Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group crew (minus Stalley, who is currently on tour) assembled at the Eventi Hotel in Manhattan today for a slew of announcements, including a July 31st release date for Ross' anticipated God Forgives, I Don't album and MMG's newest signing: the R&B singer Omarion.
"The stories that are being told on this record are gonna make it stand apart," said Ross of his next LP. "It wasn't just about hot beats and hot rhymes but something that was needed, something that was necessary. This was the missing part of my legacy."
According to Ross, God Forgives is a "full album" that will reflect his ceaseless perfectionism: "The verses, the tracks, the produciton, the ad-libs – everything's just in the right place," said Ross. "That ruhhh," he added – evoking the famous woof of a space-filler that graces his tracks – "I know just where to put 'em at."
The other big announcement of the day was that R&B singer Omarion would join Maybach Music Group. The former B2K singer has bounced between several labels, including Lil Wayne's Young Money and EMI, in recent years as a solo artist. He'll release a new single featuring Ross soon titled "Let's Talk," as well as an EP.
Both Meek Mill and Wale were also on hand to discuss their upcoming solo projects and a new MMG collaborative project, Self Made 2, which is set to come out on June 26th. The first single, "Bag of Money," will premiere today on BET's 106 & Park.
"This is more of a body of work," said Wale of Self Made 2. "A real life hip-hop project." Wale also announced that his next solo record is set to come out at the top of next year.
Concurred Ross, "I believe the personal connection [of everyone in MMG] really reflects in the music. We spent a lot more time on this album. We made better music, much better records."
As for Meek Mill, the up-and-coming Philly MC reported that his debut album Dreams and Nightmares will be released on August 28th. His latest mixtape, Dream Chasers 2, is out next week. Of his full-length, Mill said, "It's giving you both sides of my story. Before the rap, before me traveling the the world, those are the things I dreamed of doing. And the nightmare is being stuck in the streets, being in jail and me going through these types of things."
Videos for Dream Chasers 2's intro track and "Flexin On 'Em" are imminent. "We basically shoot visuals for everything," Mill said with a laugh. "With Ross, we shoot like three visuals a day."
Indeed, Ross's knack for creating massive amounts of content for fans has helped Maybach Music Group become one of the biggest names in hip-hop over the past two years.
"When I was sitting at home and watching the artists I was the biggest fans of, I wanted more content," said Ross of his seamingly endless output. "I wanted to make sure that we gave it to the people, let them see the process, us making music, making records. Hopefully it'll influence someone else."
The collective's growth was reflected in the handful of guests that showed up to sing Ross and MMG's praises, including Diddy, Swizz Beatz and Warner Music Group Chairman and CEO Lyor Cohen.
Swizz announced that he and Ross are teaming up with Reebok for an upcoming big and tall clothing line. "I was thrilled that instead of just doing a regular sneaker, we gave Ross his own big and tall line to go and express all his fashion, all his flair," said the producer.
Diddy was up next, to thank Ross for his help promoting his Cîroc vodka and praise the rapper for being one of the first to take advantage of social media: "We can't downplay that. From the blogs to constant behind the scenes and the barrage of videos that he puts out, and just understanding that content is king – he's a genius to me."
In introducing Ross and kicking off the day's proceedings, Cohen summed everything up quite nicely: "He's not caught up in the normal bullshit and confusion that a lot of executives and people in this business get caught up in. He reminded me this morning that he's got the biggest office in the world – it's called the streets. He doesn't have an office and a fleet of employees. He's on the streets. He's in the slipstream of where things happen."