In recent years, music collectives have been put in the forefront of the music industry with groups like YMCMB, Good Music, OFWGKTA, ASAP Mob, and Raider Klvn taking over the hip hop industry. In 2008, Maybach Music Group is Rick Ross’s addition to this trend, leading artists like Meek Mill, Wale, Gunplay, Stalley and more recently R&B crooner Omarion. Displaying their talents on Self Made Vol. 1, the first album shot Meek Mill into stardom, gaining him success on singles “Tupac Back” and “Ima Boss”. Now the hip hop collective is back with another volume to their Self Made series, rightfully titled MMG Presents: Self Made Vol. 2.
“Power Circle” features the entire Maybach Music Group sans Omarion, and is heavy on quality lyrical content, which may surprise people who are only familiar with Maybach Music Group through their tracks that constantly talk about drug dealing and women. The six minute track gives everyone a chance to shine, but the real standout on this track isn’t even a part of MMG. When Kendrick Lamar closes out the track, you almost forget about all of the other verses that were featured.
The singles from Self Made Vol. 2 aren’t too much to write home about with the Rico Love produced “Actin’ Up” acting as a high energy club banger and “Bag of Money” being a hip hop ballad of sorts featuring the auto tuned squelch of T Pain.
Everyone has their place in the Maybach Music Group, with each artist on the label bringing something different to the table. Stalley brings the lyrical content with the haunting track “Fountain of Youth” being an ode to his struggle coming up. Wale’s excels in delivery, with hard hitting one liners and changing up his flow within the middle of a track to keep it fresh, as seen as the party anthem “I Be Puttin’ On” featuring Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and Roscoe Dash. There was some speculation and criticism when Rick Ross announced his decision to sign Omarion to MMG, but it is evident why this is a good choice on “This Thing is Ours”, with his R&B vocals adding a polished sound to the normally hard sound of MMG’s music.
Gunplay brings pure street with no chaser to the MMG group, warning “I’m a shark out the tank, I don’t bark I just bite/Keep the K all day, don’t walk up on me I’ll pull that knife” on “Black on Black”. Self Made Vol. 2 was definitely a step up from the previous effort, this time focusing more on content than flashy tracks to keep people’s attention. Fans of MMG, will appreciate this work while new fans might be gained for those who questioned MMG’s skills.