ARTWORK: The Black Bar Mitzvah

There's a litany of conspiracy theories on file justifying Rick Ross' current popularity. Naysayers attribute his incremental surge over the last decade to a medley of happenstance, citing G-Unit backlash, angelic J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League production, and the well documented Illuminati sacrifice of Young Breed as reasons for success. But the truth is far less sinister. Ross simply has a bizarre sense of humor that permeates all his endeavors. This is the same guy that introduced Inception to the jewelry game with the unprecedented Rick-Ross-Wearing-A-Rick-Ross-Pendant. Oddly enough, his quirky personality has never trickled down to his album or mixtape artwork. All Ricky's previous covers consist of some combination of swarthy aviator shades, foreign cars, classy tuxedos, and cityscapes reflecting off the lenses of said sunglasses. Rozay's latest mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah, finally LOOKS like a product of his labor.

The repulsed stare nestled comfortably between his chinchilla hoodie and the Star of David is simple, yet notably effective. Regrettably, the project serves as little more than a promotional tool for The Untouchable Maybach Music Empire's forthcoming national tour. Imagine the potential delirium of this concept fully realized. Contributions from Alchemist. Copious Drake hooks. Eulogies dedicated to MCA and Meyer Lansky. Considering Wale convinced Julia Louis Dreyfus to make a brief appearance on The Mixtape About Nothing back when he was still wearing scuffed Nike Boots, Rozay could surely phone in a favor from the infallible Larry David. Instead, we're stuck with a refurbished compilation of pop songs that didn't suck this year. The Black Bar Mitzvah feels like a missed opportunity for Rick Ross to showcase his greatest asset.