Mariah Carey was thrilled to reveal that Meek Mill and Rick Ross would be featured on her new single “Triumphant (Get’Em),” and after teasing the artwork earlier this week, Mimi held a conference call today where she shared details on recording the track, then finally premiered the single. Listen after the jump.
MTV News also chatted with the song’s co-writer and co-producer, Grammy winner Bryan-Michael Cox, who explained why the MMG rappers were a perfect fit for the new single. “This song is kind of inspirational. It’s close to her heart, and I think her fans are going to really, really be emotionally attached to this song,” Cox tells MTV News. “I expect that this record’s going to be a huge record. I expect that this is going to be one of her bigger albums.”
“I think that Rick Ross is resilient, and Meek Mill [is] a new hot rapper, who’s really hot, one of my favorite new hip hop artists,” Cox added. “Rick Ross, who’s always been one of my favorites, he’s resilient. I think that, through the years, people try to count him out, and he always comes back, comes back harder, comes back with bigger and better records. So I think that the theme of ‘Triumphant,’ I think that he fits the theme of that whole concept the best, really, because through it all, Rick Ross always comes out on top.”
God forgives, but Rick Ross won’t if you don’t tune in to the next episode of “RapFix Live.” Rozay will hit the couch Wednesday to talk with Sway about his highly anticipated God Forgives, I Don’t album, out now.
“I knew approaching this album, I wanted to approach titling it a lot different from previous albums. I wanted it to be strong and impactful,” the Maybach boss told MTV News of his new LP when he sat down for ourHip-Hop Music Preview. “The first half is God Forgives: It’s a lot of us need forgiveness. I Don’t represented the street aspect of life. I feel we have both sides that we deal with in life. I gave ‘em one of those feelings that it was a motion picture, a masterpiece, five-star.”
Rozay’s road to release was a bumpy one. Originally, God Forgiveswas planned for a 2011 drop, but after Ross suffered a pair of seizures in October, he took a little more time to focus on his health and prepare his latest work. Still, MTV’s Hottest MC in the Game has stayed plenty busy by dropping his critically acclaimed Rich Forever mixtape at the top of the year and then MMG’s Self Made, Vol. 2 in June.
“If you doubted us being here three years ago, five years ago, you don’t understand hip-hop, you don’t understand the power of rap music,” he told MTV News earlier this month.
The last time Ross graced “RapFix” with his presence, he brought the bulk of his Maybach Music Group with him, so you never know who the Bawse has on his guest list.
Catch Rick Ross on “RapFix Live,” Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET onRapFix.MTV.com, and be sure to join the Twitter conversation using the hashtag #RapFixLive. Send your questions for the artists @MTVRapFix!
By Rob Markman
Rick Ross‘ anticipated sixth album God Forgives, I Don’t has been over a year in the making, and the MMG CEO gave MTV News a track-by-track breakdown of the upcoming LP, in addition to insight on the record processing, crafting the cover, and more.
From the album’s menacing title to its meaningful cover, from its future rap hits to its well-laid concepts, the Bawse sat down with MTV News at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington D.C. for our Hip-Hop Music Preview, breaking down, in his own words, his long-awaited God Forgives, I Don’t.
The Title: God Forgives, I Don’t
“I knew approaching this album, I wanted to approach titling it a lot different from previous albums. I wanted it to be strong and impactful. The first half is God Forgives: It’s a lot of us need forgiveness. I Don’t represented the street aspect of life. I feel we have both sides that we deal with in life. I gave ‘em one of those feelings that it was a motion picture, a masterpiece, five-star.”
The Album Cover
“We actually used a church to shoot some photos in. I remember sitting in the church just waiting for the photographer, and I remember sitting in there praying, just being thankful. I knew I wanted to have 10 Jesus pieces on. Of course, one Jesus piece was always fly, but I just wanted 10. I just wanted to go to that next level.”
The Recording Process
“I keep my circle extremely small when it comes to me recording my music. I put the music together before I even put the words to the music, because I feel it’s easier for me to write the words and make it fit the music versus me finding music that can fit my words.”
The Cinematic Influence
“This may be ‘Inglourious Basterds,’ man. We gonna peel your scalp back on this one. Quentin Tarantino, that’s one of the vibes I was in when I titled the album. I wanted to approach it like a film.”
“Hold Me Back”: “That’s the struggle, the angle I wanted to take on that record once again from somebody who may not have much, but that don’t determine where you end up in the game. From struggle to triumph, as long as you stay loyal with your clique and your family, you can overcome whatever. That’s how I feel.”
“Amsterdam”: “It’s based around the red light district, but I kinda flipped it where being a boss you gotta get approval for a green light. I’m one of those people you can’t green light. As long I’ve been in this game, there’s been a lot of talk, but ain’t nobody stepped on these 11 and a half’s. The reason being: This is the red light district, you can’t move on this side.”
“Diced Pineapples”: “When I got out of the hospital — you know, I had a seizure last year — when I was leaving, the doctor told me, ‘You gotta eat some more fruit, drink you some water, eat fruit and just relax for a little while.’ My fruit of choice was pineapples. For the next three weeks, I woke up every morning and ate diced pineapples, and I put the concept together. Drizzy came in, as well as Wale, and it’s kinda like, ‘She could be my diced pineapple. This special lady, she could be what I wake up to every morning and help me get by every day.”
The Five-Word Description
“Classic, untouchable, boss, success, revenge. If you doubted us being here three years ago, five years ago, you don’t understand hip-hop, you don’t understand the power of rap music.”
Check in with MTV News all this week for our Hip-Hop Music Preview, when rap’s biggest names give you an in-depth look at some of the year’s most anticipated albums. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MTVHipHopPreview!
