It’s been a year and a half since Meek released his last album Wins And Losses which was my personal favorite from his discography. It saw Meek successfully diversifying his sound and lyrical content. Which I felt was a big improvement from previous projects where Meek might track after track yell at you about all the cars, women and rollies he has.
Since releasing that Album Meek had to return to jail for having violated parole. Propelled by his fan base, there was a movement of people protesting his incarceration feeling that he should not be imprisoned for a parole violation (a parole that Meek has been on since he caught a gun charge many years ago). This eventually became a big story and Meek began an advocate and perhaps the face of prison reform in the
It’s now been half a year since Meek has been released from prison on bail and people have been anticipating his next project. It would make sense to assume that the new face of prison reform would discuss the prison system on his latest album. But the question is will he be able to do so without losing the energy that makes Meek’s music great for exercising or getting more hype than is legally allowed in some countries?
Meek has always had some of the hardest intros to his albums. He continues this tradition on Championships. The beat is a bit more laid back than his previous Intros but Meek takes it upon himself to make this a banger with electric flow and delivery.
With the help of a great soundtrack, Meek presents us an audio retelling of what it was like growing up in Philly and has some words for the infamous judge on his case ”Tryna impress them people in power when power abusin’ us For 44 dollars a hour, you coward they using ya Is it self-hate that made you send me upstate?” Ordinarily I would say that speaking ill of the judge on your case is a bad idea. But Meek and his judge are far past the point of liking each other. At this point Meek is trying to convince the public that an injustice had occurred so that public opinion may sway the case.
5. What’s Free
This song is partly about suggesting we aren’t as free as we think and partly Rick Ross and Jay-Z having a boss talk off. The beat is James Bond esque and Jay-Z has the best verse on the track with lines like this:
” I’m 50% of D’usse and it’s debt free (Yeah)
100% of Ace of Spades, worth half a B (Uh)
Roc Nation, half of that, that’s my piece
Hunnid percent of Tidal to bust it up with my Gs”
And this line ”My accountant’s so good, I’m practically livin’ tax free” which made me wonder if Jay-Z was self snitching. Probably not, I think Jay-Z is smarter than bragging about tax evasion. Even if you don’t like Meek’s music you should listen to this song.
Future brings a weird quarky vibe on ”Splash Warning”. Another stand out feature comes from up and coming New York Rapstress Melii, who comes through with a fuego verse on the Banger ”Wit the Shits”.
9. Going Bad
Back in the summer of 2015 Meek and Drake had a public rap beef alledgedly over the fact that Meek found out that Drake had given him a verse that he did not write for Meek’s album. The two exchanged diss songs and Drake was almost unanimously considered the winner of the quarrel.
Today the two, who have mutual friends and acquaintances, have reconciled their differences and have collaborated to bring us a banger. Drake is often very personal in his raps. But here he’s rapping like he was on one of the club records from his If You’re Reading This it’ Too Late project. That is to say it’s sounds good but they’re lines that you could see a lot of rappers spitting. I wonder if Drake wrote this one. Meek probably wouldn’t say anything this time.
Meek reminisces about his difficult upbringing and connects the dots as to why so many young men end up stuck in the prison system:
”Was we really that dumb? ‘Cause we carry a gun
And every nigga in my neighborhood carryin’ one
‘Cause we had nightmares of our mamas got to bury her son”…
”Now it’s you against the state and you ain’t got no cake
Jail overpopulated they ain’t got no space”
”Tryna smoke the pain away, they lock us up for smoking
Put ’em on probation, lock ’em up if you ain’t perfect
Victims of the system like a rain drop in the ocean
They closin’ all the schools and all the prisons gettin’ open”
You can take a loss as long as the lessons you learnt will help you win the championship.This is all done over a triumphant beat that uses a female voice and saxophone sample. This album in general feels like persevering over adversity. Hence why it’s so great for exercising or working out.
When I first looked at the tracklist and saw 19 songs I didn’t think I could handle that much Meek since he historically hasn’t been the most versatile artist. My initial thought was that this move was to get more streaming numbers so that Meek could have more rollies to rap about. I assumed that I would be deleting a few to make this a more succinct project. But on my first listen I was surprised to hear the Phil Collins sample (from the Intro) come back around. Despite it’s length the album did not feel long. Thanks to a good variety in beats, guests, subject matter
and flows the project is entertaining throughout.
I really love this album. Meek did an amazing job of tackling important subject matter in a way that is easy for the masses to understand without sacrificing the electric energy that makes his music so exciting. This might be my favorite Meek project, it’s top 3 at the very least. And definitely a contender for rap album of the year.
This was my first rap review. I would appreciate your feedback as to what you thought about the review and/or let us know what you thought about the album. For spam reasons I have disabled the comments on my website but you can comment by clicking on the video version of the review below