Def Jam Recordings
By Rick Ross’s fourth album, his persona was grandiose to the point of absurdity. After cruising blithely through the “controversy” that not only was he not the world’s richest and most powerful drug kingpin, he was actually a former prison guard, he began writing rhymes that put him on an almost Ozymandias level. There’s a track on Teflon Don called “Free Mason,” on which he and Jay-Z throw references to the occult and secret societies back and forth, with John Legend praising them in the background. On another track, he claims MC Hammer’s throne as his own — but it’s worth noting that Hammer was much more tied to the gang life than Ross ever was; tales of rappers terrified of beefing with Hammer are legion. The tracks are huge, sweeping, designed to be heard through speakers the size of refrigerators with bass so heavy it shifts your organs in your torso.