By Rob Markman
Rozay billed it as the “biggest collaboration in hip-hop,” and on Thursday (July 19), New York DJ Funkmaster Flex got the green light to premierethe highly anticipated track. From the top of the dusty-and-soulful Jake One instrumental, Dr. Dre brands “3 Kings” as “classic hip-hop.”
Though it’s hard to imagine a time when the D-R-E wasn’t on top, theChronic producer reminds listeners of his wonder years when he opens the track spitting, “He started out mopping floors, but now he’s front row at the awards.” Still, Dre’s recounting of his humble beginnings only helps to intensify the magnitude of his present when he urges fans, “You should listen to this beat through my headphones.”
There is no hook or catchy chorus, just a bottom-heavy instrumental breakdown that leads into Ross’ guts and glory. “I came a long way from the weed game/ Twenty-stack seats at the Heat game,” he rhymes, sending a nod to the 2012 NBA champions.
The entire song stands as a testament to Ross’ growth. While the Maybach Music Bawse was laying the groundwork for his recent rap empire with his 2006 debut, Port of Miami, and its follow-up, Trilla, few believed the husky-voiced MC would grow to his current stature. Back then, placing both Dr. Dre and Jay-Z on a single track seemed improbable for Ross, and having the gall to name the track “3 Kings” would have been ludicrous. Now, the notion isn’t farfetched by any means, seeing as how the Teflon Don has emerged as one of the game’s biggest draws and business minds, helping build the careers of young artists like Meek Mill and Wale. It’s a position both Dre and Jay-Z have long enjoyed, and on Hov’s verse, he doesn’t let fans forget it.
“It’s just different,” Hov says of his free-associative verse, which sounds perfectly imperfect.
“Millions on the wall in all my rooms/ N—as couldn’t f— with my daughter’s room,” Big Poppa Hov says, nodding to baby Blue Ivy.
As rich as that may sound, Jigga gets even gaudier. If his rhymes ring true, Jay is about to reconstruct his $ 150 million deal with Live Nation, and while the method is a bit unorthodox, it seems he is using his lyrics in the negotiation process. “I ran through that buck-fifty Live Nation fronted me/ They workin’ on another deal, they talkin’ 250/ I’m holdin’ out for three/ Two-seventy-five and I just might agree,” he spits.
All hail the kings!
Funkmaster Flex debuts highly anticipated track Thursday night.
By Rob Markman
Rick Ross, Dr. Dre and Jay-Z
Photo: Getty Images
This week Rick Ross welcomed a new member to his Maybach Music Group family, signing rising Chicago rapper Rockie Fresh. The 21-year-old spoke with MTV News on Thursday (July 12) after making things official.
Rozay was so excited to reveal the addition of Rockie Fresh to his label that the MMG CEO tweeted the announcement around 4 a.m. Thursday (July 12) along with a photo of the signing, taken just minutes earlier. Rockie, who dropped his most recent mixtape, Driving 88, in January, told MTV News that he flew to New York to meet up with Rozay and, after a night on the town, they put the ink on paper.
At the end of June, Rick Ross shouted out Rockie during a radio interview, but he also added that he hadn’t been signed yet, hinting that it was coming soon. Less than a month later, all the details have been sorted out and things are official.
Rockie said he and Ross have been in touch since his “Into the Future” music video caught the eye of Rozay’s right-hand man Spiff and got things moving. “Spiff saw the video, hit me up on DM and asked, ‘Are you signed?’ At that time, I was taking meetings with a couple of other labels, and he said, ‘Ross wants to meet you and he’s gonna fly you out on Monday,’ so he flew me out and I kicked it with him for a couple of days.
“It was so chill and organic that I didn’t think he was going to sign me. We really didn’t talk about business or anything. The next day, we went our separate ways and they let me know they were interested in doing a deal, and we’ve been working it out since then,” Rockie continued, explaining that it took about a month and a half to finalize things. “I had some other offers on the table too, but I didn’t want to ruin any relationships. I wanted to make sure that I handled everything as smoothly as possible and gave everybody a fair shot.”
Besides interest from Ross, the newcomer also fielded an offer from Diddy’s label. “Bad Boy was interested; I definitely had a lot of talks with them. Same thing with Columbia and Universal and RCA as well. But it was just one of those things where, when I met Ross, it clicked,” he said. “It was some real n—a sh–, for lack of a better term. I felt more comfortable in that setting than in any other meeting I had.”
Rockie is the latest addition to an all-star team that includes Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley and Gunplay, and he doubts he’ll have any trouble fitting it.
“We all represent different parts of the country, and we kind of define our age brackets too. I’m the youngest one right now, so I’ll be repping for my age group and for my city Chicago and our way of life; I feel like that separates me from everyone else,” he said. “We were talking about it last night, and Ross really views this as a sports team, where every player has to have their own lane and their own way of doing things, but in the long run, it all helps the team. I’ve got my own sound and my own way of getting my records done, and he respects that and feels it benefits the entire team.”
Even though he’s the youngest in the crew, Rockie has had some prior experience with two of MMG’s biggest talents. “I was blessed to tour with Wale before all of this went down, and just to see the way that he became comfortable with the MMG situation, it was dope,” he said. “I also actually got to perform with Meek a long time ago when he was with Grand Hustle, and to see his progression, it was something I admired.”
It’s been less than 24 hours since Rockie signed his name on the line, so the reality is still sinking in, but make no mistake about it, he’s primed and ready to go. “It was a long time coming, and I’m really ready to show the world what I can do.”
Rockie’s Electric Highway mixtape is due this fall.