Ross, who has dropped some of the year's finest guest verses (the Diddy-Dirty Money "Angels" remix comes to mind), delivers sleek, too-often shallow verses throughout the album. He sounds best when dealing with the classic dilemma of a rags-to-riches artist: "Seems like we're getting money for the wrong things ... / Look at Haiti, children dying around the clock, n---- / I'd send a $100-grand but that's a decent watch, n----."
Teflon Don has two obvious missteps: the out-of-place "No. 1" features Trey Songz and an unneeded Diddy verse, and the album closes with a whimper (the Raphael Saadiq-assisted "All the Money in the World"). But the other tracks stand so strongly on their own, the mistakes are merely small hiccups.
"B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)," a current street behemoth, could be the album's most telling cut. Over a menacing Lex Luger beat, Ross name-checks his modern-day heroes: "I think I'm Big Meech, Larry Hoover / Whippin' work, hallelujah!" For a former correctional officer to compare himself to a convicted murderer and major drug trafficker, with no sense of irony, there's a message not to be missed. With songs as potent as these, the public can believe what it wants.