Meek Mill is the Maybach Music Group’s aggressive, energetic, rapid-fire MC, who embodies a youthful exuberance blended with the mentality of an O.G. On his first album “Dreams and Nightmares” he laid down one of the best intro-tracks of all time with the title track and was able to hit the airwaves with “Young and Gettin’ It”, “Amen” and even his bonus track with Big Sean “Burn.”
He was making a living getting featured on tracks with various artists and because of his energy was usually the highlight of a track. Recently Meek Mill has just been released from jail (for a parole violation) and has been seen publicly with his new girlfriend, the pop/rap star, Nicki Minaj.
Fans of Meek Mill expect this album to be a “step up” from what he has already accomplished – much like his peers J. Cole and Big Sean. The album opens with “Lord Knows” which openly sounds like a track trying to match the magic created on “Dreams and Nightmares.”
It doesn’t reach that level but it does create a comfortable atmosphere for most of the chaos that comes soon after. The song itself displays the confidence and hunger that is still in Meek Mill.
“Jump Out the Face” features Future, who pretty much takes over most of the duties on this track. It’s a typical “young man flossin’” track which is right in Future’s zone: “Jump out the Rari, jump out the Wraith/ Then I hop in the Margiela then hop in some Bape/ Then jump out the face, then jump out the face/Money’ gon’ stack and this money gon’ fall.” Drake makes an appearance on the track “R.I.C.O” which is given some clever production by Vinylz.
Drake handles his business opening the track but Meek fails to carry the load, while coming up through the rear. While Drake says things like : “I go make 50 million then I give some millions to my people / They gon’ go Tony Montana and cop them some Shaq at the free throws,” Meek has more of a lack-luster effort with: “I’m back on that hood sh*t / Ya that wish you would sh*t/I’m talking that cross you that fade you fourth quarter like Jordan we back on that bullsh*t.”
The issue with Meek Mill is that he’s a one trick pony. His delivery is the same on every track and the content of his lyrics are repetitive. On what is guessed to be an apparent tribute to 2Pac is the song “Ambitionz” where Meek struggles keeping cadence with a slowed down version of the original.
The Weeknd is featured on the track “Pullin’ Up” where Meek plays the role of a “brazen playa” telling a girl to make sure her man stays in the house when he pulls up to her place to pick her up.
It’s easy to see why Nicki Minaj fell for the “sweet talking” Meek with lines like: “Pull up on ya, put it on ya/ F*ck you in the car, if he lookin’ for ya/Seen you with your man and said “What up” to ya.” The hook provided by The Weeknd has a very similar melody to the hook of his own hit record “Earned It,” – so it’s a lazy effort from The Weeknd to say the least.
The love affair between Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill are put to the test in the form of music as the two collaborate twice on the album. “Bad For You” with Nicki on the hook and Meek handling verses, they give a glimpse into the start of their relationship: “Wanted that for a long time/ cool with it I get it though/First year we both fronted and we had feelings we didn’t show. . . We just f*cking up the city, going hard every night / N*gg@s hatin’ on us, you know lord they ain’t right.”
Meek handles things well here but the track itself is just a snoozer.
It doesn’t get much better for the Nicki and Meek collaborations as they are joined by Chris Brown, who (much like The Weeknd earlier. . .) sounds like he’s sung a hook a million times before. The funny thing about this song is that although in their relationship they might have all the chemistry in the world, it just doesn’t come off that way musically.
It’s not all bad for Meek Milly on this album though. The Danja produced “Stand Up” gives a Miami Vice kind of feel to it and Meek rides this beat with his trademark flow better than he does throughout the album.
Meek Mill pulls off the auto-tuned hook nicely and hits with insightful lines like: “Don’t be selfish young n*gg@, just man up, don’t give the fam up / Facin’ 20 years when they added the grams up / Plus 5 more, he got booked with a handgun/And now he in the courtroom, givin’ his mans up. . .” The piano keys on classic, hit with what sounds like out of tune drums from a live jazz session set the tone on “Classic,” produced by Bangladesh.
This track finds Meek Mill at his best with wordplay and humor: “Make a movie on your b*tch, Tell her friend to get a role / you thought she was innocent, we laughing like ‘she been a ho’ / Jumpin out the Benzos, meet yo b8tch in the friend zone/ She told you I was ‘friendzoned’ what? I’m in the endzone.”
Tracks like “Cold Hearted” and “The Trillest” are supposed to give us a more down to earth Meek Mill, but he can’t let go of that aggressive style at all which will ultimately hold him back.
Tracks like “Check” and “I Got the Juice” are lazy and seem to have found Meek stumped on the road to creativity. His energy definitely does not match the excitement of the listener after one disappointed listen. Hold on to Nicki young man, because the reviews you’ll read for this album will break your heart.
Rating 1.5 out of 5