Meek Mill follows up his immense mix-tape success with the release of his debut album “Dreams and Nightmares.” Philadelphia native Meek Mill has been gaining steam with the influence of the Maybach Music Group behind him. With the connections of Rick Ross, Meek is presented with unlimited resources for the album. This results in an impressive list of features, as well as excellent production.
“Dreams and Nightmares” starts on an unbelievable high with the title track. The track displays the Meek Mill that has made his place as one of the hottest new MC’s. Meek follows the lead he sets for himself with track “In God We Trust.” Meek uses these tracks to paint his uncensored view of the streets as he experienced them.
The single “Young & Getting It” shows a catchier version of Meek. He dabbles with auto-tune in this song, thankfully at a minimum. Meek slows down the pace of the album with “Traumatized.” This track is not what it seems at first listen. Meek discusses issues with parental abandonment, the betrayal of friends and his motivation. Before the listener can settle into this pace, “Believe It” flips it on its ear. The track is reminiscent of countless Rick Ross tracks that Meek enlists for the chorus.
Meek takes a big turn with “Maybach Curtains.” It features John Legend singing a chorus, which makes a perfect match for Meek Mill, Rick Ross and Nas’s verses. The album continues in this direction with the lead single “Amen.” This track has been a radio hit for months, showing off Meek’s ability to produce a summer hit. Though this track is a standout, the fact that it was released for free earlier in the year seems like double dipping.
Following this track Meek returns to another street anthem with “Young Kings.” Meek uses this track as a device to emphasize what his goals are; money and recognition. The album seems to be alternating between the many personalities of Meek Mill. Meek follows these two self-stylized tracks with “Lay Up,” an uncharacteristic song about his dream girl. Though this attempt is not a blaring success by Meek, it’s a nice step in widening his range.
“Tony Story Pt. 2” is a sequel to the song of the same title on “Dreamchasers,” Meek’s 2011 mixtape. The success of “Tony Story Pt. 1” was unexpected but the sequel fails where the first succeeded in showing a dark narrative that portrayed the real Philadelphia streets.
“Who Your Around” features Mary J. Blige, which falls over itself in repetition. The track is a light attempt at touching back on the subject of betrayal. Meek goes back to more aggressive style as the album comes to a close starting with “Polo & Shell Tops.” Meek addresses his needs for the glamour before he reached his success. “Rich & Famous” is another attempt by Meek to make a song focused on a pseudo perfect girl. This attempt succeeds where “Lay Up” could not, and offers a Meek Mill in his own element. The album closes with “Real Niggas Come First.” This track showcases the Meek Mill that fans have grown to love and expect.
This album brings the basics of Meek Mill to the masses. Meek’s effort to broaden his range is obvious on this album. Meek Mill holds no punches with this album. His honesty as well as his drive makes up for the lack of context in his lyrics. It could be debated that this is a pointless album, but Meek makes the streets appeal to the public and that is what sells.