Back in December I previewed my twelve most anticipated albums of 2012, which included Rick Ross’ fifth studio album God Forgives, I Don’t. Originally set for release last Christmas, the record was delayed to allow Rozay time to recuperate following a serious health scare, and now it’s finally here. Out next week (on my birthday, since you ask), its epic, cinematic scope shouldn’t come as any shock given Ross’ ruthless ambition and entrepreneurial prowess, but nonetheless it comes as a pleasant surprise to hear a mainstream rap album this fully realized. GFID shifts from soulful funk and smooth, jazzy orchestration to slick, beat-led pop and heavy, aggressive club bangers seamlessly, and with a supporting cast of guest MCs – pretty much the whole Maybach Music Group crew (Meek Mill, Stalley, Omarion, Wale), Drake, Ne-Yo, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and a spectacularly on-form Andre 3000 – and producers (including Jake One, Cool & Dre, Pharrell, Cardiak and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League) that could rightfully described as “stellar”, it’s a stunning listen that immediately stands out as one of the best major hip-hop releases since The Black Album. Listen to the Meek Mill-featuring “So Sophisticated” below, and be sure to cop that shit via MMG and Def Jam on July 31.