Rozay's reign wasn't supposed to last this long. It's not the what that makes MMG's Self-Made Vol...1 a doozy, though; it's the how and the why. Rather than cower from the ignominy of being one of hip-hop's biggest phonies, Ross gave the odium a bear hug. He gradually embraced the jokes until the absurdity itself became entertaining. Then, using a style he's patented over the years, he compiled the most exquisite showcase hip-hop has witnessed in years.
Ross plays coach to his All-Stars. He finds the right lineup and concocts the formula that plays to his team's strengths. Granted, his rhymes are still mere pablum, even by drug-rap standards, but that's not an issue here. Wale, Pill, and Meek Mill overshadow their boss, while lacing the album with some of their best rhymes yet. This is their show-and-prove album, after all.
Everyone on Self-Made 1 has a point to prove, and that extra drive yields a thoroughly enjoyable album.