It’s really not complicated. In and of itself, Self Made Vol. 2 is a decent album that should find relative success, but this isn’t just about album sales. This is about ensuring that not a month goes by without rap bloggers like yours truly writing about a MMG affiliate…or affiliates. This is about building an empire, and in that case we might as well begin calling Rick Ross the Emperor....Read the full album review
Featured Songs From This Album
When you’ve got the entire MMG roster (minus Omarion) appearing on the same cut, you expect a banging, DJ Khaled-esque posse cut, right? Wrong. Instead el generalissimo Rick Ross decides to take things in a completely...Read More
It was the summer of 2006, when I graduated high school and my niece was born, both great reasons for remembering that summer so clearly. But I also remember a new rapper who broke through with his smash hit Hustlin’....Read More
DJBooth Album Review
We tell our children that they can be anything they want if they just work hard and believe in themselves. That, of course, is mostly crap. No matter how hard I work or believe in myself, there just aren’t a lot of NFL teams looking for a slow, 160 pound white running back. But Rick Ross is the living (very large) exception to the rule. Before Ross had even signed to Def Jam he was rapping about living the life of a millionaire, and now he’s narcissistically eating lobster bisque for breakfast on a yacht in Cannes. Before Ross even had an employee he was calling himself a
Bawse, and now he heads what has to be considered one of the most successful labels in hip-hop.
In fact, I don’t know if anyone has mastered marketing in the digital era better than Rick Ross and the Maybach Music Group. Capitalizing on the internet’s seemingly insatiable thirst for new content, MMG produces songs, videos, teasers, vlogs, tweets, you name it, at an astounding rate. And at every turn the MMG family is as coordinated as a SWAT team: a trailer for Ross’ upcoming God Forgives, I Don’t plays before the video for Meek Mill’s Take U Home, also featuring Wale. Every move is plotted and planned.
Considering Ross’ military level organization, MMG’s new compilation album Self Made Vol. 2 can’t be seen as merely a “compilation album”. This isn’t just a collection of MMG tracks, this is an ad for both Ross and Meek Mill’s upcoming albums, a way to deepen the public’s familiarity with Gunplay and Stalley and introduce the crew’s newest member, Omarion. (And, by default, wave goodbye to Pill.) Ross knows he’s pushing a product, and he’s careful to make sure Self Made 2 at least meets his quality standards. In other words, there are no surprises here. Do you like what RossMillWaleStalleyGunplay has put out in the last year? Then you’ll like Self Made 2.
Like many, when I pressed play on Self Made 2 I was on the lookout for bangers. You know, the undeniably addictive BMF/I’ma Boss/Tupac Back tracks that demand speaker blowing. On that level I was disappointed. Black Magic was clearly intended to be that track, but despite a booming beat and a hilarious hook from Ross, Black Magic just doesn’t hit as hard as I’d like. Black on Black and Bury Me A G have to also be in the running, but as hard as they roll, they just don’t have that intangible quality, that je ne sais quoi, that makes me still play the hell out of MC Hammer. Poof, there goes an album without a hit
Somewhat (but not that) surprisingly, Self Made 2 focuses primarily on more smoothed out fair and exercises in lyrical flexing. Power Circle gives Gunplay, Stalley and Wale minute long verses that they fill with well crafted penmanship…until Kendrick Lamar shows up on the back end and puts them all to shame. (But what else is new?) Fittingly, the other offerings featuring the well-bearded Stalley are even more slow and contemplative; from the jazzy Fluorescent Ink to the subdued and R&B infused Zenith, these are the calms in the storm. And as long as we’re touching on MMG’s soft(er) side, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I didn’t really understand Omarion’s signing when it happened, and I still don’t now that I’ve heard M.I.A. and This Thing of Ours. They’re both decent tracks for what they are, but Omarion doesn’t just sound like the crew’s little brother, he sounds like the little brother they only let tag along because their mom insists.
It’s really not complicated. In and of itself, Self Made 2 is a decent album that should find relative success, but this isn’t just about album sales. This is about ensuring that not a month goes by without rap bloggers like yours truly writing about a MMG affiliate…or affiliates. This is about building an empire, and in that case we might as well begin calling Rick Ross the Emperor.
Listen to More: Maybach Music Group Written by Nathan S.
Maybach Music Group/Warner Bros.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Power Circle" (2012)
Member Reviews and Ratings
Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.