Much like this website and most rap writing on the internet, rappers too need more editing. Typically the most egregious cases of overindulgence are label- and DJ-curated compilations. The Maybach Music Group’s third Self Made comp was released last month to very little fanfare, and DJ Khaled’s seventh liner-notes-as-rolodex, Suffering from Success, comes out tomorrow. Together, they’re made up of almost two and a half hours of J. Cole and Wale features, Vado solo songs, and two Omarion songs in a row. All of which should be cut.
There are some saving graces however. And while these aren’t made to be an engaging listen straight through, they might do better to at least try. What follows are some expert notes for two 2013 A&R Fat Boys to take into serious consideration, especially if they ever pass their infatuation phase with empty suits (or rather empty Gucci polos) Ace Hood and Rockie Fresh.
First off, the “M-M-Maybach music” drop that for some reason takes 40 seconds to get through on “Gallardo,” which uses Australian models Jessica Gomes and Cheyenne Tozzi, sounds like a kidnapping video. It’s unnerving and makes me feel like Liam Neeson. I hope the women were able to escape and get paid for their contributions since this XXL interview. Also, there doesn’t need to be two songs called “Gallardo” and “Murcielago.” Just take the Gunplay verse from the former and the Meek Mill verse from the latter so the mediocre songs don’t last longer than a Lamboghini gas tank.
Next, all the Wale songs have got to go. He sounds like an insurance salesman at this point. No one’s trying to hear about variable policies, my man. While we’re at it, the Omarion and (Ma)Vado songs can go too. The track “You Don’t Want These Problems” should only be Meek Mill and 2 Chainz with the switched-up beat Meek raps over instead of the Kevin Rudolph guitars. “Blackball” needs to be Future saying, “Shorty wants to boooooOOOOOOO” for four minutes straight. “Poor Decisions” could be a Rick Ross solo track without Wale and Lupe Fiasco competing for federal corn subsidies, and “Never Surrender” ought to be a Scarface and Anthony Hamilton duet.
There are just too many damn features for anything in particular to be showcased. Stalley sounds like he’s eating lemons to cope with perpetual beard ridicule. I’m pretty sure people would rather hear J-Boog than Omarion at this point. Producer Hit-Boy continues to believe he can rap (sometimes Kanye West is a little too inspiring). Second-rate Boosie verses don’t need to be put out this close to his reported release date. Supposed star Rockie Fresh sounds like a demo tape where the songwriter outlines a melody for the actual artist to bring to life. I know it’s Ace Hood because I usually hear his name in my head when he starts rapping but then I second guess myself before the next verse. “Hell’s Kitchen” has J. Cole crying over “Tubular Bells” and he has less sympathetic tears than John Boehner.
That leaves the undoctored Obama audio where he’s introduced to speak with “All I Do Is Win” playing, the ridiculous, meaningless pomp of “I Feel Like Pac-I Feel Like Biggie,” and an assortment of Birdman verses. All of which can stay, plus the prior hits “Levels,” “No New Friends” and “I Wanna Be with You.” There’s also the dizzying Lil Wayne feature “No Motive,” which is one of the best songs since his creative resurgence on I Am Not a Human Being 2. These albums are supposed to be absurdly grandiose, but they fail when they’re diluted with Wale and forgettable production. If everyone’s a king, then no one is. The sooner Rockie Fresh and Ace Hood accept that they’ll never be great, the sooner they’ll make better music. The discs also fail when greatness isn’t given enough space to be truly great. Someone needs to withhold Rick Ross’s lemon pepper wings until he puts Gunplay on every track or at least drops Medillin and/or Living Legend.