By Paul Cantor
Rick Ross finally has a garage to park his Maybach in. Maybach Music group, that is. The new home for his boutique record label- which counts Wale and rising Philadelphia-bred talent Meek Millz, among others, on his talent roster- is Warner Music Group. He announced the deal via Twitter on Saturday (February 19th. “Its official!!!!!! @maybachmusicgrp has partnered with Warner Bros!!!!!!!!!!!s/o Lyor Cohen..Tod..Joey I.e..dallas..and mybrother GucciPucci,” he wrote.
“We were drawn to Ross’ hustle. He’s an entrepreneur like we are,” said Warner Bros Co-President/CEO Todd Moscowitz, in a statement given to VIBE magazine today “We built our company from the ground up and that’s exactly what he did. Ross stands for something.”
Ross still owes one solo album (God Forgives, I Don’t, due later this year) on his current deal with Def Jam Records. Though details of the past relationship between Maybach Music Group and Def Jam are sketchy, the label did, in fact, release the first MMG project from the label- Custom Cars & Cycles, by the Ross-helmed group, Triple C’s- back in October of 2009.
But that’s in the past, and Warner Brothers is the new home for MMG. The signing puts to rest months of speculation that he would be aligning with either Bad Boy/Interscope or Cash Money/Universal. In what might wind up being the biggest coup of his career, he avoided partnering with another artist’s vanity imprint and like a true hustler, hooked up with one of the four major labels directly.
“Ross is a magnate, a lightning rod,”Moscowitz continued. “It’s so obvious that he’s focused on building an empire. He’s a brand builder and we’ve had more success than anyone at supporting that. It’s so much bigger than an artist thing. It’s about our partnership in building something enduring and we’re backing Ross’ vision, all the way and giving him the resources and backing to do it.”