I’d like to start this review off by not discussing the record just yet, but instead talking about the Meek Mill vs. Drake ghostwriter “beef.” I’ve stayed out of writing anything about the debate, but now that it’s winding down, and I’m reviewing Meek Mill’s new record, I’ll add my two cents:
First of all, it all stated on Twitter, which has somehow become the be-all end-all of celebrity feuds and heated hate arguments. Out of nowhere and for no particular reason, a month after the release of Dreams Worth More Than Money, Meek Mill takes to Twitter to ask people to stop comparing him to Drake (something I don’t know why anyone would ever do), and to secondly, call Drake out for not writing his own raps. It was apparently in response to people on Twitter criticizing Dreams Worth More Than Money, something I’m going to get to after this.
Drake responds, vaguely tweeting, “I signed up for greatness. This comes with it.” Meek then continues his Twitter rant, accusing Quentin Miller of being Drake’s ghostwriter. Everyone then looks closer at the liner notes of Drake’s last record If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late, and indeed spot Quentin Miller for writing credits, as Hot 97’s DJ Funkmaster Flex releases alleged reference tracks of “10 Bands,” with Miller rapping Drake’s lyrics.
Noah Shebib, Drake’s producer, becomes the first person to break the silence from the OVO camp saying that they had worked with Quentin Miller a bit on the last record briefly, that he’s mentioned in the liner notes so he can’t be considered a ghostwriter, and even going as far as to say, “No one is as talented as drake. It’s not worth my time. I need someone who understands song writing on a higher level… and even more ironic is that drake is maybe the most personal rapper ever. never has someone spoken about themselves or there (he used the wrong “their”) own perspective so vividly… ever.” Crazy, idiotic praise.
Quentin Miller then weighs in for the first time, acknowledging his work on Drake’s record, stating it was brief, and that he was honored; Drake is one of his idols. Drake takes his first response with a mellow diss track, “Charged Up,” saying things like, “I see ya’ll niggas having trouble goin’ gold/ Turning into some so and sos that no one knows,” and even talking about label mate and romantically involved with Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, saying, “Rumor has it I either fucked her or I never could/ But rumor has it has never done you niggas any good.” Meek Mill, unimpressed, tweets “Baby lotion soft. I can tell he wrote that one though.”
On Nicki’s The Pinkprint tour, he continues to hound Drake about ghostwriters, and that he didn’t write his verse for “R.I.C.O.,” the collaboration they had on Dreams Worth More Than Money, as well as a prank diss track tweet. Drake wastes no time waiting for Meek’s diss track response, and posts, “Back to Back,” full of more Meek disses like, “Trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers,” and “Is that a world tour or your girl’s tour?” Meek responds with his first real diss track, “Wanna Know,” that contains an apparent Quentin Miller reference track for “Know Yourself.”
Drake pretty much just laughs it off, and that’s where it should have ended. However, Meek continued his twitter rants: “So this is rap now! You can have a nigga write ya raps and that’s acceptable… #quentinmiller changed the game #youtherealmvp.” Then at OVO Fest, Drake goes in for the kill by opening the show with “Charged Up” and “Back to Back,” teasing a third song, “3 Peat,” and all in front of Meek Mill diss meme’s in the background.
The last of the story thus far involves Meek Mill threatening Drake with wedgies and saying that, “I don’t think it’s ’bout no rapping — it’s ’bout Nicki.’ I still wake up with the lady that you said you first in line with.” And here’s where I hope it ends. Not only do I not care for Drake or Meek Mill, but this is honestly an argument of idiots that has been blown way out of proportion.
Drake and the OVO camp should have responded to Meek’s claims saying, “Yes we worked with Quentin Miller. He helped us with some of the writing on Drake’s last record. He’s in the liner notes. We weren’t hiding anything from you,” and then end it there. Meek can tweet and speak during Nicki’s tour all he wants, but it’s Drake who really keeps this thing going, when all it’s doing is making him look bad and further corrupting his reputation as a lyricist. He should have let it die out early, instead of encouraging it.
Besides, as for my opinion on Drake vs. Meek Mill, I acknowledge that there are ghostwriters and additional writers in the game, but there is something special about someone who does it all themselves, especially when it’s personal, so I do have to say that. But as for if it matters here? No. Honestly all this says to me about Drake is that even his ghostwriters can’t write music or lyrics that I enjoy. And that’s all for that.
Getting to Meek Mill’s latest record, Dreams Worth More Than Money, it’s just a travesty. “Lord Knows,” the album opener, is kind of catchy, samples a Mozart Requiem, and is pretty raw, not going to lie. But as for the rest of the record, it’s just so wrong in so many places, and continues my questions of rappers this past week (Future, Drake, Meek Mill), as to why they are famous, and why people love them?
“All I wanted was a new Mercedes,” he says on “Lord Knows,” and that’s pretty much the epitome of the record and of the mindset of Meek Mill. Like Big Sean, but without the humor, interesting voice, or joy of rapping, it really just seems like Meek Mill is a rapper solely because he wants to be famous. Sure, Big Sean just wants to be recognized as a successful rapper and is purely fame driven as well, but at least he seems to enjoy the art of rap. Dreams Worth More Than Money really feels like Meek Mill could care less about rapping, and just does it to gain his fame and wealth. The beats aren’t that great, especially “Classic,” which is just horrific, but there’s so much more that I can’t stand about the record and Meek Mill besides the production team.
Besides his dream of amassing a large amount of wealth, of which he’s already pretty much accomplished, the worst part about Meek Mill is his ignorance of the world around him. “I never had a role model,” he says on “Cold Hearted,” and because of this, he doesn’t know how to be one. This – rapping and his dream for fame, is all he knows. “I never wanted to be like Mike,” he says in reference to Michael Jordan, “I wanted to be like Mitch,” from Paid in Full, known for the stereotypical rapper lifestyle of fame, money, fast drugs, and loose women. He then continues with, “Now all the lil’ niggas wanna be like this,” stating that his dream was to be like Mitch, and now young people want to be Meek Mill. This is where Meek’s ignorance to the world around him comes in.
Meek isn’t afraid of what money and power can do to people, hell, he’s wanted it his whole life, and now he has it: “Sometimes I look in the mirror, Meek Mill, this your car?”, he gloats. “We was sellin’ coke raw, the principal was coppin’ too, hit him with a snowball,” he continually boasts, oddly proud of his young drug pushing career. And this is the travesty. Meek Mill has never had a role model, and thus doesn’t know how to be one. He’s blindly in love with his fame and wealthy lifestyle, and thinks it’s the pinnacle of life.
When Fox News goes after rappers for promoting violent and corrupted lifestyles, it’s because of albums and rappers like this. But Meek Mill doesn’t grasp that idea here on Dreams Worth More Than Money. To Meek, greed and fame have turned him even further into a selfish and obnoxiously immodest asshole. Instead of telling young people that a life of being a rapper (wealth, power, fame, drugs, money, and women) is what to strive for, rappers should be the role models for young people, and put their success to better use.