As an original member of Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group, Bronx rapper Torch has seen the empire build from the ground up. It was Torch along with Miami rhyme slingers Gunplay and Young Breed who joined Ross as part of the first MMG rap collective, Carol City Cartel, better known as Triple C’s. The crew released the not so well received 2009 debut Custom Cars & Cycles before Ross strengthened his star power last year with the new wave of Maybach Music talent — Meek Mill, Wale and Stalley — on the critically acclaimed Self Made Vol. 1 compilation album.
The current success of the new MMG roster could easily breed envy from the O.G.’s of the set, but Torch tells BET.com that is so far from the case.
“Ain't no hate going on,” the 29-year-old spitta asserts as he references his current mixtape U.F.O. (Underestimated, Forgotten & Overlooked) Vol. 2, which features the posse cut "Slow Down" as proof of the camaraderie between the two Double-M regimes. “As you can tell from my project every time I reach out my brothers show love.”
With Meek Mill, Wale and Stalley all playing a role on U.F.O. Vol. 2, and Gunplay joining Ross, Wale and Meek Mill on the MMG remix to Future’s “Same Damn Time,” it’s quite evident that the crew is moving in unison.
"When you add talent to the roster it makes the current talent step their game up a little bit more,” Torch adds. “You can either be a superstar on a team that gets no wins or you can be a role player on a team that wins multiple championships."
That line of thinking is something that comes natural for the street savvy MC, who puts loyalty before personal gain. It’s also the reason he’s been lurking on the outskirts of the limelight, fine tuning his new material to ensure his product outweighed the cynicism of critics who have only viewed his success as a direct result of standing next to the Bawse.
“We got certified talent on this side,” Torch says of his fellow Triple C’s cohorts. “Of course we're Ross's homeboys but I’ve written records that've charted in the top 20 for other artists. So when I hear the stigma that we're just Ross's homeboys it kind of rubs me the wrong way. But we’re here to destroy that whole label they try put on us. If people knew how much work I put in behind the scenes they wouldn't dare say something like that.”
Torch promises he’ll get to show and prove his worth on a number of the coming attractions from the MMG crew. One of those projects may very well be a new Triple C’s album, which Torch explains was held up by label politics at Def Jam Records.
"Def Jam was going through a transition period, but we about to turn it back up," says Torch. "That's why people haven't been seeing stuff from us [Triple C’s]. They are [management] trying to get that Def Jam situation lined up and straightened. There's a lot of yellow tape, but it's getting cleared up now."
Another much-anticipated album from the label that Torch has some insight on is Ross’s delayed LP God Forgives, I Don’t. According to Torch the project is nearing the final stages of completion.
"Oh it's definitely coming. It's coming soon," he teases. "Ross is definitely getting better; he never ceases to amaze me. He’s got some heavy joints on there. It's not done yet but from what I hear the records keep getting bigger and bigger."
Torch’s U.F.O. Vol. 2 is available online now.
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(Photo: Maybach Music Group)