11. If you ever draw Kanye West, Big Sean or Rick Ross in a Secret Santa pool, here’s a tip: All they really want is a $100 million and a bad bitch. Got it?
12. Yeezy is like a rap Creflo Dollar on “Sanctified.” It’s that same brash, hostile Kanye that we’ve come to love, talking shit to critics and comparing champagne to holy water. “Really...me?! Too aggressive?!” he closes his verse. Don’t change a thing, ‘Ye. Sean adds a great touch on this track, too.
13. The religious motif pops up a few times elsewhere. “Devil Is A Lie” needs no explanation. And on the Meek Mill-featured “Walkin' on Air,” Ross raps: “Baptized by the dope boys/Ordained by the assholes/My salvation is the cash flow.” Then he reflects on his good fortune: "Jesus Christ/look at this nigga’s ice/Better yet look at this nigga’s life."
14. Half the fun of Ross' albums is the juxtaposition of his bombast and true-or-false street tales over gorgeous instrumentation. You need a “Super High” or a “Sixteen” to balance out “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” or “Hold Me Back.” And while the production is still top-notch, that finesse is noticeably absent on Mastermind. Instead you’re pummelled with drums, while the customary strings and orchestra sounds are understated.
15. But even when a portly guy like Ross loses his balance, he doesn't topple over. Mastermind is a dark exploration into the cerebrum of one of rap's most important voices. Rozay seems less concerned with obvious, saccharine radio records—and perhaps that’s a reflection of his mindstate while recording this album. Guess surviving a drive-by shooting could do that to you, eh?