By Rob Markman
Mixtape Daily Main Pick
Headliners: Meek Mill And DJ Drama
Representing: Philadelphia, PA
Mixtape: Dream Chasers 2
Real Spit: Hard to imagine that anyone is still sleeping on Meek Mill these days, but don't think for a second that all his rap popularity came overnight. Meek made his name battling on the streets of his native Philadelphia, proved his in-studio worth with an impressive string of mixtapes, then Rick Ross came knocking in 2011, Maybach Music deal in hand. Some would say Meek Mill is living his dream, but if you let the Philly flame-spitter tell it, he's still chasing it.
On Monday (May 7), Meek dropped Dream Chasers 2, the follow-up to last year's critically acclaimed mixtape. "My city lacks dream chasers," Meek Milly told Mixtape Daily. "It's motivational, inspiring, my story, but this time, I'm just more loose with it. I've been seeing more things, been around the world a little bit more."
Though the MMG young gun has grown as an MC, the music on DC2 is just as edgy as its predecessor. On the tape's intro, Meek sets an aggressive tone, spitting, "I got 30 racks in my pocket, I keep 30 shots in my clip/ I get 30 racks for my verses, y'all ain't gettin' paper like this."
On the aggressively paced "Flexing," Meek once again links with "I'ma Boss" producer Jahlil Beats, and on "Everyday," he rides with his MMG boss Rick Ross over a menacing sound bed. While hard-granite rap is his strong point, Milly is no one-trick pony; he does venture out of the streets from time to time. For "Ready or Not," producer All Star conjures a beat based off the popular 1996 Fugees song of the same name. The subdued instrumental allows the young MC the space to get introspective. "It's a dark cloud over me, money took control of me/ I'm barely getting time to see my son and that sh-- hurtin' me/ Baby mama trippin', I tell her to work with me/ I'm on probation, still strapped, 'cause n---as wanna murder me."
"Use to Be" shows even more vulnerability. Over what sounds like a muted heartbeat with soft piano keys laid atop, the promising rap product opens up even more about his demons. "When I was young, I started plannin' it out/ My daddy got killed, I was the man of the house/ By the age of 16, man them hammers was out/ So when n---as tried to hit me, I'm just handin' 'em out."
"I'm just giving everybody my view of how I'm living and relating to other people's stories and bringing the part of the game that I need to bring to the game," Meek said of his intentions when recording the tape.
On Dream Chasers 2, Meek Mill surely serves his underground base but proves that he has a knack for making big records as well. It's a safe bet that "Amen" featuring Drake and Jeremih will become a radio mainstay at least until August 28, when he drops his debut album, Dreams and Nightmares. Still, there is no one record that can define Meek's latest work, and even if he's accomplished some of his goals, we're quite confident he'd just dream up a few more.
» "Intro." "I put the little [Mike] Tyson talking in front of it just to build up the energy, letting you know I'm gonna come strong."
» "Racked Up Shawty" (featuring Fabolous). "Me and Fab was just in the studio, buildin'. We was just chillin', he was out in L.A., I was out in L.A., we chillin' and I started vibin', came up with a hook, Fab came in, he put his verse together and that was that."
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