Album Review: Rick Ross & MMG Self Made Vol. 2

Album Review: Rick Ross & MMG Self Made Vol. 2

Longevity in the dictionary is defined as “the length or duration of life”. To be such a simple definition, its an intangible accomplishment that is highly sought after in this industry. The ability to succeed and appeal, maintaining it through changing times is something we don’t get with artists these days, especially considering how the supply and demand of music these days is so twisted that the masses almost demand music on a regular basis. It’s an issue in itself but one team seems to satisfy the thirst more than any other label: Maybach Music Group.

Rick Ross recruited Meek Mill and Wale as well as a few small others to form the unit, focusing on the simple theory of giving the fans what they want, and never taking a day off. It seems like everyday we get something new from at least one of three, whether it be a behind the scenes clip, a music video, new music or even an album cover. Ross had a formula and he carried it over into his team’s work ethic. Meek and Wale followed with their distribution and MMG continued to solidify their team, removing and adding new recruits until eventually arriving at the second edition of MMG‘s 2nd musical effort as a whole. The first proved to be a decent attempt while successfully showcasing the talents of all involved. Now with new pieces in the puzzle, what does Self Made Volume 2 do for the team and does this prove they have longevity in Hip Hop?

I like this Maybach Music, Sweet…

A lengthy start, MMG‘s “Power Circle” kicks off with Rick Ross and follows with Gunplay, Stalley, Wale, Meek Mill and the obvious stand out, Kendrick Lamar. MMG as a whole shows out on a calm yet glorious beat, one that is decent alone but is complimented by the artists on it. That said, Kendrick Lamar is himself on this instrumental and that statement speaks for itself. From reflections on life to the various flow switches to his tremendous ending, he pretty much makes the beat his own. Only Ross‘ words at the end of the track serve as a firm reminder that “Power Circle” didn’t belong to Lamar.

David Copperfield…

Simple, short and sweet, “Black Magic” feels out of place on the project but is enjoyable nonetheless. A spotlight on Meek Mill and a basic hook from Rick Ross, the track hits hard but doesn’t do much more than that.

This Thing Of Ours…

With production by Don Cannon, Rick Ross brings Wale, new recruit Omarion and a legendary guest in the form of Nas on the track “This Thing of Ours”. One of the best records on the project reveals itself early here, as one of the premier additions (who calls himself Maybach O… seriously) glows here with a smooth hook that fits snug between the great verses provided by the other three involved, especially Nas. Well put together. Omarion looks like he fits well with MMG here.

It’s All Birds…

MMG‘s own producer Beat Billionaire brings his own contribution in the form of this hard instrumental, which lacks substance in terms of lyricism but is enjoyable if you know what to look for in it. It hits hard and it’s expected when you know going into the track that French Montana is featured as well. Overall? Decent.

This b*tch done brought me a Rolex and I don’t got no time for her…

The raucous “Actin Up” will be (if pushed correctly) a contender for the track of the Summer. Assisted by French Montana and Rico Love, the usual winning team of Wale and Meek Mill take on the track and literally “act up” on the instrumental itself, from Meek‘s slick delivery to Wale‘s sound assisted flow. It proves to be a successful formula and shows promise as a single although it doesn’t necessarily show too much team effort so far on the project, as French Montana is showing his face often on a team he is affiliated but not directly with.

Lost in the instrumental, Keys got me Sentimental…

Created by upcoming producer Cardiak, Ross allows for a more independent, lyrically proficient sound on “Fountain of Youth” as MMG’s dark horse Stalley and the independent yet established Nipsey Hussle throw powerful bars along the beat, proving to be one of the better tracks on the project. Even Rozay‘s bars prove to carry weight here and it only strengthens the product overall.

