Philly rapper Robert Williams aka Meek Mill reveals mixed feelings on fame and fortune in his sophomore album Dreams Worth More Than Money. With several mixtapes, two record deals and a couple months of jail time, it is safe to say Meek Mill has fully embraced the lifestyle of a rapper. But based on the content of his latest album, the celebrity lifestyle isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Through flashy tracks and honest lyrics, Williams pushes a message that most stars struggle to accept: money isn’t everything.
DWMTM is bipolar in content with tracks containing negative messages about wealth and others flaunting all the perks associated with fortune. “The Trillest” is a prime example of this phenomenon as Meek Mill raps as if his fame is something to mourn with accounts of regrettable actions driven by greed. Yet the chorus sings “As the champagne pours and the campaign roars, and the lights shine bright every night they applaud for the trillest” giving the impression that his wealth is something to celebrate. Fervidly cocky, “R.I.C.O.” features Drake, the perfect artist for a song about flexing. Both artists have a tendency to fill their verses with bold proclamations on the significance of their success. With lines like “For my teachers that said I wont make it here, I spend a day what you make a year”, Williams is ruthless with his egotism but Drake takes the cake when he humbly raps “My dad is from memphis and I am the king, I should probably just move into Graceland”. Nonetheless, the arrogance is deserved as the flows are airy, the lyrics are witty and the song is a great listen.
Meek picked his features well in DWMTM. “Been That” features Rick Ross, who has the ability to add swagger to the the most unlikely things. The Red Bottom Boss takes an obnoxious foghorn beat and makes it one of the album’s highlights. “Bad For You” features girlfriend Nicki Minaj lending her sexy vocals for a “good girl gone bad” theme song. Rarely do listeners experience a laid back Nicki and this feature has a perfect blend of enticing energy without doing the most. Fortunately for the barbie fans, Nicki lands a more extensive verse on the sensual track “All Eyes On You”, shining with her New York accent and bad girl sex appeal.
The “mo’ money, mo’ problems” theme is strong in the confessional track “Cold Hearted”. Meek reflects on the relationship between gaining money and losing friends. Diddy makes an appearance with an icy monologue, pushing the song towards and even more depressing tone as he talks about all the ways money can destroy morals.
Though Williams openly revels in his ostentatious behaviors, he doesn’t hesitate to condemn his ways. The emphasis on money being the root of all evil moves DWMTM towards an interesting direction. It’s not often that a rapper is so openly remorse full throughout an entire album. There’s a good deal of sadness in Williams tone but an equal amount of hope, ambition, and honesty that prevents the album from being a sob story. With several outstanding tracks, candid messages and banging features, Meek Mill not only establishes himself as a rapper but also as a flawed human being, reminding listeners that rappers are people too.