Rick Ross has always had an excellent ear for beats but on Self Made he continues to evolve not only as an artist but as an executive by signing Wale, Meek Mill & Pill to his Warner Bros Label, Maybach Music Group. He does this while still being signed to Def Jam as a solo artist. All three artists signed were a part of the XXL Freshman Class and have all garnered their own buzz but what Ross is able do is take them to the next level, by providing them top notch production and the ability to actually release material. These are my thoughts on the first official project from the Maybach Music Group.
The album-title track which serves as the introduction to the album is prime example of how evolved the Maybach Music Group is. You have signature production from one of the greatest producers of our generation in Just Blaze, you have all three young MC’s tearing up the mic with totally different styles, you have Teedra Moses supplying the soul on the record and you have Rozay providing the butter with his well known ad-libs. It’s a song that is simply perfectly executed.
I can say that Meek Mill really shined on this record. At 23 and coming from Philadephia, he sounds hungry on every verse and he brings a different dimension to the Maybach Music Group. I hadn’t heard too much from him before this project but he really proves himself on Self Made. Hell, this guy was able to bring “Tupac Back” and has inspired other rappers to bring other fallen legends back from the grave (Big Pun, Biggie). Wale changed up his style a bit but personally, he sounds more appealing now then he ever did before.
Theres a certain vibe that continues throughout the album and specific features are added to further enhance each track. “Rise” is a great record which features G.O.O.D. Music recording artist, Cyhi Da Prynce as well as Curren$y. Jadakiss and J. Cole also appear on two separate tracks on the album. And Lex Luger continues his fine work with Ross, contributing two beats. Most notably on “That Way”, sampling the timeless Curtis Mayfield, “Give Me Your Love” record. Again, perfectly executed with R&B artist Jeremih singing the panty-dropping chorus.
I don’t know if Ross is using ghost writers but his pen game has been on fire lately. On “Pandemonium”, he takes you right into the kitchen where he so eloquently describes his life as a cocaine cowboy. “I live by the code, wardrobe from around the globe. All I need is a kilo, an apron, show me the stove. General electric, perfected, cooking them O’s. No more peanut butter sandwiches, now we looking at loaves.”
Overall, Self Made is better than I expected. Ross continues to impress with his growth as an artist and now being in proper position, has established his Maybach Music Group. Signing artists like Wale, Meek Mill, Pill, Teedra Moses and add Stalley to that list and he just might be assembling the new ’93 Chicago Bulls. Well done Rozay.
Self Made – Introduction to the MMG, over a signature Just Blaze instrumental.
Rise ft. Cyhi Da Prynce & Curren$y – Next level hip hop chit.
That Way ft. Jeremih – For the ladies.