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Maybach Music Group, Self Made 2

Hot crews come and go. But if the steady stream of music Maybach Music Group has been dropping over the past 12 or so months is any indication, the Rick Ross–anchored collective is poised to become the exception to that rule. The crew’s second LP in roughly a year span, Self Made 2 aims to solidify MMG as the hardest-working clique in the game, as well as to serve as an appetizer for the camp’s two highly anticipated summer releases: Rick Ross’ God Forgives, I Don’t (Def Jam Recordings) and Meek Mill’s debut album, Dreams and Nightmares (MMG/ Warner Bros.).

The disc opens with “Power Circle,” an eight-minute-long posse cut starring Ross, Gunplay, Stalley, Wale, Meek Mill and Kendrick Lamar. While Rozay played facilitator and sprinkled ad-libs on Vol. 1’s opener, here he teases with a sparse eight-bar verse: “You niggas Spud Webb, comin’ up short/Think you Dee Brown, jump if you want/I put it on my mama and her very last nerve/Ricky Madoff, everything I deserve.” And like that, Rozay’s added to his assortment of monikers.

Though MMG’s chemistry is stronger than ever, the album’s best moments occur when the squad is paired with guest MCs. Rozay and Nas continue their impeccable collaborative track record on “This Thing of Ours.” God’s Son offers up yet another thought-provoking verse, but there’s no scene-stealing. The stage is still Maybach’s. Ross’ rhymes are vintage Rick Rozay, and Wale’s verse resonates. “I’m a loose cannon, screws damaged/And I do think hip-hop music need some newer standards,” the Washington D.C. MC spits.

Later, The Bawse, Stalley and Nipsey Hu$$le sound like they’ve been recording together for years on the excellent “Fountain of Youth.” The cut will have fans campaigning for the Nipsey-to- MMG rumor to become reality. “I Be Puttin’ On,” featuring French Montana, Wiz Khalifa and Roscoe Dash, is yet another example of Maybach working wonders with frequent collaborators.

Self Made 2 comes with a few tweaks. Gone is Pill from the crew. Also absent is Teedra Moses, whose work on Vol. 1, though minimal, added cachet to the listening experience. The crew’s latest addition, R&B crooner Omarion, makes solid contributions with each appearance. Stalley, who’d just joined the MMG fold and appeared on one song on Vol. 1, rhymes on four songs this time. One thing hasn’t changed, however: Ross’ ear for instrumentals is sharp as ever. Ricky continues to tap beatsmiths (Cardiak, Harry Fraud, Beat Billionaire, etc.) capable of providing the symphonic sound that’s become synonymous with MMG. There’s a clear hierarchy in song quality throughout the album, but no skip-worthy cuts. With Self Made 2, MMG takes another step toward truly becoming untouchable. —Carl Chery (@CChery)

  • Josh

    I’m still bitter that The Stoned Immaculate got an L rating. Fuck that.

    • wheel Chair Jimmy

      i’m right widja homie

    • CaponeMOB

      WOW this is the first time XXL i dint even read the review and i can already tell you guys are full of shit with this review,how an album with Ross and meek gets an XL for lyrics? the only nigga in the crew that can even remotely spit some decent rhymes is Wale. if self made 2 got an XL for Lyrics,then every NAS,Jay-Z,Pusha T,Lupe fiasco album should have an automatic XXL for Lyrics REAL TALK. you niggaz gotta explain your fuckin Ratings system cuz is confusing as fuck.

    • CaponeMOB

      a yo XXLMAG, self made 2 gets an XL for Lyrics,but HNIC 3 gets an L for Lyrics?…hahhahahahah i know Prodigy fell off as far as Lyrics,but EVEN in prodigys WORSE day Rick Ross or Meek and the rest of them Lame MMG cats could fuck with Prodigy. BLASPHEMY!

  • MVPizz

    Not complaining about this but I think it shoulda been an L.

    Lyrics shoulda been at L and beats shouldn’t bring something to XL. Only good songs on this were Black on Black, All Birds, Power Circle, and Actin Up.

  • Hannya

    Too many French Montana features. And I don’t get why Ross would sign Omarion when you got Masspike Miles, who is light years better than Omarion. Whatever. I’ll buy a few tracks individually, but not the whole album.

  • MOBSTER

    ONLY PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THE ALBUM IS WILLIAM BECAUSE EVERY TIME HE COMES ON I HAVE TO SKIP
    MAYBE THEY SHOULD PUT OUT A VERSION WITHOUT HIM FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WHO DONT LIKE TO LISTEN TO FAKES AND FRAUDS TALKING ABOUT ANOTHER MANS LIFE WHO IS STILL ALIVE

    EVERYTHING WILLIAM HAS DONE OR IS DOING IS NOTHING NEW HIS JUST COPYING WHAT OTHERS HAVE DONE BUT HIS DOING IT ON A SMALLER SCALE

    • gemstar

      lmao williams

    • ALDERMAN J

      So you really are a mobster huh?? You aint biting the mobster lifestyle to try to get some points on social media are you, you aint no mobtster and aint never been around any…before you throw stones, straighten out ya own house brother..you are a fake and a fraud claiming to be something that you are not while real mobsters are still alive and would merck you for pretending to be a mobster!! WHILE RICK ROSS IS REALLY FROM CAROL CITY AND HE REALLY MOVED BIRDS, AND HE REALLY WORKED AS A CO AT A JAIL AND HELD DOWN ALL THE REAL G’S INSIDE, HE REALLY DID THESE THINGS…but you aint no mobster!!

