“Dreams Worth More Than Money” By Meek Mill Review: Expanding His Gangster Niche Appeal
Meek Mill, government name Robert Rahmeek Williams, was never supposed to make it. After getting signed to T.I.‘s Grand Hustle record label, Meek’s album never materialized and he instead joined Rick Ross‘ Maybach Music Group. 2012 saw the release of his first album Dreams & Nightmares and Mill continuing his Dreamchasers mixtape series; all of this culminated in the release of his second studio album titled Dreams Worth More Than Money.
The album fits in perfectly with the MMG vibe; cinematic caliber beats feature prominently with production from Atlanta heavy hitters Metro Boomin and Southside. The list of featured artists reads like a who’s who of hip hop; Tory Lanez, Swizz Beatz, Jeremih, Future, Chris Brown, Drake, The Weeknd, Diddy and MMG head honcho Rick Ross all appear on tracks and even Mill’s superstar girlfriend Nicki Minaj guests on two songs.
In terms of rapping, the album occupies a unique space within Mill’s discography as the first time he has relaxed from his frenetic triplet laced flow. Songs like “Stand Up” and “Classic” both have Mill coming over beats that move far outside his typical audience of dudes lifting weight or ordering bottle service. Even “Cold Hearted,” a seven-minute confessional, the closing track on the album has Mill slowing down his flow for the average fan.
The average fan is actually where Dreams Worth More Than Money stumbles; While Mill delivers solid rhymes and MMG continues their beat selection preeminence, much of the lyrical content is recycled Meekisms like “I wear my chain in any city, let you see my s**t/ ‘Cause I earned that, it’s on me, Imma keep that s**t” on “The Trillest” or “I’m from where you couldn’t talk, you ain’t be about it/I ain’t really with the talk and the be G about it” on “I Got The Juice.”
The album’s strongest moments are when Mill experiments and moves out of the MMG comfort zone. It’s no coincidence that one of the standouts on the album has Meek reuniting with Drake for “R.I.C.O” as the Toronto megastar was also featured on one of Mill’s biggest hits to date, “Amen” from Dreamchasers 2. Mill brings the Canadian connection through one more time with The Weeknd on “Pullin Up,” the most sonically ambitious song on the album. It is here that Mill shows what that he is capable of more than just club bangers, giving fans hope that the rapper can expand his gangster niche appeal.
All things said, the album ranks as certainly the most important in Mill’s career, if not the most commercial or ambitious. Yes, he provides certified sub-knocking jams you’re sure to hear in the club (“Check”, “Been That”) but for the most part, Dreams Worth More Than Money is a diverse album that feels as if the rapper may have spread himself a little thin.
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