Earlier this year, rumors were swirling that Nipsey Hussle would be a new addition to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. While those never came to fruition, Rozay did tap the Los Angeles rapper for the song “Fountain of Youth” from his crew’s Self Made 2 album, and Nipsey recently recalled the process.
“We had been talking for a while—for years, really,” Nip told XXLMag.com. “[We] ran into each other in L.A. a few times and in Atlanta. And Ross just was 100. [He] was like, ‘I respect the grind.’ When his situation went from solely being an artist to being an executive and having his company, he would hit me when I drop a mixtape on Twitter, or when I leak a song, and just be like, ‘That shit hard. MMG, let’s win.’ Shit like that.”
Before long, the mutual respect turned into a musical collaboration. “He was like, ‘I got Self Made 2 I’m working on, I wanna get you on there,’” the 2010 XXL Freshman continued. “So I came to the studio, he played some records. When he played ["Fountain of Youth"], I was like, ‘That’s outta here!’ I told him it reminded me of that record with Nas, [“Usual Suspects”], off Deeper Than Rap. Khaled like, ‘Me too. That’s the first thing I told Ross.’”
“Ross is a smart A&R,” he went on. “He knows what records would sound good with certain artists on them. He quarterbacked that one for me. As soon as I heard it, I started writing. I knocked it out on the spot. Without signing a deal, without being a part of that, he just gave me that look. Shout out to Rozay.”
The two also joined forces on a recent leak “Proud of That,” which was Nipsey’s song, featuring the Bawse. “I was in Miami about a month prior to that [Self Made 2 session],” he explained of how the record came to life.
“We connected, and I played a beat for a record I was working on, and he just started writing and hopped on it. That was the ‘Proud of That’ record. When we did it, originally it was gonna be a solo record, so I was gonna tuck it for my project. But once I got Ross on it, I wanted the fans to hear that. I put it out a couple days before my concert in L.A. I gave it to Power 106, they debuted it. I wanted to foreshadow what my new project was gonna sound like. I wanted my fans to hear.”
That new project, Victory Lap, is scheduled to be released later this year. —Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)