitting that he is not a famous drug kingpin, but rather someone who likes to pretend. But then, lines like "Self-made, you just affiliated/I built it ground-up, you bought it renovated/ talkin plenty capers, nothing's been authenticated", he maintains that he is more authentically a drug kingpin than you, the listener (or the Eternal Second-Person Sucker that so much rap depends on), despite the fact that he is not Larry Hoover or Big Meech, actually. He just uses their identity to inform his own. If this makes sense.
He adds another layer (maybe two layers?) to this identity on his "O Let's Do It (RMX)" verse by rapping "Bitch I think I'm Nino [Brown]/ Bitch I think I'm Scarface/ Bitch I'm Al Pacino". So here, Ross compares himself to to fictional representations of drug kingpins, and finally settles on actually being the actor who portrayed the most famous, most imitated (also Miami-based) version of this drug kingpin archetype in hip-hop culture. He is not actually a drug kingpin, but the pure idea of the drug kingpin, as it has been represented in rap music. He's pretty damn fleshy for a pure idea.
Anyway, his song is great, but it's totally phony and confusing on a whole lot of different levels. But I think part of its appeal is just how absurd it is, both to people who write thinkpieces about rap, and to those who just like to listen to stuff that sounds good.
What I've been trying to get around to is this: Jim Jones - who seems like a real prick - decided to turn to Lex Luger, who produced "BMF" for Ross, for a beat to make a Hot Summer Jam. Here's what he got:
Jim Jones "We Got That (Gretzky)"
The beat is so similar to "BMF" it's unreal. It's just missing those dark horns that give "BMF" its bulk, and make it such a banger. My other complaint is that the first person to make the Wayne Gretzky-Ice-Diamonds connections was Cam'ron, on his first single, "Horse & Carriage" ("I'll get you that shit that Gretzky skate on"; when the potential recipient figures out what he's saying and gets excited, Cam tells her to shut the fuck up).
Jim Jones, for all we know, was homeless before Cam'ron starting giving him money for rolling blunts or whatever. He was also a godawful rapper who struggled to fit way too many syllables onto bars with way too many multi-syllable rhymes, suggesting that maybe he had his verses written for him by another more talented lyricist (Cam?), but he was too incompetent to do them justice. Then he made "We Fly High" (which Max B claimed he wrote) and ditched Cam. What an asshole, right?
So, on top of more or less trying to steal the popularity of "BMF" in New York (probably), the lyrics are totally insipid drug kingpin talk, just like "BMF", but less inspired ("fuck your craigslist, half my n----s on that Fed list"). He borrowed from Ross, who already borrows his whole persona in a much more entertaining fashion, and then stole the only clever wordplay in the whole song from his former benefactor.
This song is a black hole of creativity, and I'd encourage you to delete it from your hard drive after listening to it once to see if you agree with what I'm saying here.