Since Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys”, the whole black bar mitzvah idea has been rolling around in rap’s consciousness. To Jay, the black bar mitzvah is “a celebration bitches!” In other words, the Jewish coming-of-age fiesta is a relatively apt metaphor for his success as a drug dealer/rapper. In his view, the black bar mitzvah is a celebration of self-imposed career success, in comparison to a whole bunch of aunts and uncles giving you checks.
And then there is Drake’s “HYFR” video, the superimposition of a classic rap party video over a humorous representation of suburban judaism. Its a clash of silly stereotypes, lavish bacchanalia meets nerdy solemnity. In some sense its yet another representation of “swag”. If doing something uncool with flair makes your paradoxically more cool, than what’s less cool than a snot-nosed 13-year-old reading the Torah?
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think about how Rick Ross’ Black Bar Mitzvah fits in between these two-examples. In some sense Ross kind of occupies both concepts. He’s all about being “self-made” just like Jay and he’s also all about walking the line between badass and completely silly. It seems that the black bar mitzvah is the perfect Rick Ross motif.
Sadly, Rick Ross should have used it years ago. Now, not only is it just more of the same old Rick Ross mythology to pile on the mound, its absolutely half-assed. As far as I can tell from the mere two skits in which the term “bar mitzvah” is mentioned, the concept serves simply to add yet another layer of ridiculous to Ross’ already-ridiculous-enough media persona.
As far as I can tell, this tape exists for three reasons:
- To promote Meek Mill’s upcoming Dreams and Nightmares
- To remind us that Ross owns a bunch of Wing Stop franchises
- To release his remix of Lil Reese’s “Us”
The most buzzworthy of the three seems to be the remix. While Drake’s verse is a somewhat interesting take on the a drill scene flow, the best thing about it is when he says, “Only n***ga making albums with no fucking filler.” Did he know when he wrote this verse that Black Bar Mitzvah would be almost entirely composed of it? The tape is essentially a greatest hits of summer 2012 compilation with Ross rapping a phoned-in verse over the first 40 seconds of each track. Each song procedes to continue through its entire run, including all of its original performances.
At the end of the tape, “Bible on the Dash” and “Young and Gettin’ It” are included with no Rick Ross contributions. While these songs are under-par MMG tracks, he’s just basically tricked me into downloading MMG promotional material. And while Gunplay does put in a good verse on “Clique” and the remix of Ross’ own “Presidential” with Pharrell and Rockie Fresh is mildly entertaining, neither is worth digging through a bunch of tracks I’m already kind of tired of hearing. At this point, I thought I knew better.