Wasn’t expecting much from him but Stalley surprisingly shows up. “Coupes and Roses” finds him remembering his days hustling for sneakers and the like. Now he’s moved on to finer things. The song really breaks up what could be perceived as a monotonous project. Never thought I’d say this, but MMG could be utilizing his talents, particularly his natural propensity for introspection, much better. They do it on occasion (“Fountain of Youth,” on Vol. 2
), but could be doing it more.
What distinguishes one Maybach Music Group album from another? Tough to say. The sound of rap music hasn’t changed all that much in a year—really, it hasn’t changed that much since “B.M.F.,” in 2010—and you really do get the sense here that they’re taking a workmanlike approach to the records. Just pumping them out, basically.
“Poor Decisions” leaked a while ago but Lupe Fiasco’s verse
is still poignant as ever and Wale is still, well, Wale. “I can’t tell you about that H, dude/ But I can tell you about this hate, dude.” Do tell, sir. Because people really fucking hate this guy. I’m not one of them—I think he’s alright—but I really wish he would have went in here about what it feels like to go from most celebrated to most hated in such a short period of time. He’s done it before, but it wouldn’t hurt to hear it again. That topic never gets old and would give people more reasons to talk shit about him. Which they love to do.
Not terribly mad at the Rockie Fresh songs. “What Ya Used To” is somewhat forgettable—the beat is really not very inventive—and so is “God is Great.” And yet still you can’t help but hear the lyrics on the latter tune and be sort of amused. “Yeah, oh man, look at me/I'm becoming everything I wish I be/I got bitches, I got cake/Wake up everyday and I say: 'God is great.'” Cute!
“Black Grammys” sounds like some soulful Roc-A-Fella shit from 2003. I almost thought I was about to hear Beanie Sigel, Freeway and Young Neef come on after Wale. No dice, though. Had to settle for Meek Mill, Rockie Fresh and J. Cole. Not mad (okay, maybe just a little).