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16 Reasons to Listen to Rick Ross and Andre 3000’s ‘Sixteen’

Rick Ross / Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For BET

It exists. When Rick Ross announced the track list for latest album God Forgives, I Don’t, the inclusion of a collaboration between the larger-than-life Miami rap kingpin and flamboyant, famously selective OutKast half André 3000 was enough in itself to turn a few heads. Now that the full album has leaked online ahead of its July 31 release, here are 16 more reasons to check out Southern-rap mind meld “Sixteen,” the new record’s eight-minute centerpiece:

  1. André is far from the best thing about it. That’s the instrumental, a languidly funky, saxophone-led, ’70s soul-inflected track by production trio J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. “What really made this record dope before the collaboration [was] just finding that bed of music, finding the right production to pull out that emotion that made you a fan of whatever artist you’re working with,” Ross told Vibe.
  2. It really is tilted toward the rap purists’ preference for MCs just rapping 16 bars, as the title suggested. But it’s actually about how, as Dre croons on the hook, how “16 ain’t enough.”
  3. Did we mention the sax? Especially on the intro!
  4. “This is special, extremely special.” Thanks, Rozay.
  5. Etta James
  6. Ross, who has been on something of a run lately with his Rich Forever mixtape and his last couple of albums — though his latest Maybach Music Group mixtape disappointed somewhat — offers up some nuanced and memorable observations on familiar topics: women, money, and fame.
  7. Sammy Davis Jr.
  8. “Steamin’ my marijuana.”
  9. Mick Jagger
  10. Scottie Pippen
  11. Three Stacks isn’t perfect here — “We aren’t in Kansas anymore,” sure enough — but the recent Gillette pitchman continues to show why his guest appearances should be treated as an event, offering his typically eccentric yet vivid and densely tangled reflections, in his case on a more innocent time and, with subtle social commentary, the complexities of relationships.
  12. LL Cool J
  13. That part where André just talks for a little bit.
  14. That part where he calls himself a “mer-man.” Hey, tabloids, maybe something to consider for your next report on Azealia Banks‘ love life?
  15. 2Pac
  16. That part where Dre busts out a scraggly guitar solo, reminiscent of his contribution to Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE. Somewhere, Lil Wayne is kicking his skateboard against the wall.

  17. “Because we love you, we got that extra mile,” Ross says. And they kind of do. At the very least, it’s far from your average 16.