Meek Mill Dodges the Sophomore Slump with 'Dreams Worth More Than Money' [ROUND-UP REVIEW]
Fans have been anticipating the release of Meek Mill's Dreams Worth More Than Money for quite some time now and according to critics, the wait for the album's drop proved to be worth it. From progression in subject matter to more fluency in the project's tracklisting, Meek's latest release proved his ability to dodge the sophomore slump.
Complex reviewed DWMTM, suggesting that the album may solidify the MMG's rappers staying power in the hip-hop world.
Flawed though it may be, Meek Mill's Dreams Worth More Than Money is a much more consistent, more substantial record than Meek's 2012 debut. No single song will be stitched as thoroughly to hip-hop's fabric as "Dreams and Nightmares," but the album is much more likely to remain in rotation. When it comes to songwriting, Meek plays it safe, sticking to what he knows without reaching; "Classic," a Bangladesh-produced highlight featuring Swizz Beatz and Jeremih, is the unconventional exception, a toddling piano plunked over a stoned breakbeat occasionally underlined by a baritone sax and Jeremih's low-key vocalizations. Pushed right up front at track two, it suggests confidence in the project's shape.
Billboard rated the album with three and a half stars, noting Meek's openness and rhymes about personal tribulations.
Meanwhile, on "Cold Hearted," Mill's all reflection without the melancholy, telling his story with a breathless, steely-eyed reserve: "Mommy was booster, Daddy was a shooter/ So they couldn't blame me when I went and copped the Ruger/ Looking at my homey, see the ghost of Freddie Kruger/ 'Cause if he catch you sleeping he gon' knock out your medulla/ Oblongata/ I'ma father and my son don't see a lot of/ If I don't get it, he gonna probably end up with a chopper."
These moments of broad introspection season the album that make all the breathlessness and greed make sense. Meek Mill is boastful and honest -- a rapper obsessed with the trappings of wealth that are dangled before Black boys and engaged in the happiness of pursuit.
HipHopDX offered up a similar rating, instead writing, "DWMTM falls just short of its own lofty expectations."
However, for what this album brings to the table in terms of bravado and superb production it falls short at the center: at Meek Mill himself. An exciting, yet unbalanced offering, it offers a glimpse of an artist slowly improving his craft, with possibly the best being yet to come.
On this album, he fails to consistently exceed expectations. When DWMTM is great, it's because of the gorgeous production or due to a feature artist's performance more frequently than when Meek takes the lead. Dreams Worth More Than Money is a slight misfire for Meek Mill, but enough is there the we think he can eventually achieve in his music the high he's achieved in his personal life.
Billboard predicts that Meek Mill will have his first No. 1 album with Dreams Worth More Than Money. His sophomore album is expected to sell more than 200,000 units in its first week, ending on Sunday (July 5). Meek's debut album, Dreams & Nightmares, opened at No. 2 on the Billboard Charts, selling 165,000 units its first week.
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