Remember when Meek Mill dropped Dreamchasers 2? The year was 2012, the month was May and DatPiff servers were buckling under the weight of frenzied fans (2.5 million in the first 24 hours, to be exact) rushing to download the newest mixtape from one of the game’s hottest young rappers. Dreamchasers 2 went on to become the most popular mixtape of 2012 and spawned one of the biggest records of the year, “Amen,” featuring Drake (we’ll get to him later). If 2011 was his breakout year, then Dreamchasers 2 confirmed that Meek Mill was here to stay.
Fast forward four years and Meek Mill is still here — only he’s in a much different, stranger place. No longer a fledgling rap star feared by all, Robert Rihmeek Williams is a 29-year-old father-of-two who shares a bed with Nicki Minaj, got punked by Drake and is an endlessly frustrating human being.
We all know what happened last summer: Meek Mill called out Drake for using a ghostwriter, Drake hit back with “Charged Up” and “Back to Back,” and all Meek could muster up in response was “Wanna Know.” Throw in wildly different understandings of how the internet works, and Drake came out on top with a hit record full of lethal one-liners that caught fire on Twitter (“Is that a world tour or your girl’s tour?”), while Meek Mill caught feelings and went on Twitter. A win by knockout.
It’s not like Meek didn’t have a chance to hurt Drake, either. “Wanna Know” could — and should — have been an infinitely better diss track, and it didn’t help how the record dropped. Trolling everyone with a video of some guy screaming into the mic when Funk Flex was supposed to drop your diss track isn’t how you win a rap beef. Shit, Meek’s jab is harder than the bars on “Wanna Know.”
In a classic instance of Meek-Mill-doing-Meek-Mill-things, the Philly native then waited six whole months to finally hit back with a clinical punch — at which point the fight was all but over. In the time that Drake had turned him into a meme and put him on the OVO Fest screen for all — including Kanye West and Will Smith — to laugh at, Meek released “War Pain,” a bruising rebuttal that included factual jibes like, “robbed you in your city and you told.”
Polo Perks Is Building a Future From Pieces of the Past
We talk to the Surf Gang artist about microdosing alternative music in his raps.
This was the track that should have dropped after “Back to Back,” not “Wanna Know.” Unfortunately for Meek, “War Pain” was ultimately overshadowed by “Summer Sixteen,” the diss song Drake released a day earlier that became a Top 10 hit and kickstarted the VIEWS campaign that would dominate the 2016 campaign. Timing is not Meek Mill’s strong suit.
Meek Mill and Drake’s beef has since cooled off, only occasionally heating back up with a few stray shots at live shows and subliminal lines on album cuts. But their highly publicized feud has very much set their respective careers on two different trajectories. While Drake has been busy topping charts, breaking records and touring the country, Meek spent 98 days on house arrest for violating his probation and has been posting snippets from his perpetually “upcoming” album DC4 nonstop. It’s easy to forget that before picking a fight with Drake, Meek Mill was the biggest street rapper in the game.
Continuing his drawn-out DC4 campaign, Meek shared a “draft” of the tracklisting for the project earlier this week. It was a handwritten note with zero guest features that Karen Civil posted on social media on his behalf (Meek refrains from using Twitter anymore, which might be the smartest decision he’s ever made). Unless your name is Kanye West, no one wants a scribbled tracklisting, bro. Besides, a quick Google search of “Meek Mill DC4 snippets” will quickly solve the mystery behind those guest features (spoiler: they include Tory Lanez, Don Q and Shy Glizzy).
I write all this to say: enough is enough. It’s time for Meek Mill to release DC4. This is the age of surprise albums and two-week promotional campaigns. Keep your 58 song snippets and “DC4 on the way!”s. We get it, the house arrest fucked up your plans this summer, but don’t let it fuck up your 2016. And especially don’t let that dude Drake fuck up your career. If he taught you anything, it’s that music wins.
So collect your best shit and release the damn album already — if not for us, then at least for yourself.
By Andy James. You can follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram