Yesterday, Wednesday (May 2), I (Don Bleek) attended the Rick Ross/MMG (Maybach Music Group) Press Conference at Eventi Hotel in Manhattan, New York. The conference started about 2pm EST and was hosted by Hip-Hop journalist/blogger Elliott Wilson.
After Wilson welcomed a large group of industry journalists, bloggers, music executives, videographers and media personalities, the conference began with a visual of Rick Ross journey to success, followed by a speech from Warner Music Group Chairman and CEO Lyor Cohen who spoke highly of Ross’ artistry and business decisions. “He has the biggest office in the world, that’s called the streets,” said Cohen who hasn’t spoken publicly at a press conference in almost 18 years, when he introduced Roc-A-Fella.
“The music speaks for itself. As far as the artists, it was a natural bond. Self-made is all about breaking the mode and doing what’s in the norms,” said Ross when Wilson asked him about social media and his MMG brand. “It’s about being able to do it yourself, carrying on the weight. It’s about content. I always wanted more content, letting people seeing us being in the studio,” added Ross.
After a great speech by Lyor, the next thing on the press agenda was Wilson asking Ross a couple of questions. Music producer and fashion designer Swizz Beatz then proceeded to the podium where both Swizzy and Ross announced they’ll be doing a ‘Big & Tall’ clothing line for Reebok. “I’m honored Reebok allowed me to open up the lane with Rick Ross,” said Swizz Beatz. “The art of Hip-Hop is to expand. Thanks Swizz for giving me the opportunity,” said Ross.
Entertainment mogul Diddy followed up and detailed his relationship with Ross from the beginning to the current time. “Ross is a pioneer, to have a relationship with him, this is not by accident,” Diddy stated with tons of confidences. “Rich Forever set the tone and changed the game. He puts out so much work that he overwhelms the marketplace,” added Diddy.
Diddy and Swizz Beatz cleared the podium to make room for MMG’s recording artists Wale and Meek Mill. Wale announced that Self Made Vol. 2 arrives on June 26. The first single from the album, “Bag Of Money” visual premiered on BET’s “106 & Park” last night Wednesday (May 2). Before leaving the podium, Wale announced that his third solo effort will arrive at the end of this year or the first week in January. Philly’s own Meek Mill announced that his debut album, entitled Dreams & Nightmares drops August 28. “I named it Dreams & Nightmares because it gives both sides of my story,” said Mill. Next Monday (May 7), Mill will release his highly anticipated Dream Chasers 2 mixtape. Bad Boy rapper French Montana was also in attendance and he announced that his debut, Excuse My French will drop July 17. The first single from his disc “Pop Dat” Ft Uncle Luke, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Drake will be out soon.
The conference also served as a platform to announce the signing of R&B singer Omarion. About two weeks ago, a picture of Omarion in the recording studio with Rick Ross started speculations that he was going to sign with “The Bawse.” Those speculations were indeed true. It’s official, the former B2K singer has been added to the MMG team. Ross introduced Omarion who declared himself ‘Maybach O’. He is planning to drop an EP sometime this year. At the conference, we got a chance to watch the preview of his visual “Let’s Talk” Ft. Rick Ross.
The biggest announcement of the conference was when Ross announced that his fifth studio LP, God Forgives, I Don’t will arrive on July 31. A single should be out within the next few weeks.
Words by Donovan “Don Bleek” Moore
Follow me @donbleek88