Rick Ross hosts an Evening with Rick Ross at Neiman Marcus at Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, Florida on May 17th, 2022. (Photo by Manny Hernandez/Getty Images)

Rick Ross: The 'Maybach Music' Series, Ranked

Rick Ross: The 'Maybach Music' Series, Ranked

Published Wed, May 31, 2023 at 2:00 PM EDT

There are few rappers who do street opulence like Rick Ross, and even fewer with the musical ear he has. Ross isn't just famously great at choosing beats, he knows what do with the beats he picks – when to turn it up and get cinematic in his delivery, when to tone it down to a smooth rumble, when to hit the pocket and bounce along with his cadence.

One of the markers of his lengthy career has undoubtedly been his "Maybach Music" series. The songs have been featured on his albums since 2008's Trilla, and have come to signify most of the characteristics that make Ross great – his insight on when to turn down so other artists can shine, his subtle world-building skills so that you feel like your transported to whatever luxury palm-tree lined streets he's cruising, and his aforementioned ability to choose tracks that only build upon those elements.

From Lil Wayne and Jay-Z, to Erykah Badu and John Legend, the features on the "Maybach Music" series have only added to its allure. We've ranked them below.

#6 - "Maybach Music" featuring Jay-Z (Trilla)

The first installment of the series was more gravelly than subsequent installments, where J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League played with sweeping, soulful instrumentation that became cinematic. Still, it laid the groundwork for what it'd become, namely because of Jay-Z's presence and the wealthy energy both rappers embodied on the track.

# 5 “Maybach Music V” featuring Dej Loaf - Rather You Than Me

Beat Butch and Buda Grandz handled production on one of the mellowest installments in the series. The airy vibe was highlighted by Dej Loaf's vocals, both on the hook and by her showing on the first verse. Despite his big presence, Ross has never had a problem laying back and letting other artists shine on his track, and he does so here.

#4 - "Maybach Music VI" featuring John Legend, Lil Wayne - Port of Miami 2

Yes, Pusha T's verse was removed from the album version of the track because Ross didn't want to fuel the feud between him and Lil Wayne. Still, by the time the music breaks down to floating pianos, strings, and John Legend's bare vocals, you've already been transported, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E League once again holds court as among the most talented producers in Hip-Hop.

#3 - “Maybach Music IV” featuring Ne-Yo - God Forgives, I Don't

By this time, Ross was known for his work with some of the best R&B and soul singers in music — from Erykah Badu to John Legend. Here he teams with Ne-Yo for an offering that arguably elevated the "Maybach" series, at least in terms of the scope of production delivered by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Ross handles all the verses himself this go-around, which sets Ne-Yo up to shine on the hook and the bridge before the beat switches. The track closes with a butter bass line that Ne-Yo glides on perfectly (until L.A. Reid inexplicably shows up with a few head-scratching lines about being a boss).

# 2 - "Maybach Music II" featuring T-Pain, Kanye West, Lil Wayne - Deeper Than Rap

Deeper Than Rap is arguably album where Ross firmly establishes his sound, and "Maybach Music II" plays a big role in helping him set up the sound that he'd continue building his career upon. It's the "Maybach Music" that really defines the sound and scope of the series, the one that made it an event. With sweeping, cinematic production courtesy of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League that drips soulful opulence, everyone featured is in top form, from T-Pain's storytelling hook that manages to not be overpowering, to boastful, silky bars from Kanye West and Lil Wayne, and of course, Ross himself.

#1 - “Maybach Music III” featuring Erykah Badu, TI and Jadakiss - Teflon Don

Ross' tales of palm tree laden street opulence are at their best on this track, a strong contender for the best in the series. It opens with T.I. offering a satin smooth verse: "Historian architecture Victorian / Riding in the past like you're driving a DeLorean..." before he delivers a killer closer: "And for the record kid, my final question is/How your bitch gon' feel in that/When you two pull up next to this?" Jadakiss manages to smooth out the grit on his verse before the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League beat breaks beautifully and Ross closes with a verse where the bars don't matter as much as his ability to ride the beat. It crescendos into clouds of luxury, displaying one of Ross' greatest skills — his ability to lift listeners into the lavish vibes he sonically perfected.

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