I be puttin on so there’s no way you wouldn’t know…

The feature heavy “I Be Puttin On” has Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and the track’s producer Roscoe Dash all join together to be a part of the track while MMG is represented solely by Wale‘s appearance in the beginning. With all of the different personalities on the song itself it’s easy to forget this is supposed to be considered a part of the MMG compilation, especially considering the latter two verses by Khalifa and Montana are both good in the least, serving to make Wale’s feel forgettable. This could’ve been left for another project.

Nobody ever gave me nothin, nothin…

Reverting back to the point of the project, we get an all MMG track in the form of “The Zenith”. Omarion providing back vocals and the hook (although oddly not credited as a feature) as Stalley, Wale and Ross all cruise along on the track, proving that they don’t need features to create quality music. Omarion continues to prove he belongs here, this isn’t just a move for the sake of rejuvenation in the light of something that is currently relavent. He fits and hasn’t missed a beat yet.

F*ck her, I don’t care…

Omarion laces a track courtesy of The Beat Bully titled “M.I.A” that feels all too smooth. 80% of it is “Maybach O” (he embraces the nickname, who am I to judge him for it?) and the remaining 20 is a short verse from Wale, who blends in well. The general idea here in this song is to bring a few different qualities together. MMG‘s feel in music, with Omarion‘s persona and Wale’s verse sprinkled on just amplifies the feeling that Omarion is proudly in sync with his team. It feels right here and the track is great.

My B*tch bad, looking like a bag of money…

The first taste of music MMG revealed to the masses off of this project, “Bag of Money” is actually one of the more underwhelming tracks on the project compared to the rest so far. The big three (Ross, Meek, Wale) all appear on the track with some assistance from T-Pain throughout the single. Considering the potential from the artists involved, more can be expected. A decent effort from MMG‘s finest at best.

What’s yo name, what’s yo sign…

“Let’s Talk” is a groovy feel-good track that has Omarion shining with excerpts from the Notorious B.I.G‘s “Big Poppa” and a great verse from the boss, Ross. The track is typical from Omarion but overdue nonetheless as this type of song is one we haven’t received in a while, even if it’s far from unique in terms of it’s substance. The verse also is one of Ross‘ best on the album in it’s entirety. A great song if anything else. Expect a visual for this soon.

Black On Black…

The menacing sound of “Black on Black” best fits Gunplay, who represents MMG by himself as he leads in next with Bun B and Ace Hood. Produced by Beat Billionaire (who’s 2 for 2 on his production here for his team) Gunplay and friends put together a decent track but at the same time I have to ask why this isn’t featuring Meek and possibly Stalley? Or any of the team? I would assume on a project like this the point is to advertise the lethalness of MMG as a unit, which on tracks like these it’s questionable.

This Ink is why they feel me…

Stalley, Wale and Rick Ross come together for “Fluorescent Ink” produced by Cardiak and Trevor Chin. An instrumental that doesn’t stand out by any means, but is carried by the artists involved. A decent effort however, the track is still forgettable.

Bury Me with my Dogs…

The final track serves as a bonus called “Bury Me a G” with a feature from T.I., the king of the South. A satisfying verse from the latter, Tip is in the spotlight here but overall the track just feels like it just manages to earn it’s spot as a excess piece of the project.

 

To function as a team is not always the easiest thing to do. Mixing, performing well together, understanding roles and playing positions correctly among other things can make or break a team if it’s not taken advantage of and honestly on Volume 2, Ross and his team perform well… when we actually get to see them work together.

A few tracks could be left off and some didn’t utilize the team enough but no group project is perfect. Self Made Volume 2 is a good effort that shows the overall point: Maybach Music Group functions well as a unit and that in itself is only a good sign towards it’s longevity in the future. The addition of Omarion adds all sort of possibilities and fresh permutations for them in their musical future and this project is a testament to that.


Self Made Vol. 2 Album ReviewOVERALL:8/10

Timeless Tracks: This Thing Of Ours, M.I.A, Actin Up

You can purchase MMG‘s Self Made Vol. 2 here.

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