meek lou williams rick ross

Meek Mill had a great year. He appeared on Maybach Music Group's Self Made, Vol. 1; dropped his breakout tape, Dreamchasers; blazed up the charts and heated up the streets and clubs with songs like "Tupac Back" and "I'ma Boss"; and is become an in-demand guest MC.

To celebrate his 25th birthday, Meek held a party last night (May 6) on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. He invited friends, family and media out to the small gathering, which brought roughly 100 people onto a private yacht to celebrate.

XXL was in the house (boat?) for the festivities, and tracked the night's events. Come along for the ride (cruise?...actually...spoiler alert: Meek showed up late and the boat never left). —Adam Fleischer and Neil Martinez-Belkin

boat life

2:06: We arrive at the Warner building in Midtown New York, where we’re greeted by publicist Phylicia Fant and hop into a shuttle van with other media outlets (from The Source, Complex) en route to Philly.

4:15: Arrival in Philadelphia. We’re extremely early. First ones at the boat, it seems. We post up at the port where our ship for the evening, the Freedom Elite, sits before us. We decide we’re not going to sit here for the next two hours. Let’s walk around.

streets of philly

5:08: It seems like we're walking through an historic area of Philly. These are not the streets that Meek raps about. "Quaint" is the only word that's coming to mind.

Jim's Steaks

5:27: We walk down Spruce St. onto 4th. Both of us want to save room for MMG Hors d'oeuvres (gotta figure Rozay is gonna make sure we eat right), so we decide to split a cheesesteak at Jim’s. A little Dr. Brown's Black Cherry, too, so you know it's real.

neil and parents

5:28: Neil runs into the parents of a high school friend, also enjoying a cheesesteak. He's from Boston, so are they. Why are they here? Why exactly am I here, he wonders? Whatever, time to catch a boat shortly...

neil on carpet

5:45. “No Scrubs” plays from a moving car on South Street. Neil starts to think about “No Pigeons” by Sporty Thievez. Things are getting weird. Inside his head, at least.

5:53: We return to the dock where a red carpet and MMG backdrop are in place. Neil graces the red carpet, and seems as at home as ever.

random philly rapper

5:57: A local rapper happens to be shooting his video on the dock. Wonder if he knows what's about to be going down here? Was this planned? He's probably trying to crash, we decide.

6:10: Someone says there will be a buffet on board. This excites us. The cheesesteak isn't doing the trick in holding us over. Maybe we should have each gotten our own.

Sway and Rich Kleiman

6:44: Sway of MTV News and Rich Kleiman of Roc Nation arrive (separately).

6:56: Adam sees Wes, Wale's Road Manager, hop out of a big van that’s carrying Wale and Vicc, another one of the rapper's team members. As they've been doing for months, Vicc and Adam continue talking shit to each other about getting on the court to play some ball, though it's yet to happen. (Vicc is about 6'5", Adam is not.)

meek grandma

7:07: An elderly woman, who we deduce is likely Meek's grandmother, is the first to head onto the boat.


7:09: A white Rolls Royce Phantom pulls up. It’s the Bawse.

7:10: Sway jokes, “Welcome To My Yacht Party (Party, Party).” We look at each other and instantly agree that’s the name of this post.

kp datpiff dj drama

7:15: Adam heads over to talk to DJ Drama and KP from Datpiff. One topic of discussion is Meek's Dreamchasers 2, set to drop the next day (today), which will be hosted by Dram and released on Datpiff.

jahlil beats

7:19: Go to hitman Jahlil Beats is looking dapper and possibly ready for prom.


7:20: Neil notices an unexplained '90s era boom box at Jahlil's feet. Is it his? Can we have it? Will we ask about it? No. No, we won't. The mystery is exciting.

juelz santana

7:59: Juuuuueelllllz SANTANA. He's decided to take some time off from constant recording just for the night, we figure.

ross hiding

8:07: A mass of teen prepsters return to the dock from an earlier cruise. Ross goes into hiding behind two gargantuan body guards. We imagine Ross swan diving into the Delaware River to escape the prepsters. We get a laugh, think about that video of DJ Khaled jumping into a some water in his Jordans, and wonder who would win in a 100 meter freestyle (swim) race between the two.


8:21: We’ve been here since 4. We’re way too cold (Neil promises he need some Theraflu, and he'll muthafuckin' embarrass you) and too hungry to wait dockside anymore. KP and his fiancée agree and we decide to finally board the Freedom Elite. We’ll meet Meek on board.


8:25: Buffet life. Bitch you wasn’t with me eating all these shrimps.

food plate

8:37: Adam already went for seconds. Is this kid alright? No, of course not. And he hopes he'll be less alright after this plate.

8:39: As he tries to walk back upstairs (there were two floors on the boat, with the food on the first and the bar on the second), Adam faces an obstacle: MMG is entering the boat and heading up the stairs. Adam has to wait for Ross to pass, as well as Wale and French Montana, each of whom come over for a brief exchange.

french montana on boat

8:40: "Shot Caller (Remix)" comes on. Neil instantly regrets ordering a Corona and transitions to Ciroc and pineapple, which he sticks with for the remainder of the evening. When in Rome. Or Philly. Where are we again? Delaware? New Jersey?

8:45: Neil realizes that the DJ is playing all clean versions of the night’s assorted MMG soundtrack. Come on…We’re all adults here.

wale dallas martin

8:47: Wale and Dallas Martin, the VP of A&R at Warner Bros., head onto the boat.


8:49: Meek is in the building.

meek boat

8:50: Meek is the star of the evening. That's clear, if it wasn't already. Though it already was. Because the boat was supposed to leave at 7 and stay out on the water until 10, with arrivals beginning at 6:15. Instead, the young rapper had everyone from Rick Ross to little old writers like us waiting. In the end, the boat never even left the dock. But, hey, it was his birthday. And he made sure we all remembered that.

lou williams and kp

9:13: Adam goes over to talk to Lou Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers. He's a friend of Meek's, part-time collaborator as a rapper, and fresh off a win against the top seeded Chicago Bulls. They talk about the win, the series, NBA players rapping, and Lou's next project, which he hopes to drop this summer.


9:24: Neil catches a word with one of Meek's uncles on the deck. He knows it’s one of his uncles before he confirms it because they look exactly alike. He tells Neil about how Meek was a quiet kid growing up; that all of this has come as a real shock to him. Then he says how proud he is of him. They go their separate ways and Neil is touched by the moment he just had. He sheds a single tear.

9:37: Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake. And it's not even my birthday. But it's Meek's.


9:47: They're giving out some Roc Nation Skull Candy headphones, and Neil snags the last pair. Adam is left headphone-less, though he has the same pair back in New York.

9:52: The stars are out, presumably to attend an after party of sorts. Our original team of media workers unanimously agree to take our van back to Manhattan. It’s called having work in the morning. You may have heard of it.