      • Dynomutt

        That argument is old and played out. Get over yourself.

  • herbals

    These niggers blow, as does Adam Fleisher. Faggot white boy!

  • BIGED

    DIDNT FUCKIN CROOKED I COME OUT BEFORE THIS??? CUNTS

    • Lawrence

      Right. I want them to rate his mixtape too.

      • Pacer

        Clowns here are slow on the uptake.

        Logic – Undeniable – not reviewed.
        Joey BadA$$ – 1999 – not reviewed.
        XV – Popular Culture – not reviewed.

        Yawn XXL.

  • Brock

    I would rather shoot myself in the head, and let vanilla ice fuck my lifeless deceased skull, before I would ever listen to this atrocity…

    • Sir Escobar

      lol ur acting like MMG is complete trash. They have respectable lyricist on the label in Wale and Stalley. Rick Ross may be a fake muthafucker, but he knows fucking talent.

  • Harvey

    It’s ok, nothing special, Meek Mill’s stuff is good. I just wish they didn’t put that woman saying ‘Maybach Music’ or ‘I like this Maybach music’ on every single f**king song. So repetitive. Getting very tired of it by now.

    • Bernie

      I actually think it’s cool.

  • BReal

    Man I’m tired of hearing the same sh*t about Rick Ross….I know real muthaf*ckas doin real time that be listening to MMG. It aint about what Ross did or didn’t do, its about what hes doing right now and thats comin up and dominating this rap game…MMG is on top right now….make quality music, they’ve surpassed everyone else doing it right now including YMCMB (arguably the biggest label in the game)….Fact is Rick Ross makes consistantly good music for the real G’s in the streets…..Music and Rappers you f*ck with don’t make you hard, its about what you doin in the streets….. #FACT

  • therealist

    your all idiots ross is a cop, could care less if his crew is real cause they support frauds, that aint hip hop. anyway, these clowns rap about the same shit, all the songs sound the same, probly like 2000 huh’s on this album. make something wit substance everything from this wack crew is pure trash

  • cjj

    i agree b real

  • Adam Sin

    MMG’s work ethic is unparalleled with other crews in hip hop, consistently showcasing all members and letting their talent and pure passion reach us through lyrics and delivery. This collaborative effort presents quality, chemistry and dedication.
    Just imagine if we could say the same about G.O.O.D. Music or YMCMB! It’s easy to claim G.O.O.D has better rappers or that YMCMB has more heavyweights, but MMG’s movement is what’s offering undeniably dope music, regardless of your personal preferences (I’m not a “Actin up” kind of listener, but the song is addictive).

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  • Malina

    smh wale’s hottest song to date is “nike boots” meek mill sounds like a 13 yr old trying to grow chest hair, staley is only interesting cuz of his beard that nigga has no style or sound in his delivery and lyrics, and officer ricky.. well we know how 50 crumbled that nigga’s cookie. and maybach o was marques houston’s hoe.
    THE END

  • yuri

    where can i download it.. for free and no sign in

  • thatguy

    yall are stupid. weres 50 now? aint put out shit cuz he aint hot no more pretty sure ross is hot same with his whole crew, meek bout to be the hottest rapper in the game. if these guys suck why they makin hits and money, all these no name rappers yall talkin bout aint gettin reviews? cuz they aint shit no one actually cares about there music. if people did theyd be big right now, but they aint. mmg puts out more music than any crew out by far and most of it is the shit. meeks lats mixtape got downloaded over3.2 millions times just on datpiff thats not included all the other sites that got it. not a single artist can even boast half that many downloads never mind that many in one day. i dont see xv or any of those other chumps that successful. Why? cuz they aint on mmgs level and never will be end of story.

  • Sal

    damn…meek was right, mmg the only thing to talk about

  • gggg unit

    this review sucks!!! man hnic3 was sick and at least desrved an L, yeh it wasnt as good as part1 and 2 but they were classics! this album was still dope

  • FaRealNiggasOnly

    Youtube Lil Neek/Spend the Night. True hiphop heads gon feel dis song and da nigga flow!!

  • KE

    HNIC 3 is a disaster of an album. Not really much more to say about it than that. Prodigy should really consider retiring. He hasn’t sounded really good since the Murda Muzik album and that’s the truth!

  • Michael

    Mike is now an Angel with a clear soul, and has gone crazy with magical power, wildin out on the Black Hierarchy.