Dreams & Nightmares
In a brief period, Rick Ross has been able to make an impact with his Maybach Music Group imprint and the signing of Philadelphia, PA's Meek Mill has been a major part of that. On his debut, Dreams & Nightmares, Mill juxtaposes his current situation with the not-so-distant realities of his difficult past. He taps Boi-1da for a pair of effective dark cuts: "Traumatized," where he talks about the anger he carries having lost his father during childhood, and "Tony Story Pt. 2," which brilliantly uses the percussive sound of windshield wipers on its gloomy instrumental, as Meek Mill flexes his storytelling chops to weave an engaging tragedy. On the brighter side, sacrilegious celebration "Amen" and the mission statement-charged title track explain why Meek Mill raps with such an impassioned sense of urgency. Rap has allowed him to abandon the destructive path he was on and he doesn't take that for granted for one second. Even though he comes off as a bit of a goon, Meek Mill's secret weapon is explaining the motivation and thought process of his eager persona. There's a hidden level of responsibility in his words, with Mill striking a balance between the glorification and the lamentation of his actions.
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