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