Meek Mill, the Philadelphia-bred hip-hop artist, made his first album debut with the release of "Dreams and Nightmares" on Tuesday.
Accompanied by the fellow Maybach Music Group starters Rick Ross and Wale, and with appearances from the likes of Trey Songz and Nas, Mill is definitely coming out running. This album has a lot to live up to when compared with the viral mixtape "Dreamchasers 2." With so much material released by Mill in the last two years, many are wondering if he has enough hits left for this album. "Dreams and Nightmares" is his chance to show that he still has more left in his bag of tricks.
The title track starts off with masterful storytelling that feels like a dream that Mill delivers on command. He then viciously attacks the song and turns that into a metaphorical nightmare with his aggressive style that'll have your foot tapping and your head bobbing.
Mill sounds his best when he's spitting his rhythmic verses about life and his struggle while growing up in Philidelphia.
On the track "Traumatized," Mill opens up about the man who killed his father. He raps, "You made my momma cry, the next time I see you it's gon' be a homicide." He delivers on the track. Mill sounds like a veteran on this record — definitely a top dog. Every line is strewn with confidence and laced with references from his own life, which is a good change from the usually generic rap coming out these days. The good thing about this album is that it still feels like a mix tape. It's gritty, truthful and honest. Meek knows his audience loves him for his mix tapes, so he's not straying too far from that formula, and he brings that with his murderous narrative "Tony Story (Pt. 2)," which is a sequel to the first from his mix tape, "Dreamchasers."
This album does has its shortcomings though. When Meek is storytelling, it's truly something to admire, but his fast-paced, high pitch style lands with a dud half the time. Half of the tracks sound like recycled lyrics and beats that we've already heard before. If Mill wants to keep his audience's attention he's going to have to come up with something new, unlike "In God We Trust," which sounds like plenty of songs we've heard before. Meek may have played it a little too safe when assembling the tracks for his album. He sounds best when we actually get a peak of his struggles in Philadelphia and his upbringing.
All in all, Mill could have been a little more creative and given us more originality on his debut album. It ends up being neither a dream nor a nightmare. I give it 7.5 out of 10.