REVIEW: Meek Mill – Dreams And Nightmares

meek mill

Artist: Meek Mill
Review: Dreams And Nightmares
Genre: Hip Hop
Label: Maybach Music Group

When Flamerz hit in 2010, Meek Mill seemed poised to become the next Nas. His dedication to capturing the harsh reality of street life and exploring how it impacted him as a person set young Mill apart from many in the mixture circuit, and it eventually lead to him joining the one and only Maybach Music Group. However, somewhere between that time and the release of his highly praised Dream Chasers 2 mixtape earlier this year Meek Mill met the same fate that befalls nearly major hip hop artist and began hopping on Top40/Mainstream tracks filled with empty talk of possessions and loose woman. More than likely this change in sound resulted from contractual deals with MMG, but regardless, it made many wonder if Mill would be able to stick to what gave him so hype in the beginning when it came time to drop his debut.

Dreams And Nightmares arrives in stores today, and it’s safe to say Mill has not strayed so far from his roots as to appear a sellout. From the powerful intro, which finds Mill recounting the last year of his life over three separate beats of increasing difficulty, to the very last moments of “Real Niggas Come First,” there is a dedication to sharing an honest portrait of life in the game that demands respect. Unfortunately, interspersed amongst this tale of a young man on the rise is a number of soulless tracks that feel immediately disposable (most of which feature various MMG members and friends). This disconnect wouldn’t be so bad if Meek didn’t go in as heartfelt as he does on the majority of the record, but he does (and should) and the results make for an emotionally uneven experience.

When thinking about Dreams And Nightmares as a whole, it’s hard to conceive anyone walking away from the album feeling fulfilled. The disposable quality of the album’s singles makes the satisfaction derived from the truly deep material found elsewhere on the record feel lacking. It’s clear Meek Mill has talent beyond many of his peers, and with that a story that is truly interesting to hear, but shelling out what is believed to be more marketable material will only lead to continued flash-in-the-pan success without any true career development. If you want to hear what a true talent on the rise sounds like when a label gets involved, pick up this record. If not, pick up all the solo tracks off iTunes and you’ll be just fine.

Score: 7.5/10
Review written by: James Shotwell (Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • RealRap

    Agree 100%
    Meek is a sell out. MMG represents a fake drug dealing posse non of which actually grinded in the true street hustle coming up. They are all a bunch of frauds when it comes to the subject matter they rap about. Meek yells wayyy too much..

  • bob

    hey idiot read the review he said meek isn’t a sell out.

  • Thanks for reading the whole thing, Bob.

  • Has anyone exposed the MMG as a whole? Rick Ross’ back story as an officer of the law is fairly well known, but the rest is relatively well covered.