As any film buff will tell you, the sequel is never as good as the original. The same goes for music, too. Whenever a rapper—or, in this case, a rap label—decides to slap a “2” or a “Vol. 2” on the end of the title of one of their previous projects, it just about almost never works out as well as it did the first time (see: Blueprint 2, Blackout 2, The Inspiration 102, etc.). We say “just about almost,” though, because every now and then an album sequel does work out. And, we’re happy to say that the new Maybach Music Group compilation, Self Made, Vol. 2, belongs in that category.

Part of the reason Self Made, Vol. 2 is successful is that it’s hitting stores only a little more than a year after Self Made, Vol. 1. So, even though the cast of characters has changed slightly—Pill is out, Omarion is in—Rick Ross & Co. are able to use the same basic formula that they did in 2011 to achieve success. As a result, Self Made, Vol. 2 is every bit as enjoyable as Self Made, Vol. 1 was—minus the super major hits like “Tupac Back” and “Ima Boss” that were included on the first album.

Why is that? Well, to explain it, we put together a list of the 5 Reasons Rick Ross and Maybach Music Group Are Winning Again With Self Made, Vol. 2. Here’s why you need to get this album into your regular rotation this summer.


Reason #1: Rick Ross still has the best ear in the business when it comes to picking beats.
Rozay has a ton on his plate right now (no jokes, please!). There’s this album. There’s his next solo project, God Forgives, I Don’t. There’s Meek Mill’s debut, Dreams & Nightmares. And, there’s…well, it’s Rick Ross. So, there’s always a mixtape or two ready to drop at any minute. With that in mind, it’d be easy for him to miss here and there when it comes to picking beats for projects. But, for the most part, he nails it again on Self Made, Vol. 2. Thanks to contribution

s from producers like Lee Major, Don Cannon, Cardiak, and Beat Billionaire, almost every song sounds like a summer anthem. So, even if you’re not into, say, Stalley or Wale or, hell, even Ross himself, the beats alone will keep your finger away from the “Skip” button.


Reason #2: Rick Ross doesn’t appear on every single track.
It seems as though Ross really trusts his young guns to do their thing right now. How else can you explain why the album’s first track, “Power Circle,” is nearly nine minutes long but doesn’t feature Ross outside of some ad-libbing? As a result of that trust, Self Made, Vol. 2 features a pretty solid mix of songs that feature the whole MMG label, songs that feature one or two artists, and songs that are dominated by just one of the artists. It’s not as though Ross has to appear on every single song for it to be a success. And, ultimately, that leads to a successful project and doesn’t leave us feeling like we just listened to a Ross album being marketed as an MMG album.


Reason #3: Just about every hook on the project is solid.
Other rappers, take note: If you want to write a good hook that stays with listeners and plays in their heads all day long, listen to the songs on this album. From “Black Magic” (“Poof! There go the car/Poof! There go the crib/Poof! A hundred mill/David Copperfield!

“) to “Fountain of Youth” (“Stained glass window in the Benzo/Lost in the instrumental, keys got me sentimental”), the hooks on this project are catchy, catchy, catchy. Not that we’re surprised—Ross has a great ear for both beats and catchy hooks—but all of MMG seems to have acquired the ability to produce a solid hook.


Reason #4: You’ll be wondering, “Why wasn’t Gunplay on the album more?” once you’re done listening.
A star is born? Er, we’ll see. But, if you told us a year ago that we’d be asking for more from Gunplay after listening to an MMG album, we would’ve told you you were crazy. He takes advantage of his limited time of Self Made, Vol. 2, though, and leaves us wondering when he’ll be putting out some solo material. Fortunately, it sounds like Ross has already heard the feedback and is planning on giving him a shot at putting out a solo project soon.


Reason #5: The album’s lead single is easily the weakest track on the project.
“Bag of Money,” which features a T-Pain hook, is the lead single from Self Made, Vol. 2. And while it’s not awful, it’s not as good as a lot of the other tracks here. That’s not a bad thing, though. It just means there’s plenty of other stuff to choose from. So, don’t judge Self Made, Vol. 2 based off the single. Give it a spin and see why it’s every bit as good as Self Made, Vol. 1 was. Or, just turn on your radio this summer. Thanks to the reasons we’ve listed here, we’re sure you’ll be hearing plenty of this album on there.