Can MMG Make Another Run?

“Wale a genius. Meek Mill a superstar” – Rick Ross

First the Fat Boys breakup, now every day I wake up… I miss the energy MMG was bringing to the game. When Wale, Meek, and Ross all seemed like they couldn’t make a bad record. No disrespect {This is always a lie} to the new generation, but I can’t really get Jiggy with this shit. I come from an era of rap where you had to have an all-around game as a rapper. Then as a crew, you had to have a well-rounded crew. I’m sure Rick Ross because he assembled his MMG crew this exact way. He was Jay, the Boss, the leader, the Mastermind that was gone make sure the team was going to be in sync and in demand. He even followed Hov’s formula of dropping an album consistently year after year. His lyrics lethal enough to go to war and win against the likes of the 50 Cent, hooks big enough to deliver the summer hit consecutively, charm and style exceptional enough to have women hanging on to his every move, and he had the streets. Despite attempts to all but kill his credibility, Rozay stood tall every time and just continued to deliver. Meek was his Beanie Sigel. His shooter. Hailing from the same city with the same pedigree in the streets and same gutter subject matter and affinity for proving himself, Meek not only filled the void for that role next to Ross… he filled that void for young wild reckless street rap fans. Wale was Kanye. The passionate, artistic, emphatic backpacker that was still from the hood. The same affinity for being the flyest nigga in the room and the wittiest rapper on the song, MMG gave us a new dynasty. They had some very high highs, and some very ugly lows internally and with just life itself, but adversity makes the good ones, great! Can they make it thru the storm?

Last week was scary. Reports spread quickly when Ross was found unconscious at his Miami home. He was allegedly on life support and prayers rung out worldwide from fans, to Rappers, to other music industry friends alike. Those around him would later deny he was ever on life support but they also confirmed that he was found barely responsive and was admitted into the hospital. Meek is currently doing time for unjust violation of his ten-year probation {#FreeMeek}. With people around his case being exposed for corruption seemingly weekly, hopefully he’ll be released soon. Wale is coming off his poorest performing album and controversy surrounding it himself. The last year or so hasn’t served them too well. It’s for these reasons, amongst others, with the deck stacked against the MMG conglomerate…. I believe they’re perfectly positioned for another major run! They’re underdogs again. We love the underdogs. There’s nothing more critical to the greatness that is Hip-Hop than experience. We normally quantify hardship experience higher than almost any other experience, and MMG has a plethora of recent hardships, unfortunately.

Wale is first up. “It’s Complicated EP” is vintage Wale. Also, it’s being very well received. Wale has always been able to tap into the emotions and consciousness of black women. Even when his message is about how he struggles committing to them, he communicates it such a poetic way that they empathize with him. On the flipside, there’s very few in the world that can rap with Folarin. Bar for bar, metaphor for metaphor, punchline for punchline he has always been in rare air. When he wants to out-rap the field he can, I think with “Shine” his mission was top 40. I could be wrong but I’m a “Back to the Feature” Wale alumni, Wale went completely left of his base on Shine. You never want to box in an artist where they can’t grow or experiment but that wasn’t the Wale I was waiting on. That wasn’t the Wale I was expecting after hearing “Groundhog’s Day”. I feel he wanted to prove that he could make those records because he always sprinkled a record or two that was “left” on every project and he saw other artists ge praised for innovation and his go unnoticed. The problem with that is whenever a dog sees you chasing, it’ll keep running. Wale seems to be back to his zone tho, hopefully.

Meek is no saint. Malcolm wasn’t either. Martin wasn’t either. Pac wasn’t either. Meek is a rapper and his mission and impact not as broad as Martin and Malcolm but what all four men have in common is that the government has played a substantial part in sabotaging them. Meek is a martyr that’s still here, hopefully for many years to come, because he didn’t fold. That has always shown in his music and his demeanor. Pressure makes diamonds and Meek is in a space where he’s shining thru darkness. That resilience makes Meek special. The way he relays that anger and pain through his music, without appearing to be saying “woe is me”, is a signature of Philly MC’s. He’s the closest we have to the golden era of street rap. He embodies everything the streets love with just enough medicine to put into the candy to give the streets more insight on life outside of the hood. Outside of the jewelry store and the car dealership. Fighting for his freedom and his life, he’s also fighting for those like him. Whether that be on wax or in the courtroom, streets need the Dreamchaser.

Meek and Wale had their very public differences over the last couple of years. Nobody wins when the family feuds. Their internal conflicts, no matter how big or small, have also contributed to the state of the decline of the MMG brand. Since the Self Made: Vol. 1 intro it has been more than clear the chemistry the two young generals of MMG has on records. The duality of perspectives of a street rapper and a poet from the streets, always proved to be a great balance. I’m not of sure the state of their current relationship but nothing brings a family together stronger than some outside source attacking your family member. Both have had admitted opiate problems, lost fanfare for their antics or which artists they chose to speak against, but at the end of the day they’re still two of the best. With renewed focus and hunger, and recent threats of losing it all, I feel that they can mend fences and take out their frustration on the game.

Last but not least, the Boss. Ricky Rozay. Ricky Rénzél. Position himself for the release of Port of Miami, the sequel to his classic that made him a household name, Rozay always appears to have a chip on his shoulder. Doubters, naysayers, and adversaries have all suffered losses at the ink of his pen but it’s been his health in recent years that have given him the most grief. Reported epilepsy, his peculiar hospital stint, and weight that he’s been shedding miraculously have been the only threat to Rozay’s consistency. With POM2 on the way any day now, I don’t see Ross slowing down. I’m also sure that someone with his proven busy saavy can see the same potential setup as I have chronicled in this article, now it’s just about execution. No one wants another few summers of dominance by MMG more than me {except the people who actually get paid from it}. Do you think it’s in the cards? Why or why not? What would help it come to fruition?

-Travis Cochran

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