Album Review: “Self Made, Vol. 2” in defense of Rick Ross

The untouchable Maybach empire is back at it again with the groups second installment of the Self Made series. A collaborative work from MMG members Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill, Stalley, Gunplay, Omarion ( or Maybach O as his recent tattoo would suggest) and includes standout features like Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, TI, Bun B, T Pain, Roscoe Dash and French Montana and Nipsey Hussle. The album reeks of a typical Rozay album with club ready beats, braggadocios hooks and creative laid back rhymes. The album opens with an 8 minute announcement titled “Power Circle” featuring Kendrick Lamar. The track has the entire Maybach line up in full display and sets a dominate tone for the album following. Other album stand outs include Black Magic and The Zenith. Rick Ross has mastered the art of modern day marketing and without a doubt is one of the most business savvy rappers in the game today. Targeting the street heavy audience that he helped bring to the forefront on main stream rap the album is teeming with slow southern beats and commanding hooks like on the tracks finally Bury Me A G featuring TI.

A few issues I found with the album is it inevitably begins to sound repetitive. The music is  ignorant and track after track features the same artists on a similar synth heavy beat rapping in a similar manner than the track before. Adding to the redundancy is hearing individual bars that are lazily reworded to say the same thing across artists or the same artists previous works. Don’t you get the feeling you already knew a large percentage of these rappers have rollies on their wrist?

This is where the majority of debate befalls MMG and in particular crew leader Rick Ross.

The counter Rick Ross perspective is frustrated with his “fake” coke dealer persona and basic rhyme schemes. These purists are blind to the sheer entertainment value that is Maybach Music. Today’s generation is one where the worlds reality appears to be grimmer every day. These people aren’t interested in complex messages and tightly woven rhymes but simply are dying for an escape. Rick Ross hustles audio crack. He makes musical movies to whisk people away from that shitty job when they go out to the club or working at home. Some times these wealthy raps are what keep people out there going when the news is talking about death and politics. Just because these people aren’t you doesn’t mean they don’t exist or for that matter aren’t the majority. Whether you like it or not Ross produces videos often, releases music consistently and is willing to do the work to stay successful. Cole can’t get Jay on the song he wants for his highly anticipated debut, but Stalley Wale and Meek Mill all have plethora of songs with Ross including multiple on this album. The man knows how to maintain relevance and in era where 3 months is old that is a strong compliment.

“Self Made Vol. 2” isn’t a masterpiece, or a 10/10 on pitchfork, but it is another strong 7 in a string of strong music from the streets strongest crew. The standout songs are strong and it has a few very good guest verses from big names. Rick Ross doesn’t like to surprise you, you know exactly what your gonna get and he fulfills those expectations every time. Download the album and take a second to stop being angry at Ross and appreciate the hustle, even for a drug officer to become Rick Ross is incredible in it’s own right.

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