Album Review: Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares”

Meek Mill’s had a long, winding road to get to this point in his career, from jail and his previous collaborations with Dave Patten, to linking with Rick Ross and becoming the standout on the (mostly) star-filled MMG roster that we know today. Thankfully for him and his fans, Dreams and Nightmares is here after after it’s own variety of delays, and it’s a strong indicator that the formula Rick Ross and his team has tapped into is still effective.

If you’re a fan of Meek’s aggressive take on music, then you know exactly what to expect; everything from Meek is presented from a hood angle, but he surprisingly has a couple of fresh takes dropped throughout the playlist. “Traumatized” has him reminiscing over the pain his mother went through, and making a vow to kill the man who murdered his father, while “Tony Story Pt. 2” has him resuming the murderous street narrative from his acclaimed Dreamchasers mixtape. The producer-rapper tandem of Cardiak and Meek is revived on “Polo & Shell Tops”, as well as his connection with Tone the Beat Bully on the hard-hitting title track (“Dreams and Nightmares”).

STREAM: “Polo & Shell Tops”

Unfortunately, the rest of the album suffers from the same topics we’ve heard from Meek in the past. Ross and Meek flaunt over “Believe It”, which has the same sonic formula of “Black Magic” and “Tupac Back”, while even the collaborations with Nas and John Legend (“Maybach Curtains”) sound like somewhat recycled versions of the illustrious beats that MMG’s used in the past. It’s a formulaic approach at times to say the least (all the way down to the Ashanti Floyd and Kane Beatz produced “Lay Up”, featuring Trey Songz, Wale, and Ross), but it’s not necessarily a bad thing; some of us were just expecting more this time around.

Even with that eerie musical feeling of déjà vu, Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares still includes a few gems that make it worth playing and supporting. Meek’s been one of the hardest working artists in the past year, and it’s well-deserved that he gets his time to shine on the mainstream level. Even though the album doesn’t flow as well as his other projects in comparison, it’s still armed with top-notch features and production that will undoubtedly help him to make noise on radios near you (and that’s putting it lightly).

Rating: 7.5 / 10

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47 Responses to “Album Review: Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares””

  1. Alf Capone

    sooooooooooooooooooo…………i guess when dealing with someone as hyped up as meek……….they gotta give him atleast 7.5 outta 10?………….cuz if u read the review u would think its gonna be a 6 outta 10………..maybe even a 5 outta 10………..funny thing is………..it says what we all have been saying about meek for months now……………all his verses are structured the same………and he keeps recycling the same shit over and over………….just reworded……whatever tho……….its not like i had any intentions of buying the album……i mostly hate bragging raps………..bragging rap has to have some extreme word play for me to get into it……………..rather hear something with some substance

      • Kevin Washington

        crazy thing is folks been saying that about the boy when he was local … i guess that what meek meant when he said the haters made him hot lol … not saying your a hater …. but lets see if it can once again boost him to the next plateau

      • cromthelaughinggod

        Kevin hiphop is about dope lyrics being original lyrics not biting someone elses shit and ill beats or production. The basic ingredients to a good meal. Just because you don’t like a person’s album is considered a hater no it is just an opinion. Some people think he is nicer than he really is but that is there opinion. One thing real hiphop heads will agree if something is garbage or not. They don’t like recycled unoriginal sh*t.

      • Kevin Washington

        i can dig it but @least meek is recycling his own music … he aint out there trying to recreate jeezy or ti or even jayz swag ….. i guess guys are putting out so much music before the LP they kind of end up playing all of thier trump cards trying to build an hype for the LP …. then when the LP drop it ends up looking like the run they just previously gave you … instead of what they were leading up tooooooo …….. hey it is what it is ……… Meek is still dope … he aint gotta be rapping like nas or have crazy word play like Eminem … hes hood but theres alot of motivation behind his movement …. positive motivation … he even speaks on the real and doesnt try to glorify the things that happen to him in streets unlike alot of these other fairy tale rappers these days ……….. but like you said its all opinion base ……. im copping Dreams & Nightmares and Mic Tyson by the end of the week ….. thats the kind of hip hop guy i am 😉

      • Sean Peterson

        u the smartest dude on here,besides myself,lol ,,the mic tyson cd cover and title alone makes it classic,lol and yes it is a banger…SEAN P..

      • Eli Pinilla

        ” got watches i aint seen in months, a flat in the trump i only slept in once”- jay-z

    • K1ng Eljay | Leon Jr

      Not exactly. I rock with Meek, and for what it is, it’s a dope album.

      The issue is that it’s formulaic. But if the formula’s working then you can’t exactly knock it; that’s what makes Meek who he is.

