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Meek Mill, Dreamchasers

Meek Mill got next. After turning Maybach Music Group’s Self Made Vol.1 compilation into his coming out party, the XXL Freshman is on the cusp of stardom.

With two Rick Ross-featured heaters (“Tupac Back” and “I’m A Boss”) still steaming, Meek’s DJ Drama-hosted mixtape, Dreamchasers, is poised to push the Philadelphia MC’s buzz into overdrive.

The tape opens fittingly with the A One-produced “Intro”—a making-of-a-legend-feel track that chops up Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” composition previously sampled on Nas’ “Hate Me Now” and Cam’ron’s “Get ‘Em Girls.” The streets-approved MC wastes no time assuring his newfound visibility hasn’t lessened his pedigree. “Monday, it’s probably 106 & Park/Tuesday, probably in the hood where it get dark/Wednesday, probably catch me swimmin’ with the sharks with blood drippin’ from my shoes,” he spits.

The inspirational “Get Dis Money” finds a hopeful Meek reliving his down-bottom days over All Star’s triumphant soundscape. “I used to smoke my little L/Thinkin’ bout my master plan/Tryin’ to get a million fuckin’ dollars out of half a man/Dead broke, got a nigga feelin’ like I’m half a man/We gon’ get this money, though/We just in a traffic jam,” he recalls.

Aside from a brief slump midway through, Meek’s ability to swing his audience using various moods without disrupting the project’s cohesion makes for a compelling listen. He pops bottles with Young Chris on “House Party,” chefs up cookout music on “Middle of the Summer” and talks superior shit alongside Rick Ross on “Work.” Through all the cameos, Meek firmly stands on his own two, never using the guest stars as a crutch. The poignant title track—a bridging of Philly’s generational gap of sorts—features Meek and Beanie Sigel recounting the hardships they’ve endured while chasing their dreams. Despite a 13-year difference between the two MCs—who offer different perspectives on the cut—the message is clear: same struggle, different day.

Clocking in at 75 minutes, Dreamchasers could stand to lose a few songs, but the 21-track tape never feels like a drag—primarily because of Meek’s perpetually urgent delivery. In addition to a seemingly never-ending array of high-energy verses, the disc also shows Meek’s growth into a capable conceptual songwriter. In enlisting Drama, it’s clear what Meek’s objective is here—to add Chasers to the select list of breakthrough mixtapes (see: Young Jeezy’s Trap or Die, Lil Wayne’s Dedication) that Mr. Thanksgiving has helmed over the years. Calling Dreamchasers a classic may be a bit of a stretch, but it undoubtedly precipitates anticipation for Meek’s eventual debut. —Carl Chery

  • jonny bizness

    That middle of the summer joint been on repeat 4 a while now.

  • Jason

    Pretty weak shit. Meek Mill has a unique attacking voice and poise but his lyrical ability is incredibly average and his flows never change.

    • alderman j

      WHo you listening too?? That is not a synopsis of meek mill, you aint been listening to say what you said, his flows never change??? please listen to pandemonium, then listen to tupac back!! totally different flows!!! i could go on and on. THIS NIGGA HERE GOT NEXT!!!

  • FrankDuke

    hold on now meek flow is crazy but his lyrics are most of the time average but he can go in sometimes but i dont believe hanging wth ross will help his lyrics in fact i can see a decline in vocabulary but being in the studio with fake mcs will do that

  • Detroit89

    so how does two L’s and one XL make a total of one XXL. I am just asking how does that work. Meek Mill is kind of overrated. Tupac Back is that song that has been bested by so many rappers who freestyled on the beat that the original does not live up to any greatness.

  • D90

    meek is nice… if not a lil bit overrated… it aint like he gonna be labeled 1 of the best ever anytime soon but he pretty entertaining… but this def aint his best tape… and personally ive always thought cyssero was nicer wit the aggressive flow… as far as philly artists go anyway

  • Spowers

    so according to xxl, this is as good as section.80?? fuck outta here

    • frankie

      Section80 is an album duke. This is a mixtape. There ratings are held to a different standard

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    If you claim to love hip hop and don’t understand the game by now kill urself hang urself with ur demo tape. Meek is up next. ya, i love lyrics but u gotta also appreciate a brother’s grind and song making ability. people got famlies and i’m sure if deep lyrics featuring unique vocabs were selling u’ll here it more. Its only a few dudes who can eat off that. Meek has a movement. let young bul be.

  • Reemos

    whole cd Pop.. Another philly classic

  • Los-1

    XXL don’t specialize in music. There just people with opinions just like us. Meek Mill is doing good. He is using his own style right now, so he will learn to progress. P.S ITS A LOT OF RAPPERS OUT THERE THAT IS MORE LYRICAL BUT STILL NOT MAKING GOOD MUSIC.

  • Quilly Millz

    This nigga lite come check me out the whole Philly know he cant spit better then me CHECK ME OUT Quilly Millz!

  • Selfmade_Dj

    Meek takin over he the hottest in the game rite now and he really live what he talk about!

  • ILOVEMeekMILL

    ????!!!!!!!!!!LYRICS AND ORIGINALITY!!!!?????
    IM GONNA NEED WHOMEVER WORKED ON THIS MIXTAPE’S REVIEWS TO PULL THE DICKS OUT OF THEIR EARS, OR GO DEAF! real rap. Meek Mill ARTICULATES his words, throughout his MANY flows, every time he steps to the mic. He is original ALWAYS because he represents the grimey-ness of the North Philadelphia streets he grew up on like only HE can(complete with audio of Philadelphia News Channel 6 News Clips), that IS ORIGINALITY, NO xxl freshman is on his level, or in his lane you people need to recognize and respect REAL when you hear and see it, His 4 minute story “Tony Montanna” speaks to his LYRICAL PROWESS alone (T.I. is King) Meeks flow and ability to ride a beat are unrivaled and his story is truthful, honest and inspiring, Dream Chaser, making it from nothing to something 215 all day die slow if you not with it

  • PA ALLL DAY

    MEEK MILL ONE OF THE TOP RAPPERS OUT FINNALY MADE IT..

    (THE LYRICIST SHOULD BE AT XL)

  • lilweezyofeezy

    xl rating? fuck this

  • keaton

    smh i listened to this meek mill dream chaser shit and it wasnt anythin special in my opinion. i’m not hating or anything but niggas really got this dude hyped up and overrated when he aint even that great. and yall gave verde terrance an L and this an XL wtf is wrong with your editors. and the only part that got an XL was his beats; thats pretty wack to give a mixtape an XL overall when the only thing bangin was the beats and not lyrics or originality.

  • 16th Stiles st

    Thats the fuckin problem wit the city now niggaz hate to much meek got 13 mixtapes out in six years, plus his shit always leave the store while other niggaz cd’s gettin dusty i luv what u doin meek u openin doors dog. but my boy FROS is next pay attention

  • http://fuckoff Dubz

    I like this mixtape but im trying to figure out why it got an XL, once the beats only got an L and the originality was only an L? This rating system on XXL is fucked up sometimes

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