MMG - Self Made Vol. 3 (Review)

Maybach Music Group - Self Made Vol 3

"Self Made Vol. 3" is the third compilation album by Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group. The album features verses from Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley, J. Cole, Pusha T and others as well as production from Boi-1da, Cardo, Hit-Boy, Jake One and others. It was released on September 17, 2013.


1. Lil Snupe Intro (Lil Snupe) - The first song on the album features a posthumous verse from Lil Snupe as he goes solo over an energetic Lil Lee instrumental that actually sounds pretty dope. The song is really short though and just acts as an intro to the album.

2. Gallardo (Gunplay featuring Rick Ross, Trina and Yo Gotti) - Aone Beats comes through with a generic trap instrumental that is full of the genre's staple layered synths and thunderous 808's. The beat is pretty uninspired and nobody really rips it, with each rapper just kicking some boastful rhymes about their wealth and their Lamborghini's and such. I'm really not feelin' the repetitive chorus by Trina either. I'll probably never listen to this shit again. Next.

3. The Plug (Meek Mill featuring Omelly and Young Breed) - Well this is a little better, but not by much. The beat on here, by D Rich, has a ton of energy, with some upbeat horns and keyboards over vibrant drums. Meek, Omelly and Young Breed all do their thing, I guess, and just spit some street stories about selling drugs. Eh, this is better than the last song, but it's still not that great.

4. Levels (Meek Mill) - The beat on this song, courtesy of Cardo, has some haunting pianos, rapid-fire hi-hats and more of the usual trunk-rattling bass drums. Meek Mill actually sounds really good on here, kicking some rhymes about how there are levels to life and how he is at the top. The topic of the song is cliche, but the beat is banging and Meek flows over it nicely. This is probably the best song on the album so far.



5. Lay It Down (Rick Ross featuring Young Breed and Lil Boosie) - This song has another very energetic trap instrumental, courtesy of Schife, OhZee and Brian Nunez, that has some chanting, cinematic keyboards and hard-hitting bass. The beat is pretty good and all three emcees do their thing. Not bad.

6. Stack on My Belt (Rick Ross featuring Wale, Whole Slab and Birdman) - This song has yet another trap instrumental, this time by Beat Billionaire, with more layered synths, window-shattering 808's and annoying adlibs in the background. All four emcees come through and just spit some more boastful rhymes about their wealth and how much money they blow every day. I'm not feelin' this one at all.

7. Black Grammys (Wale featuring Rockie Fresh, Meek Mill and J. Cole) - Finally something other than a trap instrumental. The beat on this song, provided by Tone P, sounds more like one of the songs off of Wale's "The Gifted" than anything else on the album thus far. The beat is dope, with some live instrumentation and soft vocals in the background, and all four emcees rip it, kicking rhymes with more substance than the usual guns, drugs, money and women raps so prevalent on the album so far. Dope shit.

8. Coupes and Roses (Stalley) - Kebu and Childish Major come through with a really mellow instrumental that has some ethereal backing vocals, trippy synths, soft pianos and laid-back drums. Stalley always seems to get a lot of hate, but I actually really like his style (even if he isn't the most interesting emcee out there). I think this song would have fit quite nicely on his "Honest Cowboy" mixtape as well. I'm feelin' this one. It's not the best on here, but it's still pretty nice.

9. Know You Better (Omarion featuring Fabolous and Pusha T) - The beat on this song, courtesy of Rock City and The CoCaptains, has a breezy feel to it, with some airy synths and laid-back drums. The instrumental is pretty dope and everyone sounds good over it, rapping/singing about wanting to get to know some chick better. Not bad.

10. Say Don’t Go (Omarion) - Omarion returns with a pure R&B track that sounds pretty good if you are into that kind of stuff. The instrumental, by John “$K” McGee, is not bad for a what it is, but I'm mainly interested in the hip-hop tracks on here. I bet the ladies are gonna love this song though.

