Meek Mill – Dreamchasers 4
Released: 28 October 2016
After much promotion and rap beef, DC4 is a win for Meek. I still have my own reservations about Meek as a musician. For example, some of his songs and verses sound like a run-on sentence, and even though his style and image are based around luxury and braggadocio, you can find more creative music in this same vein in many other places. But overall, I think that DC4 is an effective album and at 14 tracks and just under 56 minutes, it’s short enough in length to where Meek’s signature aggression doesn’t wear on you.
Does DC4 stack up to the rest of the Dreamchasers series?
A very uptempo and braggadocios album, DC4 is Meek’s best project. Compared to Meek’s other projects: DC4 doesn’t feel all over the place like DC1, DC4 is much more cohesive and flattering in length than DC2, it has consistently higher highs than DC3, and as a whole it feels more seamless and authentic than his 2015 release Dreams Worth More Than Money.
- “Blessed Up” is an awesome song because it’s so well executed. It almost sounds like a Drake track at times; I wonder if Meek and Drake use a mutual writer or ghostwriter that attributed to this track? Or did Meek simply lift a Drake flow/cadence? The hook sounds like a page out of OVO’s playbook. There’s also other moments on DC4 where Meek seems to favor Drake’s style such as on “Way Up” where Meek uses Drake’s signature “Yeah yeah…way up” adlib cadence.
- “Froze (feat Nicki Minaj & Lil Uzi Vert)“ grew on me hard. Lil Uzi Vert is just so obnoxiously over the top to the point where he’s nearly unbearable – but it works because he’s being completely him, it’s his style. You’re not getting that energy anywhere else. Even if you’re a fan of other melody-based rappers like Young Thug and YFN Lucci, you’re not getting the type of flow, delivery, energy, and vocal clarity that Uzi is giving here anywhere else. Terrible verse by Nicki on “Froze” and overall is DC4’s most risky track.
- I think that “Lights Out (feat Don Q)” will become one of Meek’s signature anthems. Great hook and typical boisterous Meek bravado that the DC fanbase will eat up.
- And last but not least, “Blue Notes“…amazing track and probably my favorite on the album. Its jazzy production makes it a good change of pace track that still manages to maintain the overall energy of the album. I appreciate the direction that Meek took on this track in terms of flow, he bounces really well off the Snowy White “Midnight Blues” guitar note samples.
Meek’s beat selection is getting better, here on DC4 it’s better than on previous projects. He’s not solely picking trap bangers and is mixing up his drums. Previously, I would’ve never imagined Meek to be rapping over a beat like “Blue Notes” that samples Snowy White’s “Midnight Blues“. He should do this more often because unlike many trap/street rappers, Meek is versatile and thus can afford to take risks on beats. However, sometimes Meek’s songs can feel like one big verse that was cut into separate 16s and placed onto different beats – he can be very repetitive and has very same-y subject matter. “Rolex this, clear ports that”. It gets old.
“Rolex this, clear ports that” – it gets old
Fortunately for Meek as a seasoned rapper and lyricist, he executes this braggadocios style well. There’s not a moment where Meek sounds unnatural or uncomfortable on DC4 and it doesn’t feel like he reached to create hit singles for radio, unlike on DWMTM. For example, “Litty (feat Tory Lanez)” and “Offended (Thug and 21 Savage)” and even “Froze (feat Nicki Minaj and Lil Uzi Vert)” feel a lot more natural for Meek than DWMTM’s “All Eyes On Us (feat Chris Brown and Nicki)“.
Lowkey, I dislike certain choices of notable samples that Meek raps over like the Undertaker sample on his Drake diss “Wanna Know” and the classic Carl Orff “O’Fortuna” sample on the DC4 intro “On The Regular“. It’s not necessarily that the production isn’t good, I just find it forced to the point where it’s kind of corny.
There isn’t anything innovative or musically challenging on DC4, but if you know what Meek brings to the table with his delivery, flows, and hustle-motivation music, then DC4 is Meek’s most cohesive and polished offering. I believe that DC4 is Meek Mill’s best project. He should continue to pick production that he floats over and it would benefit him to enhance his rap vocabulary.
On a sidenote…
I can’t be the only who literally LOL’d at the 21 Savage verse on “Offended“. Dude sounds like he went in the booth and 1-took everything like fuck it.
He rhymed “Bada-boom bada-bing”…!!