Rick Ross Aims To Inject ‘New Energy’ Into Hip-Hop

'I think it was a great day for hip-hop. It was a great energy for hip-hop,' Rozay says at MMG press conference.

Rick Ross put his entrepreneurial prowess on display during a Maybach Music Group press conference in New York City on Wednesday (May 2). Ross announced a new deal with Omarion and the release date for his fifth album, God Forgives, I Don’t. MTV News’ Sway Calloway caught up with Rozay after the conference and he explained why it was necessary to put on such a show of power.

“I think it was a great day for hip-hop. It was a great energy for hip-hop,” Ross said of the MMG press conference. “When you reflect on hip-hop on a boss level, for the last 10 years, the business of hip-hop has been kinda shaky, it’s been in a decline. I was talking to Lyor [Cohen] this morning and we were talking about how it’s already bottomed out — there’s nowhere to go but up from here. I think this was a new energy that the hip-hop game needed, a momentum change.”

This summer will be heavy with Maybach Music. Before Ross drops God Forgives, I Don’t on July 31, the label will release their Self Made Vol. 2 compilation, on June 26. Plus French Montana will release Excuse My French on July 17 and Meek Mill will release his debut, Dreams and Nightmares, on August 28.

Still, it’s clear that the anticipation for God Forgives, I Don’t has hit a fever pitch. The album was originally scheduled to debut in December 2011, but Ross said that he’s been hard at work promoting his music to an international crowd in the interim. “I wanted to go overseas because I wanted this to be an album that was really doing things overseas as well, which, with my previous albums, I really didn’t focus on that,” he explained. “I went overseas, we toured a bit and here we are, fittin’ to make big things happen.”

Apart from Ross’ album release date, the most surprising news from the press conference was Omarion’s official addition to the MMG collective. The R&B singer seemed perfectly at home with his new crew, telling Sway, “It’s amazing. First and foremost, what people have to understand is Ross is a real dude, so he don’t align with everybody. He’s gotta feel connected and the music thing connected us.”

Diddy, Lyor Cohen and Swizz Beatz were among the featured speakers at Ross’ press conference, and Swizz shared details on the Miami rapper’s new clothing deal with Reebok. “The Reebok deal is already done, but [Swizz] just spoke on the big-and-tall side of it,” Ross explained after the conference wrapped. “So I’m rocking my own clothing line through Rebook — it’s gonna be cool and something fun.”

Needless to say, there will be plenty going on with the Maybach Music camp this summer, and a new tour is certainly on that list of plans. “Everybody dropping albums and we were touring all year, but we fittin’ to put this music out and we gonna go back on the road. We goin’ make it pop,” Ross concluded.

A native of Grenada, a product of Brooklyn, a student of hip-hop.
@neweryork