11. What Ya Used To (Rockie Fresh featuring Hit-Boy) - This song has a somewhat repetitive synth string and keyboard instrumental by Hit-Boy that started off pretty ill but began to get a bit too monotonous over the course of the full song. Rockie Fresh and Hit-Boy revert to more of the usual boastful rhymes about their wealth and women, but their flows blend with the instrumental nicely. Not bad, but not the best on here.

12. The Great Americans (Rick Ross featuring Gunplay, Rockie Fresh and Fabolous) - Now this is dope. Jake One and Swish collaborate to deliver a beautiful piano and synth instrumental that should get your head nodding a bit. The album is sounding much better since it began to get away from all of the cookie-cutter trap instrumentals that plagued the first half of the album. Anyways, Rick Ross, Gunplay and Fabolous all come through and talk about their struggles in life as well as their current situations while Rockie Fresh just provides a short intro and outro. I think Gunplay has the strongest verse, however, as he spits
"Momma poor, daddy poor, what's the antidote?
Wind through the window blew the candle out
No lights, many cold nights
Hungry belly burning, yearning rice
Rent late, on a plate just a blank space
Old girl looking at me with the blank face
Made it off a prayer and a Saint's grace
AK's kept me in a safe space"
The song ends with Rockie speaking about being creative and stop being basic. It's kind of funny to hear given how plain the first half of the album was, but it's getting better. Dope track.

13. Kilo (Meek Mill featuring Louie V Gutta, French Montana and Yo Gotti) - Well, maybe I spoke a little too soon. The trap instrumentals are back, but this one actually sounds a tad better than the others. The beat, by DJ Spinz, has more of the same old keyboards and synths layered over booming 808's, but I'm actually diggin' it a bit. Lyrically, however, the song is pretty bad (outside of Meek Mill, who rips his verse). Bleh.

14. Poor Decisions (Wale featuring Lupe Fiasco and Rick Ross) - Jake One and Swish return with another head-nodding piano and keyboard instrumental that has a nice, carefree vibe to it. While Lupe has the best verse on this song, all three emcees come correct lyrically and kick verses about people who make poor decisions in their lives, such as not being there for their children, among other things. Finally some more lyrics with substance. Dope shit.



15. Bout That Life (Meek Mill featuring Rick Ross, French Montana, K Kutta, Torch & Iceberg) - The MeKanics come through with a dope trap instrumental for Meek Mill and friends to get busy over. The beat is actually pretty good, with some epic synths and booming bass, but the rapping doesn't fare quite as well. Meek and Ross are ok, but French Montana is just terrible, as always.

16. God Is Great (Rockie Fresh) - The final song on the album has an atmospheric instrumental, by Boi-1da and The Maven Boys, that has some spaced-out synths and a distorted vocal sample over deep bass drums. Rockie Fresh sounds ok on here and praises God for helping him become everything he wished he would be. Not a bad way to end the album I guess.



I'm going to rate the album

2.5 / 5

because it's quite underwhelming in my opinion. I'm only feelin' about half of the songs on here, with the other half ranging from just ok to terrible. The beats are hit-or-miss throughout, with only a handful of instrumentals straying away from the generic "trap music" formula so that is so abundant in rap today. Lyrically the album fares about the same, with only a couple of really good verses scattered amidst a sea of mediocrity. I know most people don't listen to MMG for their lyrical skills, but even the beats are not that great on here. It's a shame too since i actually liked quite a bit of "Self Made Vol 1" and its sequel. Oh well.

3 comments:

  1. I agree with you, I thought the album was pretty average. I did like Black Grammys, The Great Americans, Poor Decisions, What ya Used To, and Coupes and Roses. Wish they had put Oil Money Gang on here, track was fire.

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    1. I was surprised to see that it wasn't on here, honestly, especially since it would have easily been one of the best tracks. Hopefully it will end up on Ross's next album or something.

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