Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rick Ross Triple C's 'Custom Cars & Cycles' NYC Listening Session Album Preview

Rick Ross Triple C's 'Custom Cars & Cycles' listening session took place at the legendary Chung King Studios in SoHo NYC Monday, October 19. Here's the full report.

Album preview/review courtesy of Nick Haycock at Showing Out

Last night, a bevy of hip-hop tastemakers and industry insiders packed into Chung King studios in Soho to catch an advance listen of Miami-based Triple C’s debut album 'Custom Cars and Cycles.' The quartet, consisting of Rick Ross, Young Breed, Gunplay and Torch, have been around for most of the decade, but 'Custom Cars and Cycles' marks their studio debut, with Rawse and the rest of the Triple C’s celebrating their album’s October 27th release by playing eight of its 15 tracks. “First and foremost, it’s the motherf***ing boss Rick Ross,” boomed the group’s gargantuan frontman before hitting the play button. As the tracks played, the Triple C’s exuberantly lip-synced from the studio’s control room as guests on the other side of the glass enjoyed a soul food buffet. The album is a high octane blast of glossy production, un-ironic materialism and Mafioso storytelling, atoning for its repetitive subject matter with catchy hooks and well-placed guest appearances. Showing Out was there to bring you an exclusive track-by-track preview, so hit the jump to get an advance look at the album before it hits retail in a few weeks.

Custom Cars & Clips

As a bass-heavy track with booming horns and gunshots blasts in the background, each member of Triple C’s offers a variation on the theme “What I do this for.” “I’m focused on the fame, fortune, extortion, my portion get Porsches,” elucidates Ross. It’s a catchy track - not groundbreaking, but far from disappointing. As the track unfurled, Ross and company rapped along with the verses, and under the studio lights, a large diamond bracelet shimmered on Ross’s arm.

White Sand

Rawse rips a page out of his journal on “White Sand,” an unabashed tribute to using cocaine, selling cocaine and buying things. “I’ve got that white stuff / You know that white stuff/ I’m in my white truck,” Ross informs listeners. The track is an entertaining romp, exactly what you would expect from Triple C’s.

Break It Down feat. Bun B

Break it Down” is a step-by-step instruction manual for aspiring hustlers, boasting a beat that pounds with lurching synths and heavy drums. Gunplay kicks off the track with a nursery rhyme verse, cautioning, “Don’t go to jail /Don’t got no bail/ Won’t get no mail / That’s living hell.” Contributions by Ross and the rest of the gang are unmemorable, but the track’s saving grace is the guest appearance by the authoritative Bun B.

Trickn Off feat. Gucci Mane

Trickn Off” features a descending, frantic theremin-like synth riff with 808 drums courtesy of Drumma Boy. The track is dominated by Gucci Mane’s chorus and hook, and while Gucci isn’t the most lyrical rapper, his charisma on the mic completely blows away Triple C’s. “Blue and white rag top I call it Papa Smurf/ Nigga steal a nigga’s work? / Call that a lot of nerve,” quips Gucci. Triple C’s verses aren’t necessarily terrible on this track (or any other track), but they lack highlights. There aren’t really any punchlines that stand out, just a lot of retreading of the same themes: guns, clothes, money, cars, drugs and women. Here, because of Gucci’s catchy hook, it works.

Erryday feat. Young Jeezy & JW

“That’s really how I approach this shit,” Ross told the room, making reference to his work ethic before playing the Young Jeezy-assisted track. “ Strip clubs, throwing money, popping champagne / To the bartender, tell her keep the damn change” goes the hook over a stabbing horn line. “Erryday all black tees and we wear them bitches erryday,” adds Ross. The track is catchy enough to be blasted in the whip.

Gangsta Shit feat. The Game

“This is a Gangsta Service announcement” kicks off the track featuring a chopped-and-screwed chorus and a guest appearance from The Game. On the chorus, Cali’s own derisively mentions “Radio rappers on R&B tracks,” making an ironic (and likely unintended) juxtaposition with the silky smoothness of Masspike Miles’ singing on “Finer Things.” Production-wise, “Gangsta Shit” is ominous and aggressive with a deep wicka-wah guitar line, eerie synths and a sparse drum beat.

Finer Things feat. Masspike Miles

Before debuting “Finer Things,” Ross explained the track was about the group’s struggles before achieving commercial success, and the bonds forged between members by shared experiences. “You ain’t a friend of mine if you ain’t a friend of Rick / So many red flags thought we was confederate,” raps Gunplay on the track. Masspike Miles contributes an overly-polished R&B hook, and the track has an over-produced feel. Triple C’s may be emotional about their humble beginnings, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a track that sounds heartfelt. “Half the lights blinking / looking at my pinky / I’m so Mafioso/ You can still smell the linguine,” Ross raps.

Diamonds & Maybachs Pt. 2 feat. Suede Royale

A beat built around a wordless female voice cooing in the background and a slick R&B hook by crooner Suede Royale who extols the benefits of possessing - well, you guessed it. “My diamonds conversate the hoes / Car say get in/ Crib what you waitin’ for?” explains Torch. The track clocks in at a decadent 7 minutes and 17 seconds, and is the most skippable of the 8 that the group played.

(video courtesy of in the box tv & stayfly744)

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