  2. cromthelaughinggod

    This album is average nothing classic. His lyrics are average no metaphors just spittin about cars, girls some shit he went through nothing new. Recycled bs. I would give the album a 5.5 out of ten maybe a 6 for okay lyrics not wack but okay. Sean price album though fire every track goes hard lyrics are crazy beats are crazy. I will stick to mic tyson album over this bullshit. Sean P > Meek Mill fact. P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • K1ng Eljay | Leon Jr

      I heard Sean Price album and reviewed it elsewhere. To be honest, even though Sean P.’s raw, he had a couple of tracks on there where it seemed like HE wasn’t trying either.

      Man, that felt weird to type.

  3. Hol_Up

    When Meek isn’t talking about money, women and cars, he shines. But there are too many commercial songs that bring the album down. I believe Dreamchasers 2 suffered the same fate. He is a really good storyteller, but an incredibly average boaster.

  4. johnblacksad

    came from da hood, da bottom, da gutter… whatever
    real n!gga, grinded hard with a team of other real n!ggas
    now made it and haters are hatin
    Large racks, stupid mansions, sport coupes, ridiculously priced gear, frozen watches, finest & strongest drugs, fcukin n!ggaz’ b!tches, bad freaky hoes… let’s see… what else…

    Surprised to be there, enjoying every moment of it, gon ride til the wheels fall off,
    Gives random advices to young n!ggaz that wanna make it big one day like him : stay focused, watch who you F with, watch for them hoes…

    Def not hatin… Meek Mill ok in my book… but limited subject matter… he ain’t the only one tho

    6/10 could have done a better job… i honestly expected a lil better

  5. EL_BARK

    This shet trash like i been telling cats….. once this shet flops
    He’ll be back in the hood.
    Oh wait he shetted on his crew in SP, so he prolly be hanging up north now lol
    Its dont last long, now lets see how long he instragraming his ghost & aston martin,
    Lol the car notes is easy to make when you doing shows, but when that show money dries up, he going to feel like a fool. I would bought u every property i saw in the hood first. Created some residual income, then cops some fly shet…. But that just me.
    One 3 story apartment building in the right location, is enuff to pay a bentley car note.
    While use your money, when its feel so good to spend others ??????

  6. the allroads

    this type is on it’s way out… Like bad boy with the patent leather before the south came through… also, didnt stand a chance releasing this close to Good kid; Maad City.

  7. MC Jerz.

    this album aint shit and this review is soft. this is redundant material.Meek is a 1 trick-pony with no versatility. that shit is a 5 out of 10.

  8. disqus_4HacBtII0W

    if u went thru shit u gotta feel what Meek is talkin bout ….. If u just a hip hop head then yeah u ll probably like mad city better…

  9. Pope Chuck Paul

    he said jay-z gave him the thumbs up on this album? you serious? meek is actually better at telling dope hood stories like polo & shell toes, tony story part2. i said this after i heard the album. even the joint with 2 chainz is traaaaasssshhh!

    • Muneer Smith

      Yeah, when I heard him boast that Jay gave him the thumbs up I was like “Really??” It was probably one of those situations where they were in the studio listening to the album and Jay just told him it was dope cuz he didn’t wanna kill the young buls confidence. The album ain’t wack, it’s just OK.

  10. Muneer Smith

    As a Philly dude born n raised, I was really looking forward to this album cuz Meek is all we have who is putting on for the city on a national/mainstream level. I’ll probably support the album for that reason and nothing else. Don’t get me wrong, I feel his passion and pain on the album when he raps about his life and what he’s been thru and there are a few good songs, but from a musical perspective, there isn’t enough creativity and originality to keep me coming back for repeat listens. Meek can rap his ass off, but that doesn’t mean he’s NICE. Meek has perfected his own flow, but hasn’t developed different flows and more complex wordplay. All the rappers who are NICE (Jay, Em, Nas, even Kendrick Lamar) have the ability to switch flows on each song, and sometimes switch flows mid-verse. Hopefully he will build on his craft for the next album. 6.5/10

  11. Hugh Stecht

    you take your favorite joints from DC 1 and Dc 2 and this joint you easily got 15 BAANGERS and a classic,….now a days everbody so picky, make your own album,…..CLASSIC CERTIFIED>>> the bol got a nice body of work

  12. Carlos

    funny thing about hip hop, we complain when artist rap about the same topics but then we also complain when their next album is not like their first. wtf do we want.

  13. 7yoyo7

    I’m not a Meek Mill fan at all but I randomly fell on the “Traumatized” track 2 days ago and that was pretty good.
    Dude might have some potential if he actually focuses on real rhymes and adopting different flows.

  14. Michael Young

    I think Meek lacks creativity.He raps about the same stuff in different ways.Rick Ross does the same thing too.If they would find more subject matter they would be great rappers but his album was alright to me.I look at it for what it is.A commercial album.You can’t buy a Meek album and expects crazy metaphors & punchlines like when you buy a Nas or Kendrick Lamar album.I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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