Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Meek Mill

  • Dreams and Nightmares [Maybach Music/Warner Bros., 2012] *
  • Championships [Maybach Music Group, 2018] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Dreams and Nightmares [Maybach Music/Warner Bros., 2012]
To utilize Saigon's formula, the dreams are rap and the nightmares are reality ("Traumatized," "Who You Around") *

Championships [Maybach Music Group, 2018]
This post-prison freedom cry is a 19-track marathon whose beats rise and fall while a solid third of its rhymes expand on Mill's unsought status as a case study in the racism of the parole system. If only it didn't also return tediously to the females he's fucked, who by actual count occasion almost 90 reps of the slurs "bitch" and "hoe," five times as many as the affectionate "shawty"/"girl"/"mami." He does at least seem to savor their bodies sometimes, which is never a given. But he sounds far more motivated pointing out that that's rapper cash not dealer cash before Jay-Z unfurls his deepest billionaire brag to date, or delivering the hard hood truths of "Oodles O' Noodles Babies." And "100 Summers" builds to a quatrain that identifies and then contextualizes the enemy within: "Grew up 'round them monsters they'll shoot you in your face / Ain't used to showin' no love that's 'cause we grew up in that hate / Live by the sword die by the sword way / Tried to make it home they shot him in the hallway." B+