Meek Mill released four surprise songs on the mixtape 4/4 as his fans await the arrival of Dreamchasers 4 and as he awaits trial. The unannounced project was released on January 16, his first release since his 2015 album Dreams Worth More Than Money.
4/4 is Meek’s first batch of new material since Drake’s “Back to Back” diss, which ended Meek’s career according to memes all across the Twittersphere, and his only music released during his ongoing legal battle regarding his probation violation. Needless to say, Meek Mill has a lot of work to do to recover from the shaky 2015 he had.
The mixtape opens with “Pray For ‘Em,” and it doesn’t take long for Meek to throw jabs at Drake. One of the opening lines is “OGs see me coming through and they say ‘that’s that baller.’ That’s that nigga really started from the bottom, really in that order.” The focus of “Pray For ‘Em” isn’t to diss Drake, although there is a song dedicated to doing so on 4/4.
If you like Meek Mill, you’ll like “Pray For ’Em.” After insulting Drake and yelling “free El Chapo,” it’s Meek Mill’s usual M.O. He raps about his time in and out of jail, the very real possibility that he is headed back there and brags about making more money than you. The track isn’t very lyrical, but it’s the sound Meek’s fans like hearing. You can break your neck nodding to a good beat and Meek Mill’s eccentric flow.
The second track is something rap fans everywhere have been long awaiting, perhaps even more than Dreamchasers 4. Meek Mill finally responds to Drake’s “Back to Back” in his freestyle to Drake and Future’s “I’m The Plug” instrumental from their chart-topping collaboration mixtape What A Time To Be Alive.“Back to Back” is the only diss track in history to be nominated for a Grammy. Drake used that song to grill the beef between himself and Meek Mill and eat it, leaving fans wondering if Meek Mill would ever respond. Months later, he finally does, and he uses the beat from a Drake song to do it.
The problem is that “I’m The Plug” is the shortest track on 4/4. It’s 1:43 long and Meek doesn’t offer anything new. It also lacks the originality “Back to Back” was so rich in. Meek uses references to several Drake songs to diss him, starting the song with “jumpman jumpman jumpman jumpman jumpman jumpman.” He goes back to insulting Drake for not writing his own lyrics. He also makes a direct reference to “Back to Back” with the line “Was that my girl’s tour or the world tour? I do not know what you pussy niggas goin’ for. This that hundred K a night when you perform tour!” Meek Mill became somewhat of a laughing stock in hip-hop after “Back to Back,” and his “I’m The Plug” freestyle offers nothing to change that.Drake is nominated for six Grammys this year, but that doesn’t seem to phase Meek,who has never been nominated for a Grammy. He starts the third track by saying “Let them niggas have the Grammys, we have the streets.”
“Gave ‘Em Hope” is a track about Meek Mill’s loyalty to his roots on the streets of Philly. There is nothing we haven’t heard from Meek Mill, he raps about his “Rollie,” his money, and his crew.
Meek saved the best for last on 4/4 with “FBH,” or “Fuck Being Humble.” I wouldn’t suggest listening to it without turning the volume on your speakers all the way up, and accepting the possibility that the bass could destroy them. Jahlil Beats produced yet another banger for Meek Mill. He is also responsible for “I’ma Boss” with Rick Ross, and “Amen,” which featured Meek Mill’s new best friend, Drake.
4/4 isn’t Meek Mill’s best work, but that’s okay. It is only meant to satisfy the fan base until Dreamchasers 4 is released at some point this year. The entire mixtape is less than 12 minutes long. All four tracks are produced well, but the EP overall lacks any lyrical merit. That’s almost expected, as Meek Mill isn’t the most lyrically gifted artist. Although he usually has at least a few lines that leave a lasting impact on listeners, he doesn’t in these four songs.
The mixtape includes a couple average songs in “Pray For ‘Em” and “Gave ‘Em Hope”, a several months old disappointing Drake diss, and one pretty good club banger in “FBH.” 4/4 won’t leave you in awe, but it is a surprise mixtape, and it’s free – who doesn’t love free?