Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers 4 – A Review
Meek Mill makes me feel like a person who believes in a kid with tons of potential. A person who wants the kid to succeed and shine as much as possible, but the kid keeps making horrible choices, which leaves the person disappointed again and again.
To most people, Meek Mill's that rapper dude who's dating Nicki Minaj and the object of Drake's diss track "Back 2 Back". Due to that beef, Meek was the butt of every joke for a while and his career didn't look as promising as it once was.
To rap fans, Meek was that skinny dude with the cornrows rapping in them videos way back when. He was that kid with the heart of a lion who rapped with a hunger we hadn't seen for a long time. In February 2011, when Meek signed with Rick Ross's MMG (Maybach Music Group) label, most of us thought "Oh, shit! This is going to be crazy." Meek was a star on the rise as he graced the 2011 XXL Freshman cover along with Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., YG and Mac Miller to name a few.
Oh and Lil B was on the cover too (don't want to get that Lil B curse).
At the time, everything was looking good for Meek. He was featured on the MMG compilation albums, he was dropping mixtapes here and there, and people were highly anticipating his first studio album Dreams and Nightmares. The album was released in 2012 and it was cool. It was certified gold (due to the hit single "Amen" featuring Drake), but people wanted more from Meek. However, in 2014, Meek went to jail for violating his probation and was out of commission for just under four months.
In 2015, shit hit the fan when his second studio album, Dreams Worth More Than Money – another certified Gold album – dropped. Meek was upset that fellow artists Drake and Wale weren't promoting his album enough. As a result, Meek called out Drake for not writing his own raps, which later created the most talked about rap beef in recent years. As far as rap beefs went, it was pretty tame. Meek lost because he threw punches that didn't land, whereas Drake hit him where there was no defense.
Since then, Meek has kinda tried to keep his head down and work on his music. That is until The Game dissed him on "92 Bars", which then led to Meek beefing with Game and, surprisingly, fellow Philly rapper and OG, Beanie Sigel. Meek addressed all those topics on Taxstone's podcast recently.
I mean one could say that this was all publicity for Meek's new album, but let Mack tell it, this shit is deeper than rap. Anyway, Dreamchasers 4 came out last Friday, and a few Meek fans were going crazy, tweeting shit like "Meek Back!"
So before I got too hyped up for a "comeback", I got the album and gave it a listen. First off, I like to give Meek some much deserved credit. When rappers get in relationships, their music tends to change (Mac Miller's The Divine Feminine) or suffer for it (Tyga's The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty), but Meek stayed true to the style that got him to his level. Credit where it's due.
Here are the highlights.
On the Regular
On the first track of the album to set the tone, Meek samples some classical music (Carmina Burana) and gets back on his bullshit by spitting rhymes like we know he can. He shines on tracks with hard beats and a fast-paced tempo.
This is a good track. Classic Meek.
Litty (featuring Tory Lanez)
Slower paced than the previous track, but Meek still does his thing on this song. Tory Lanez steals the spotlight, but the collaboration works really well here.
Froze (featuring Lil Uzi Vert and Nicki Minaj)
Another head banger.
Fellow Philly rapper, Lil Uzi Vert, sings the hook on the track and provides some levity to this banger with his vocals. As far as Nicki's concerned, she's never been a great lyricist, and I don't really see what she brings to this track, but her name alone will generate some album sales. That's how the game works.
Outro (featuring Lil Snupe and French Montana)
For all of you who believe that the Dreams and Nightmares intro is the best Meek Mill track you've ever heard (I feel you), you'll like this song as well. It may not be better than the intro, but it's pretty damn close.
There is no song that is crazy bad on this album. Each track is decent in it's own way, but Meek Mill is not the most versatile artist. There is a limit to how many screaming Meek tracks fans can endure. Meek knows that, so he tries to switch it up with mellow tracks like "Blue Notes" and "Two Wrongs", but they don't really fit his rapping style. I don't think he should change his flow if it doesn't feel comfortable, but it doesn't work well for him.
Also, there's the lyrical content. He raps a lot about gangster shit, money and materialistic things – you know, usual rap shit.
However, a lot of the time, I'm left wondering what the fuck he's even saying. You know how sometimes rap fans become interpreters for non-rap fans who want to know more about what you're making them listen to? In a situation where Meek is playing, it'd be hard for me to explain what he means half the time.
Is Meek back? The boy never left. He just got back to making music, which is what he's supposed to do.
Dreamchasers 4 may be his best studio album yet, but I still think he can do better. As a hip-hop artist, I feel he has yet to explore the range of his abilities. Maybe I'm reading too much into what he's capable of. Maybe Meek is a one-dimensional rapper who can only spit that hungry flow on every track and that's it. If so, he may be headed into that 50 Cent route where fans get fed up with the gangster shit. We know rappers have money, so talking about how they're on their gangster shit on every beat is annoying because
1. It may no longer be true.
2. If it is, it just stupid. You have all this money, but you still want to rob and kill people? Why?
Anyway, I don't know. I hope Meek has more to give. I'll keep hope alive on that one.
As far as Meek fans go, you guys will be satisfied with this album.
written by Joe Renegade