Rick Ross is returning to where it all started for Port Of Miami 2, but that doesn’t mean he’s losing the lessons he picked up along the way. The original Port Of Miami landed at the tail end of the crunk era and mixed in a little of Houston’s chopped-and-screwed swang, so in hindsight, the production sounds a little dated. However, the themes — ceaseless grind taking Ross from rags to riches — remain universal, even as Ross’ beat selection became more refined and soulful on later projects. The newest Port Of Miami 2 single, “Big Tyme,” suggests a “best of both worlds” approach, blending the hunger of the original with the plush soundscapes of latter day Ross tapes.
In this case, the luxurious sound bed is provided by none other than frequent Ross collaborator Just Blaze, whose beat here proves they haven’t worked together frequently enough. It’s got the classic Just Blaze live drums and keys and the trademark rising synth that has been a staple of best beats over the years, while Ross does his lyrical dance, spreading the money around, referencing civil rights figures and mobster tropes in the same bar, and generally flexing the sort of lavish lifestyle raps that have kept him high demand for years. The icing on the cake is hype man extraordinaire Swizz Beatz providing his flare for dramatic emphasis throughout the track.
Ross’ previous Port Of Miami 2 single, “Act A Fool” with Wale, showcased the more aggressive, “BMF”-inspired production he’s been fond of lately, so it looks like his new album will feature a mixture of both styles. Ross also recently appeared alongside Drake on the championship song, “Money In The Grave.”