As fate would have it, Meek Mill’s debut album, Dreams & Nightmares, hit record stores on the same morning that superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, disrupting the lives of millions of people and causing extensive damage.
There’s no way of quantifying how the storm has affected the “Ima Boss” MC’s album sales, but the rapper (born Robert Williams) told MTV News he’s not worried about it at all, considering that his mentor and friend, Jay-Z, went through a similar situation when he released his sixth solo album, The Blueprint, on September 11, 2001.
“Yeah, it’ll affect it a little bit … but I ain’t really trippin’ on the first week, man,” Meek told MTV News on Wednesday (October 31). “My album will sustain itself just like my mixtapes. I continued to rap all year long. I toured on mixtapes that been put out almost a year ago, two years ago, you know, it really shouldn’t be a problem. It’s kinda damaging for the first two days, but luckily we got iTunes, and when stores open up today or tomorrow, we’ll get back on track.”
Despite the gravity of the 9/11 attacks, Hov went on to sell more than 420,000 copies in his first week. Meek Mill is set to accomplish a comparable feat, as early reports indicate that the Philly phenom is projected to move more than 175,000 units of his much-anticipated Maybach/Warner Bros. release, putting him in prime position to debut at #1 on the Billboard albums chart.
“I don’t really know what the final numbers will be. I ain’t God, so I can’t predict,” Meek said. “I never had an album before. I don’t know what range it could be in or how it could go, but I’ll just hope for the best, like I always do.”
Thus far, the 14-track project, which features appearances by Rick Ross, Nas, Wale, Drake, Kirko Bangz, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Trey Songz, has been well-received by fans, who have had to sustain themselves with the Dreamchasers mixtape series and features from the Maybach Music Group rookie while the album saw a handful of delays.
“I’m very proud of the album,” Meek told MTV News. “I worked hard for a long time. I been killing mixtapes for a minute, you know, so it’s good to finally be on that album zone right now. Songs that mean the most to me are ’Who You’re Around,’ that talk about some of the more dramatic moments of my life and things that took place in my life. I mean, it’s all about it. That’s one of my favorites.”
Unfortunately for fans, a rumored Jay-Z verse was left on the cutting-room floor and may or may not see the light of day.
“I don’t know, you know, that’s up to him if it’ll see the light of day,” Meek told MTV News. “I ain’t tripping on a verse or anything like that. That’s up to him. What can I tell you about the verse is, it ain’t on Dreams & Nightmares.”
Some critics aren’t giving the 25-year-old spitter’s record the just due he feels it deserves. But as he so matter-of-factly stated, he’s not doing it for them, he’s doing it for the fans.
“I don’t really try to focus on what critics say, man,” Meek said. “The worst thing that critics said is [that] I have a long way to go. I just do what I do for my fans and keep my fans comfortable and happy and just vibe from there. And try to do it for my fans so they tell somebody and they tell somebody and keep building my fanbase. I’m hearing that it’s a great album, man. A classic album. They saying they digging every song on it and they love it.”
When asked if he thinks his album will reach that elusive classic status, the MMG capo kept it short and sweet: “Yeah, of course. Of course.”