I love Meek Mill. This is kind of an outlier in terms of new rap music I like, because he’s not ‘subverting’ anything particularly, his flow’s not that weird, and he generally raps about the sort of stuff your friend who likes Common hates to hear people rap about. He’s got one gear. It’s the top gear, and it’s in an expensive car driving around Philadelphia so kids know he’s rich now. I like that though.
In 2008, Mill had several mixtapes out that had blown up within Philadelphia, and T.I. offered him a deal. Then, poetically, he got arrested and did seven months in jail. Despite T.I.’s own penchant for getting sent to jail when he’s supposed to be doing albums, that was the end of that. But, as Gucci says on Heavy, Meek “got a second chance like Meek in Philly” (yeah it was that specific). Mixtapes kept coming and features started to roll in.
Last year he put out Mr. Philadelphia. It’s interesting that Mill was the de facto king of Philadelphia without a deal. But unless you count Freeway and Beanie Siegel, Mill’s the most self-confident, independently popular Philadelphia straight-up rapper since the Golden Age. He had songs, thanks to Jahlil, and he can rap well and in a recognisable way.
Rick Ross noticed and recruited him for Maybach Music Group along with Pill, Teedra Moses and the direct opposite of Meek Mill in terms of street respect vs. label push, Wale. The Maybach album’s got ups and downs (mostly downs), but all the highlights that don’t just consist of Rick Ross saying “huuuph” or “bawse” are Mill, whose also on the two best tracks, almost as if Ross noticed who his best rapper was and decided to give him the best chance to blow up.
Jahlil was ditched and even got into a small twitter beef with Mill, which is sad, but Meek’s a young(ish) rapper who had a very drawn out trajectory to his first proper exposure, which just gave him more time to get better, and he hasn’t fallen off yet. Also I think he and Ross implied that he was the new Tupac, which is something.
I’ll leave you with a quote from an MMG interview that Noz linked to a while ago:
What is the goal for MMG?
Meek: Being rich forever.
Pill: Affecting the culture man.