Because Meek Mill is known for his aggressive, yelling style of rap, this review will be typed in all caps and is to be read in Meek’s voice.
The summer of 2015 saw Meek Mill become the poster child for taking “L’s”. After calling out Drake for using a ghostwriter, Meek essentially gave birth to the Meme and GIF culture we know and love today.
The Drake beef overshadowed the release of a solid sophomore album in Dreams Worth More Than Money, and now two years later, the Philly MC and MMG signee has bounced back from the infamous feud to clearly define what a loss is on his third album Wins & Losses.
Wins & Losses highlights a growth and maturity from Meek that was missing from his previous projects. He’s even stopped rapping about Rollies. Kinda. Though we still get the flaunting Boss style rap, it’s perfectly balanced by honest flows about the loss of Lil Snupe, hiding the scars of fame, and the daily challenges faced by the Black youth of America.
After a quick speech from motivational speaker Eric Thomas, Meek’s trend for high energy intro tracks continues with the album’s title track. Produced by Dream Chaser producer Papamitrou, “Wins & Losses” sets the tone for the rest of the album with Meek rapping the journey from eating oodles and noodles to lobster. On “Heavy Heart”, Meek opens up about the shadiness of the streets and the music business on the opening verse when he raps,
“Seen so many people crossed me, don’t know where to start”.
Meek’s braggadocious flow returns when he connects with up and coming rapper Lil Uzi Vert on “F*ck That Check Up”. Over high energy production, the two Philly rappers boast about their fast paced, high end lifestyle. Next up is another dope collaboration with Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign on the Tony! Toni! Tone! sampled “Whatever You Need”.
Starting with “1942 Flows”, Meek uses the next chunk of the album to set the record straight on what he deems as an “L”. On the aforementioned track, Meek opens up about his journey from the streets to being one of the top rappers in the game. On the Young Thug assisted “We Ball”, Meek speaks on the death of Lil Snupe and the ill effects of street life. “These Scars”, the album’s eighth track, finds Meek teaming up with Future and Gourdan Banks who delivers a soulful hook about buying Wraiths and jewelry to hide the scars of fame. It is here where we see some growth in Meek as he talks about buying more properties instead of Rollies.
The second half of Wins & Losses brings in some big name features. Meek’s tour-mate Yo Gotti joins him and MMG head honcho Rick Ross on “Connect The Dots” and Hip Hop’s hook Gawd Quavo gives Steve from Blue’s Clue’s a shoutout on “Ball Player”. I have to give huge props to Teyana Taylor who absolutely bodied her feature alongside Rick Ross on “Made It From Nothing”.
The track that truly embodies this new and mature Meek is “Young Black America” featuring The Dream. Using his past as a guide, Meek samples Jay-Z’s “Mamma Love Me” to illustrate the dangers and tragic endings of living the street life. He compares the youth killing each other in the street to the Klan killing Blacks. Speaking as an OG, Meek dishes out some stern advice. None better than the last line of the first verse.
“They told you to hustle, them niggas don’t love you”.
Whether he’s flexing on “Glow Up”, or talking to the ladies on “Fall Thru”, Meek delivers a solid album from top to bottom. He’s at his best when he’s able to talk his shit over high energy, heavy bass, bounce production. Dj Mustard, Papamitrou, Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E., and a slew of other producers all delivered beats that compliment Meek’s style and assist with the overall theme of the album.
Wins & Losses >>> More Life
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