In an environment as superficial and generic as the popular music scene has become, it is refreshing to find artists who don’t care how others perceive them. In his new album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, Meek Mill fully embodies that attitude. He makes music the way he’s always made it: without conforming to the industry’s pressures or even to the constraints of grammar.
There is an established formula to a typical Meek Mill song: shouting, a well-produced, heavy beat, and catchy lyrics that advocate for violence, wealth, drug-dealing, and the objectification of women. Add a few other Maybach Music rappers and artists, such as Rick Ross and Paloma Ford, and you may expect to have heard all that Meek has to offer. But on this new album Meek Mill pushes his repertoire, infusing his music with a personal connection to the material that goes beyond the expected elements of the genre.
On tracks like “Stuntin’” and “Am I Wrong,” the rapper fills his lyrics with anecdotes from his childhood in Philadelphia. The album’s first single, “Off The Corner,” is Mill’s coming-of-age tale. Through his earnest lyrics confessing he “graduated from the streets, no diploma” and that he “made a million on that corner,” Meek Mill explains his reasons for “mixing that pedico with baking soda,” and reveals the luxuries that accompany a life of organized crime.
Albeit repetitive, the album is hard-hitting, with enough bass-heavy songs for the listener to forgive the lack of lyrical substance. The album isn’t a space for the listeners’ reflection, but for the rapper’s raw energy, as he muses over his career and personal struggles. When he asks “How you like me now?” on the track “I Like It,” he doesn’t want an answer: he cares as much about that as the Corp cares about the quality of their coffee.
Voice’s Choices: Off The Corner, Stuntin