When you hear Meek Mill, you probably flashback to the summer of 2015, when Mill had beef with Drake, and was meme’d into history as he took an L fatter than an elephant. Dreamchasers 4 (DC4) was Mill’s first major release after the Drake beef, and was his first major opportunity to restore his name. It accomplishes this purpose. With its hard-hitting delivery and absolutely insane production, DC4 is a definite step in the right direction for Mill, and worth listening to.
DC4’s top qualities are the production, and the tracks where Mill asserts his own style. Literally every single song on this album has a fire beat, and Mill thrives on them. A stellar example of this is “Shine.” With inspirational lyrics and a grateful hook, Mill spits verses that will burn your ears off. While “Shine” has Mill sounding like he has in the past, there are a couple of standout songs where he matures his sound with pleasant results. “Lights Out” and “Blue Notes,” which occur back-to-back, are prime examples of this. Mill still yells his lyrics on the mic, but he seems to wean off it a bit on these songs. “Lights Out” is a song where Mill’s feature — Don Q — actually adds to the song. Q has a distinctly lower voice than Mill, which makes the song more complex and engaging. “Blues Notes” is interesting because there’s really no discernible hook, and it starts and ends with a Snowy White blues sample. It would’ve been nice if Mill weren’t shouting, but the reflective lyrics and distinct production make “Blue Notes” worth a listen.
Mill has had one thing consistently awesome in his albums, and that has been the “Tony Story” series. In the series, Mill tells the story of two former friends who turn on each other, and a cousin that seeks revenge. On DC4, he continues the story of Paulie, a gangbanger who previously killed Tony — a nutcase drug dealer who killed Paulie’s cousin — and Tony’s little brother. In “Tony Story 3,” Mill continues with Paulie’s story, who gets snitched on and caught by the police. In jail, Paulie finds out that Tony’s cousin is there and trying to kill him. “Tony Story 3” ends with a promise for more (“To be continued”) and with a proclamation from Mill that part four is literally going to be a movie. I’m stoked. In the “Tony Story” series, Mill shows off his unquestionable lyrical and storytelling skills, and the results are astonishing. I, for one, think it would be cool if Mill made a whole album similar to the “Tony Story” series, because the series is absolutely epic, and a glimpse at what Mill is capable of. While we see what Mill’s capable of on “Tony Story 3,” there are still things dragging Mill – and DC4 – down.
DC4’s major flaws are shown in the very first track, “On The Regular.” The beat is amazing, but Mill’s lyrics and flow are extremely basic. It’s not a bad song, but Mill is known for showing off his lyrical genius on intro tracks, and he didn’t do that here. “On The Regular” is astonishingly average, and hardly memorable. It’s a “car banger,” a song that’s carried by the beat, and really only good if you blast it while driving. Here lies Mill’s biggest weakness. All of his songs have remarkable production, but some lack in lyrics and uniqueness. A huge example of this is “Froze,” which — in the context of this album — might as well be a synonym for “utterly forgettable.” With Mill’s features, Lil Uzi Vert and Nicki Minaj, taking over most of the track, this chunk of mediocrity disrespects the album. Minaj spits punchlines that make absolutely zero sense: “Make n****s stare at my hands even though I am not miming.” If DC4 had Mill trying a little harder to develop his own music, rather than reverting to cliches every other song, it could’ve been a much stronger album.
In conclusion, I’d recommend giving DC4 a listen, and highly recommend it if you need something to blast while driving. In addition, I urge you to check out Mill’s songs “Tony Story,” “Tony Story Pt. 2,” and finally DC4’s “Tony Story 3.” These three tracks highlight Mill’s strengths, from the production down to the lyrics. If you want to gain the best possible impact from this album, borrow your mom’s car and blast the album at full volume. Right as you get to “Tony Story 3,” pull off to the side of the road, and listen to the first two parts of the series. Let your jaw drop, as it should. Then, continue on with “Tony Story 3.” Drive off, eyes wide, spaced out, and completely shook at the downright magic that just entered your ears.