Maybach Music Group — Self Made, Vol. 3 Album Review by Jay Fingers

Maybach Music Group — Self Made, Vol. 3Title: Self Made, Vol. 3
Artist: Maybach Music Group
Label: Maybach Music Group / Atlantic
Genre(s): Hip Hop
Released: September 17, 2013
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Crew albums are typically a mediocre affair. The purpose of their existence is understandable: the label superstar or CEO has amassed a group of artists that he wants to make a quick buck from believes has talent, and such a compilation allows each member of the crew to shine. More often than not, though, these discs are haphazard showcases for what would otherwise be throwaway tracks.

Rick RossMaybach Music Group managed to defy the trend of terrible compilations two years in a row with the first two volumes of the Self Made series. However, as with all franchises that run just a tad too long, the disappointing third installment shows signs of fatigue, with uninspired performances, unnecessary guest appearances, and lackluster production.

Self Made, Vol. 3 begins on a promising yet somber note. The intro is a celebratory ode to success from Lil Snupe, a young New Orleans MC who was murdered earlier this year. It’s a nice tribute to the fallen soldier, whose life was tragically cut short before his full potential could have been explored.

Things go downhill sharply from there. “Gallardo,” with its tinny beat, vulgar chorus, and speeding car sound effects, is a laughable attempt at re-creating last year’s smash hit from Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music camp, “Mercy.” The song features Ross, rap vixen Trina, Memphis dope boy Yo Gotti, and MMG’s secret weapon, lyrical trapstar Gunplay; despite being the song’s sole bright spot, Gunplay can’t salvage this hackneyed effort.

Meek Mill and cohorts Omelly and Young Breed offer their version of the ol’ “robbing the coke connect” tale on the cliché-ridden “The Plug,” which features one of the poorest Spanish accents ever committed to wax. Breed reappears on “Lay It Down,” a boring collaboration with Ross and incarcerated Lil Boosie that not only fails to get one hype, but also includes a rather insulting and clumsy shout-out to Trayvon Martin courtesy of the Bawse. And let’s not forget there’s a song titled “Kilo”—three guesses what it’s about, and the first two don’t count.

Fortunately, not all of Self Made, Vol. 3 is terrible. Meek Mill reminds listeners that there’s “Levels” to nearly every facet of his flamboyant life on over a boisterious track. Stalley, who curiously only makes one appearance on the entire album, waxes poetic about materialism on the lush “Coupes & Roses,” and label stars Wale and Mill shine brightly with guest J. Cole and newcomer Rockie Fresh on the rousing “Black Grammys.”

In fact, the artist who fares the best on Vol. 3 is Fresh. The Chicago MC appears on three more cuts, including the intense “What Ya Used To,” the Jake One-produced “Great Americans” (featuring Ross, Gunplay, and Fabolous), and recent single “God is Great.” These tracks also come during the latter half of the disc, and help leave a lasting impression.

With only a few gems are sprinkled here and there, Self Made, Vol. 3 is by no means exceptional. It’s merely a chance for Ross to show off his label’s newly acquired talent (most of whom will likely be relegated to “shelved” status) and officially release songs that otherwise would have ended up on a mixtape. Although it’s titled Self Made, this project comes across more as do-it-yourself.

Grade: C+

Best Tracks

“God is Great” (Rockie Fresh)

“Black Grammys” (Wale featuring Rockie Fresh, Meek Mill, and J. Cole)

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NoHTq5Dzso

“The Great Americans” (Rick Ross featuring Gunplay, Rockie Fresh, and Fabolous)

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSQSriLQA4k

“Coupes and Roses” (Stalley)

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnCnnJml6pU

 

 

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