The former Maybach Music rappers are rekindling their musical relationship with “SHAQ & KOBE,” their first collaboration since Meek Mill’s 2018 album Championships.
This breathes new life into a defining hip-hop duo of the early 2010s. Famously, Rick Ross was one of the earliest major co-signs that Mill garnered, with the Florida mogul signing Meek to his first record deal under his Maybach Music imprint. Ross debuted his label’s roster with the collective album Self Made Vol. 1 in 2011, which brought arguably the two biggest singles in Meek & Ross’ discography together: “Tupac Back” and the gameday standard “Ima Boss.” Over the course of the three label compilations and both rappers’ solo projects, they’d release just shy of two dozen official collabs in that most prolific period of their shared history.
The Rappers Celebrate Their Mutual Legacy on “SHAQ & KOBE”
A shade over a decade later, we’re getting “SHAQ & KOBE,” a single whose title confirms that the artists share the same rosy perspective on those days. In fact, the first thing we hear on the track is the full smattering of “Maybach Music” vocal samples that led to nearly all of those earlier singles. The music video only emphasizes the successes they shared. Most of it comes in an airplane hangar, fit with a fleet of luxury cars and an MMG-branded private jet.
The sports legends alluded to in the title aren’t just for show, either. The competitive streak that Shaq & Kobe were famous for is matched by Meek and Ross’ performances, where they sound hungrier than anything they’ve released in quite some time. The Philly MC can never be comfortably called lowkey, but with bold lines like “I never thought I’d make the Forbes before I made the news” and “jumpin’ out the chopper to the yacht off the gold coast,” his verse is fittingly larger-than-life. The same is true for Rick Ross’ contributions. Already known for lavish imagery throughout his career, he serves more of it up here. He brags about “Calamari in California,” and “a pool in Paris in a bungalow,” making sure to note that all of those luxuries “came [from] minimum wage.”
A New Chapter in a Storied History
For those who have paid attention to the headlines over the years, you’d know that this celebratory moment wasn’t always a given. Meek Mill & Rick Ross’ relationship, for all its highs, has come with some lows. Most notably, Mill voiced his dissatisfaction with the revenue sharing laid out in his label deal, and given how Ross puts his mogul status front and center, it was hard to not draw a direct conflict between them. They officially peaced it up on stage late in 2022, but this track is the fullest confirmation that the two are back in each other’s good graces.
Further, alongside this single came news that more music is around the corner. The MMG artists plan to release a joint project, titled Too Good To Be True, “ASAP” though they haven’t announced an official date. For now, the duo seems to be launching a full promo effort. They sat down with radio host Ebro Darden for an interview that aired Friday—which you can find on Apple Music radio.