Maybach Music Group presents Self Made Vol. 1 | Album Review

With Rick Ross sealing his position as ‘Bawse’ in 2010, it was abundantly clear that the next power move for him was to acquire some extra musical muscle to hold onto his place. Step to the stage the Maybach Music Group, a venture made up of proven lyricists, hungry Freshmen and a sultry vocalist, in addition to the behemoth vocals of the Teflon Don.

Composed of Wale, Meek Mill, Pill and Teedra Moses amongst others, Rozay has called upon a mix of experience and youth to tighten the firm grip of the musical corner which he currently dominates. With Roc Nation, G.O.O.D Music and other Hip Hop ‘families’ taking necessary steps to ensure their output is king, can Rick Ross’ entourage maintain the lofty standards which were set last year by their Mafioso figurehead?

Whilst energy and machismo is pumped from the lyrical end of the team, an intense, screwface-inducing score often provides the recognisable soundtrack to the group’s first collective project. The opener ‘Self Made’ is an explosive, glitzy affair which takes a Wings sample and adds extra volume and swag to it. Wale, a rapper whose previous offerings were less amped than his new employer’s material, brings ferocity in his performance whilst 2011 XXL Freshman Meek Mill brings exuberance to the five minute track.

With Rick Ross and Wale having already made their marks in the game, Self Made Vol. 1 is the perfect avenue for the young gunners to make that jump into the clutch of names to watch out for. Meek provides enough to warrant a mention in the future stars as a devastating performance on the banging ‘Tupac Back’ anthem definitely will get the people talking. With Rozay paying homage/exploiting the slain icon on the chorus, Millz trawls through the Mike Will production with all guns blazing, which produces a highlight for the team.

Although the majority of tracks feature more than one MMG member, what is encouraging to find is that the collaborative efforts do not go to waste on Self Made. Each protagonist is given the time and the sufficient beats to conjure up some worthwhile material. Former XXL Freshman Pill goes in on the future hood anthem ‘Pacman,’ which provides another Rick Ross chorus, whilst the trademark smooth offerings found on Teflon Don make a return with ‘Rise’ and ‘Play Your Part’.

The players on Self Made begin to make their distinguished marks further into the album. Meek’s elated vocals, Pill’s unpolished drawl and the Gangster’s moll serenades from Teedra Moses combine to create numerous highlights on hand, with the closing ‘Running Rebels’ being another standout moment. Although still yet to find a universal appeal in his flow/content, Wale’s transition to an MMG stalwart comes off relatively successful. Even guest acts seem to find some inspiration when jumping on tracks; J Cole flows effortlessly on ‘Fitted Cap’ whereas French Montana beefs up the haunting ‘Big Bank.’

When listening to Self Made for the simple pleasures the project comes off as a decent offering, composed of big beats which the emcees all tear into ferociously. But when looking for lyrical appeal or uniqueness from the rest of the ‘Boss Rap’ out now, Maybach’s qualities lack those characteristics. Nevertheless Rozay yet again succeeds in delivering brash, unapologetic Hip Hop for those fiending for the heavyweight sounds. Self Made Vol. 1 will most certainly be a part of this summer’s soundtrack and puts into place the cornerstone as to what we can expect in future from the MMG superpower.

MMG presents Self Made Vol. 1
Released: May 23, 2011
Label: MMG/Warner Bros
Buy: iTunes US / Amazon US / Amazon UK

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