After nearly a decade on the hip-hop scene, Maybach Music Group chief Rick Ross has staked his claim as THE Bawse (and if you don’t believe us, just ask GQ). After releasing a couple of singles late last year (No Games featuring Future and War Ready featuring Jeezy), Ross dropped his sixth studio album, Mastermind, just yesterday — a feat he celebrated live with Hip-Hop Nation.

Chatting with hosts DJs Scream and Steel, Ross delved into what inspired him to work with the album’s executive producers (Gucci Pucci, Diddy, and DJ Khaled), why he opted to infuse Mastermind with ’90s influences, and what led him to rework Notorious B.I.G.’s You’re Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You).

“I feel like bosses lead by example, ya undadig?” said Ross on working with Khaled and Diddy. “…I feel good bringing my brothers to the table. They’ve been grinding with me the whole time, so [I thought], ‘Let’s take it to the next level. Let’s make my brother co-executive producer. Gucci Pucci, co-executive producer. Diddy, co-executive producer. I think it’s good when you’re in the position to give credit where it’s due.”

DJ Khaled, who was also on hand to discuss Mastermind, added his two cents: “I feel good. [Ross and I] have been down from day one. It’s a blessing to get the credit, but this is a team. That’s how we always did it. We’re a family. It’s a team. The goal was always to make great music for the people and ourselves.”

Rozay later commented on Mastermind’s ’90s vibe, which Hip-Hop Nation pointed out sounds reminiscent of classic acts like Souls of Mischief, The Notorious B.I.G., and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. “One of the vibes I wanted to give [Mastermind] — without making it too obvious — was to give it a mid-’90s feel. That’s where Diddy comes in, mixing it. I think that really switched the speed up.”

And speaking of Biggie, why did Rozay opt to remake Nobody? “We all know BIG as the greatest, ya undadig? I just wanted to pour my vibe on it. Before I released it, I got the love from D-Roc (the Executioner), which is BIG’s right-hand man. Just to make sure. And he could’ve told me to chill on it. But he said, go ahead, it’s all good.”

Check out the rest of Rick Ross’ album release party interview below.

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