Dreams Worth More Than Money is the highly anticipated second LP from Maybach Music Group’s Meek Mill. Known for his aggressive delivery and head heavy content, Meek’s tale is that of a young man rising from the depths of America to realize his dreams come true. We’ve heard this story plenty of times, but what makes his different is that we can see his come up right on Youtube – from the days of the nappy braids to the present era, including Nicki Minaj. Now on his second go-round Meek looks to take a step towards becoming more of a star on a mainstream front, while maintaining his street oriented fanbase.
The attempt to crossover but keep the hood happy is evidenced throughout the album. On “Lord Knows” you can feel the comfort in his flow as he takes complete control of the Mozart sample. Meek sounds as polished as ever telling the story of how he came up from the bottom and the hindrance that was his jail sentence. The same can be said about “I Got The Juice” and “Check,” traditional Meek sounding, anthemic records. Then there are the reaches for crossover success. “All Eyes On You” boasts a star cast in Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj, “Pullin’ Up” features The Weeknd, and the now infamous “R.I.C.O.” features former BFF Drake. Meek Mill is still Meek Mill, but you get the feeling that he wanted to stay out of the way on these records a bit and let the more pop savvy stars take control. He’s like a baserunner looking to steal second on these songs. He stays as close to his comfort zone as possible, but you can see him cheating right and it’s interesting to watch.
Rap wise, Meek doesn’t show many differences from past work, but the name of the game here is consistency and ratios. Does he give us the anthemic bangers? With records like “Check,” check. Are there chart climbers? With Nicki, Drake, and The Weeknd he’ll be sure to make that noise. Most importantly, does he satisfy his core fanbase? “Lord Knows” and “Cold Hearted” do that. All in all Dreams Worth More Than Money does what it has to do, but don’t expect anything too groundbreaking here.
*Ether Report Card – 7.82/10
High: Lord Knows, Check, Jump Out The Face ••
Low: Been That ••