Recording information: Jus Gas Studio, Dunwoody, GA; Strangeland Studios, Lee's Summit, MO; The Orange Room; Tree Sound Studios, Atlanta, GA; WEstlake Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Rittz's rapid style and wicked rhyme scheme make the MC like a Twista with stranger punch lines, and in addition, his albums always arrive overstuffed. Take out the three skits and this third LP is still 18 tracks big, which sounds like a fan-aimed deluxe edition, but there's already one of those with five more numbers for the true Rittz addict. All that said, becoming a Rittz addict is fairly easy, as the moody title track opens this effort like a dramatic crime thriller while proving the Strange Music signee is up on what's poppin' with "All you kids wanna be Futures" plus some other hashtag-killing lines. Fans who like to keep it fam will prefer the Strange Music posse cut "The Formula," where Rittz beats labelmates Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko with his declaration "You a cartoon drama, I'm Picasso." The other guest shots are in fascinating pairs, as Mike Posner and E-40 help deliver some funky chillout music with "Inside of the Groove" while Devin the Dude and MJG guest on the smooth-riding, good-timing "Propane," which could kick off any weekend mixtape. Solo cuts "Until We Meet Again" and "My Window" are heavy songs with social commentary and poignant lines filling a lyric sheet that could reach the moon and back, but if there's a bum line, it's buried, even when "Ghost Story" goes blunt and offers "You're sh*tty, like a giant pile of manure." Rittz is awesome, like a giant pile of awesome, and even if Top of the Line is aptly titled, his discography could use something a bit leaner to persuade the masses. ~ David Jeffries