BROOKLYN, New York —
"I'mma keep it real; I gotta shout out Jay-Z, shout out the Roc," Ross told MTV News last week. " 'Maybach Music,' that was timeless. I would never disrespect that record and those rhymes, just to say I topped it. But I'mma say this, on Deeper Than Rap, there is a 'Maybach Music, Pt. 2,' and it is special. I gotta shout out Weezy ... and there's somebody else on there."
That "somebody else" — we were told by a source that chose to remain nameless — is T-Pain. Meanwhile,
"Mary J. Blige, she's the voice of that R&B hip-hop sound," he explained. "When I choose a lot of my beats, I pick beats a lot of times off that sound, that 'What's the 411' [with] that R&B feel to it. Those are the kind of beats I gravitate to. It was just a pleasure for her to get in the studio and lace me with a classic. ... I'm not going to tell you the name of that record yet, because I don't want all these hackers who be trying to hack my computer to try and get me. It's an experience you can look forward to."
The highlight of Deeper Than Rap's collaborations may come from Queens. Not from 50 Cent, of course, but from
" 'Usual Suspects' with Nas Escobar — that's such a movie. Amazing," said DJ Khaled — who acted as the album's A&R rep and was just named the president of the resurrected Def Jam South, which is overseeing the release.
"We let each other know we was expecting the best," Ross said about working with Khaled. "That was what we coming with right now as far as the direction as the production. Me, myself, I'm just rising to the occasion and challenges. I'm feeling good about everything, and March 24, Deeper Than Rap is shattering the game and shattering anything you could be thinking about other than number ones and doing big things."