Self Made Vol. 2, the sequel to Maybach Music Group’s first compilation, flaunts the progression of Rick Ross’s label from a burgeoning name to an industry keystone. Label mates Meek Mill and Wale act as junior commanders throughout, their barked rhymes steering guests through the sinister, glinting melodrama of the summer-blockbuster production. The spit-shined rhymes of Dr. Dre protÃ©gÃ© Kendrick Lamar twist hypnotically (“Power Circle”); Bun B’s coldly precise, machine-gun delivery terrifies in a verse about a pitiless manhunt (“Black on Black”).
Affiliate French Montana even fires some of the most potent punchlines (“Sell it on the Internet, call it Instagram”) — typically, Rozay’s job. Such delegation leaves the Maybach Music honcho free to pack unusual twists inside his worn kingpin script, sneaking in hoarse mentions of his child’s college tuition before he asserts, “My bitch bad, lookin’ like a bag of money.” So as everyone else piles victory-lap verses into Vol. 2, Rozay is its Stringer Bell — striving for legitimacy from another angle, looming increasingly larger behind the scenes.