Rick Ross @ Gramercy Theatre

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images

Maybach Music is nothing if not ambitious with their marketing plan. On Sept. 17th, they presented a live-streaming, cross-city secret show Self Made 3: The Live Experience to promote the new compilation. The three stars on the roster, Wale, Meek Mill and Ricky Rozay himself would all perform in one night in three different places to only the most devoted fans.

The idea was that each one would live-stream to the other venues. So, Wale in DC would show up on a big screen in NYC as the opener. Well, that was the idea anyway. I’m not sure what happened, but at the NYC show at the Gramercy Theatre there was no such live-streaming.

I was pretty disappointed to miss Meek Mill – not because he has such amazing songs, but because I just knew he was going to talk a lot of shit about Kendrick Lamar. Shots were fired as I predicted, and I was forced to turn to Twitter to watch it unfold in real time.

Besides for the gossip moments, the NYC show was the place to be. The crowd was almost entirely radio contest winners – mega fans – and girls who ready to turn up. Perfect scenario besides for the $14 drinks.

After a typically choppy but effective set by Funkmaster Flex, Rick Ross took the stage in a all-white jump suit. He promptly unzipped it, revealing both a giant belly and two giant chains. The Boss for sure. The most surprising thing was his live band. All his songs got the full treatment with live drums, various added percussion and driving electric guitar.

I was expecting all songs off Self Made 3, and he did start with “No Games”. But then, he went into all the greatest hits, even songs he just has a verse on. “FuckwithmeyouknowIgotit”, “Stay Scheming” “BMF” and my personal favorite “Hustlin’.” it was a stream of hits and this crowd was rapping along every word. The live band added a whole new level to the beats. The new bass line and heavy synth on “BMF was especially impressive.

Ross ended the night with “Bugatti” which turned everything to a new level. Once again, live guitars changed the whole feel of this hit.

After Ross, some of the MMG crew came out to do “Bout that Life”. Like any good street anthem, people got wild. A little too wild. A giant fight broke out in the front and as security did literally nothing. One guy took off his belt and started whipping the other dude.

After that show-within-the-show, most people left. MMG young up-and-comers performed for about another 45 minutes to the small crowd.

The highlight was definitely the live band treatment, and we can only hope Rick Ross takes the live sound out on tour with him this fall.

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