As the unofficial Philly spokesperson in Washington DC, I am always asked my thoughts on Meek Mill. But reppin’ the great city of Brotherly Love has been tough lately. The Eagles are shaky, Septa is on strike again and our most iconic native can’t stop women from accusing him. The sad clouds of disappointment continued to hover over the city when Mr. Graham verbally molested the hottest rapper to come out of Philly since Cassidy. Now, The Game has come in to bury a stake in his head before he can rise again. When Meek said he was in the studio working on the fourth installment in his “Dreamchasers” series, fans trusted the process and waited patiently. And waited. And waited some more until finally “Dreamchasers 4” dropped. “DC4” supplies some quality work that falls short of greatness but is still a decent output from the man once known as Mr. Datpiff.
“Dreamchasers 4” feels like a comeback album despite it only being 3 years since “Dreamchaser 3”. The first three in the series went on to get over six million streams collectively. Anything less than one million streams this time out would be considered an underachievement for the former battle rapper. Those expecting Meek to wage war on those who crossed him in an Ether-style Takeover will be let down. Instead of coming at them directly, he fires back with subliminals, shying away from dropping names. He generically addresses ‘haters’ on “Litty” with Tory Lanez (Who coincidentally had a short beef with Drake). He slightly calls out the others saying he’d rather kill them with success on the decent, reflective track “Shine”. There was talk that “Lights Out” was going to be Meek response track but instead it is filled with indirect shots that fails to hit its target. “The Difference” is a banger complete with Desiigner background ad-libs and a guest spot from Quavo. Fellow Philadelphian, Lil’ Uzi Vert, comes through for “Froze” which features a quick 12 bars from his better half Nicki Minaj. The slow groove, Snowy White sampled standout “Blue Notes” is his best track since “Amen”. “Offended” has potential to be good but falls short with more ‘niggas’ than a Tarantino flick. “You Know” is a filler track that is just there to take up air time and “Way Up” is a weak sequel to “Levels”. The last three tracks remind us why Meek Mill was once a top 5 MC. He continues Paulie’s tale on part 3 of “Tony Story”. “Two Wrongs” is a banger with Pusha T and the “Outro” is filled with the energy that has been missing throughout the mixtape.
Meek Mill has taken more L’s than a four-time baby momma on Maury but all would have been forgiven if “DC4” was fire. The early word in Philly is that “Dreamchasers 4” is the worst in the series and I agree. While it is a solid mixtape, Meek missed an opportunity to fight back. This could have been his Rocky moment. Everyone wants the underdog to put up a good fight. That way even if he doesn’t win, he can at least prove he belongs. Unfortunately, Meek didn’t even show up to the arena. Instead he chose the high road leaving his jabs and hooks on Twitter. This is considered a sign of weakness in Hip Hop. It might be a long time before I can brag about my city again. But it’s okay, I’m used to losing, I’m a Sixers fan.
3 out of 5 Stars