Three years after releasing his debut album Dreams and Nightmares, Philly-native rapper Meek Mill comes back to the rap game with something bigger and better. His sophomore album titled Dreams Worth More Than Money (shortened DWMTM) released on iTunes Sunday night, a few hours earlier than anticipated. Fans frantically searched the web for an album link and purchased the album in a heartbeat. Avoiding the infamous sophomore slump, Meek saved some of his best work for the main event. A project chock-full with A-list features, DWMTM shines a bright light on the rap game.
Starting off the album with the Mozart sampled intro “Lord Knows,” Meek sets the bar for the project by telling his listeners that he is making a comeback that no one was ready for. The hard-hitting beat with Tory Lanez voice on the hook makes for the perfect start. Swizz Beatz makes a comeback in “Classic” with the song itself following a jazzy motif and Jeremih’s subtle addition fitting perfectly.
Everyone wants to work with Future these days; Meek Mill was no exception with his appearance on “Jump Out the Face.” As expected, there are heavy, pounding beats making the track a crowd favorite. However, “All Eyes On You,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown is probably the best example of a radio ready track that we will see on the Billboard Top 100 for weeks to come. And from their performance at the 2015 BET Awards, Minaj and Meek aren’t scared to put their relationship out there for the world to see. I’m all for Meecki babies, get it?
“The Trillest” is one of the realest tracks off DWMTM. It addresses his early start, the type of image he has set for kids listening to his music, his struggles and his triumphant return with the album. He rose above all of the negatives and haters in his life to make his much anticipated return. Moving right along, Drake makes a monumental appearance on “R.I.C.O.” in a very unorthodox styled beat and is a clear highlight of the project. In case you were curious, R.I.C.O. stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law that punishes acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. Looking at Meek and Drake’s flashy lifestyles, they might catch the attention of the federal authorities and be indicted under the RICO Act. Clever, right?
Approaching the halfway mark of the album, “I Got the Juice” captures Meek’s essence, but it feels like filler that could be thrown on any project rather than contribute anything to the higher concept. Paying homage to late rapper Tupac, “Ambitionz” plays on the obvious subject of money that resonates throughout the album. Whether it’s spending it, having dreams of making it or money being the root of evil, Mill explores every aspect of currency possible. Sprinkling a little XO on DWMTM, The Weeknd shines once again. “Pullin Up” is a song about being the guy who deserves the woman and exercises his monetary muscle to draw her in. With a slower yet catchy beat for Meek’s style, this track inched its way to the top of my favorite tracks of the entire album.
Meek Mill’s single “Check” follows “Pullin Up” to bring the high-paced intensity back into the album. Rick Ross might be away right now but his presence is definitely felt on “Been That.” It’s the bossed up style track that keeps DWMTM in motion. The MMG collaboration is really nice to see on what could be one of Meek’s best projects yet. Even though Nicki Minaj’s critics have been slightly harsh and bold this year, “Bad For You” is the perfect track through which her and Meek can address their now very public relationship. They may never be Jay-Z and Beyonce, but raps new power couple shows that perhaps they do have something to say.
“Stand Up” and “Cold Hearted” round out the 14-track album. “Cold Hearted” features Diddy who put on a huge Bad Boy reunion performance for the label’s 20th anniversary at the BET Awards, the evening before the release of DWMTM. The nearly seven minute long track ends the album on a somber note where even Diddy appears to be filled with emotion as he speaks about money.
Dreams Worth More Than Money will be a pleasant surprise for Meek Mill’s fans and listeners. Although he has hits, the mix of street styles and mainstream artists provides great replay value and keeps listeners on their toes. The careful beat selection from executive producer Rick Ross, combined with Meek Mill’s clever punchlines, certainly sets this album to be a “Classic” in the making.
By Rupal Mehta