In 2011 Rolling Stone declared Meek Mill “one of rap’s few voices for the everyman… adding that “(his) penchant for huge hooks and distinct punch lines has put (Mill) in the same circles as rap’s current hit makers.” On the strength of two critically acclaimed underground releases the 25-year-old rapper has been lauded as a mixtape messiah and hip hop’s first social media superstar. In fact Meek’s fan base is so dedicated that this past May his mixtape Dreamchasers 2 clocked nearly 3 million downloads and streamed over 700k times in its first 48 hours of release, repeatedly crashing its host’s servers. Add to the equation a string of high profile guest spots, the smash “Ima Boss”, touring with Drake, Waka Flocka Flame, J. Cole, 2 Chainz and French Montana and the support of Rick Ross and it’s no wonder why Meek Mill’s debut Dream & Nightmares (Maybach Music/Warner Bros.) is one of the year’s most anticipated CD’s.
There’s no denying Meek’s passion. He’s had it since he was a kid coming up in North Philly; a neighborhood as known for rappers like Beenie Siegel and Freeway, as its systemic violence. After losing a street battle at the age of 12, Meek decided to step up his game and formed BloodHoundz. The group was short-lived but Meek didn’t sit still for long. He kept grinding and emerged as his hometown’s biggest underground rapper. In 2007, a still teenage Meek came through with the first installment of his Flamerz mixtape series, which produced the hit “In My Bag.” The song kicked off what would become Meek’s bid for street dominance but he was derailed when in 2008 he was arrested on gun charges and served 8 months. The time away gave him a new purpose and upon release Meek dropped 5 mixtapes within 12 months knowing that he didn’t have the time to waste time.
Meek’s mix of ruminations on his hard knock life, street bangers and clever wordplay made its way to rap’s A-Lister Rick Ross who was looking to create a label. Meek signed with Ricky Rozay’s Maybach Music Group (MMG) in 11 and contributed two massive radio hits to MMG Presents: Self Made, Vol. 1: the intense “Tupac Back” and the anthem “Ima Boss”, whose remix boasted Jay-Z, Diddy, Birdman and Swizz Beatz. Not shabby company for the new kid.
As smart as is skilled Meek rode his shine with 2011’s mix tape Dreamchasers which earned its place on XXL Magazine’s “Top 5 Mix tapes of 2011” (#2), RapRadar.com (#1), and MTV who also placed the rapper at #7 in their Hottest MC list despite not having released an official album. Dreamchasers 2 came next; all of which set the stage for Dream & Nightmares which is slated for a release on October 30th.
Asked what he’s bringing and Meek replies “my hunger. I gotta get it, you can hear it…I’m trying to get in now.” Dreams & Nightmares shows he’s arrived.