Posted by , Nov 2, 2016 at 04:57pm
EDITOR RATING
73%
Golden: 4Broken: 0
Unanimous
AUDIENCE RATING
74%
675 votes
Editor reviews (tap to expand)
72%
Patrick Lyons
Road to recovery
This situation isn't dire enough to call a comeback, nor is "DC4" good enough to deem a comeback project, but with just as many great tracks as any previous tape in the series, it's a good square one from which to start.
33107
81%
Danny Schwartz
Rap game Howlin Wolf
After a few listens through "DC4," I found myself returning again and again to "Blue Notes" and "Shine," two of the most poignant songs Meek Mill has ever made, and wishing he had dedicated more of the project to these sorts of tracks that make him sound like the street rapper equivalent of blues legend Howlin Wolf.
16817
70%
Trevor Smith
A step forward but not a triumph
Meek Mill's "DC4" is not quite as strong as any previous installments in the "Dreamchasers" series, nor does it contain the emotionally-charged highs of his "4/4" EPs. Ultimately, the project fails to arrive with the red carpet rollout its comeback narrative promised, but does occasionally remind us that Meek is one of rap's most thrilling performers, and one worth rooting for.
33111
68%
Rose Lilah
Getting there?
Meek Mill has faced a few hurdles in his rap career as of late, resulting in a skewed view of the rapper -- that extends to his music. DC4 is a valiant attempt at recovery, but somewhat misses the mark, as a commercially-released mixtape. The album seems to constantly alternate from fast cuts to slow ones, negatively affecting the user listening experience-- and Meek is always at his strongest when he's rapping over a banger (because yelling). There's also a handful of records that work better for their featured artist than for Meek himself.
34139
User  Rating:
hottttt
74% (675)
Rate it!
audience rating
432 VERY HOTTTTT
55 HOTTTTT
48 MEH
16 NOT FEELING IT
124 MAKE IT STOP
User Rating:
74% (675)
Meek Mill attempts to bring "Dreams Worth More Than Money"'s ambition back to his mixtapes, but in doing so, sometimes waters down his product.

Rarely do rugs get pulled out from underneath individuals with the speed and brutality of Meek Mill's Summer 2015 L-athon. The closest comparable examples are nearly all fictitious: Maximus' sudden enslavement after a battlefield victory in "Gladiator," Gary Bertier getting in a car crash while speeding away from a pep rally in "Remember The Titans," Lane Pryce running into financial rock bottom after successfully orchestrating a business coup in "Mad Men."

Meek, like all aforementioned parties, began his Shakespearean drama of a summer on top of the world, at the undeniable peak of his career at the time. That Spring, he had started dating Nicki Minaj, a paradigm for success and bodaciousness in hip hop, and on the third-to-last day of June, he released Dreams Worth More Than Money, his best-received and first #1 album. Less than a month later, however, it would all crumble in the eyes of the public as he started, stalled, and then quickly and unanimously lost a beef with Drake. This shouldn't have diminished DWMTM's success, but to this day, mention Meek's name to a rando on the street and odds are "Drake beef" will pop out of their mouths before "number one album." It doesn't help that Meek has gone on to feud with The Game and hometown legend Beanie Sigel in recent months either -- "beef" has appeared next to his name far too many times in the past year and a half. 

Dreamchasers 4 arrives quite a while after its original announcement, and with good reason. Save for this January's 4/4 two-part EP, it's Meek's first major chance to right his ship-- "comeback" seems too extreme a word for a guy who topped the charts 16 months ago. He's clearly spent a ton of time selecting beats, crafting verses, and collecting features, and it shows. The grandiose, lush-sounding DWMTM marked a departure from Meek's more workmanlike previous releases, and although DC4 was made on a lower budget, the attention to detail is comparable to its predecessor. The production and song structures are varied, the mood shifts throughout, and the features, in general, are pretty lit. The only problem is that unlike the majority of his last album, a good deal of DC4 doesn't sound like a Meek Mill project. 

Intro "On The Regular" fakes us out with an "O Fortuna" sample (very original, Meek) that makes it seem like another huge, bar-filled "DC1 Intro" is on the way, but instead Meek opts for a pretty basic hook and even more pedestrian flow. That's not to say it isn't an enjoyable track, but for Meek, whose calling card is jaw-dropping lyrical displays on intro tracks, it feels like an unwelcome side-step. Ensuing tracks "Blessed" and "Litty" fare better, the former off the strength of an amazing beat, the latter thanks in major part to Tory Lanez, but again, they don't sound like Meek songs. "Blessed" has the wavy New York cool of a French Montana track and "Litty" has Meek seeming like the featured artist. It's not until "Shine" that we get the Meek of old. He's given plenty of room in the beat to seem totally in command of the song's pacing, perfectly timing flow switches with transitions, and his weighty lyrics matching the inspirational-sounding backing vocals. 

It's not that I want Meek to stay stagnant-- later standouts "Lights Out" and "Blue Notes" prove that he's more than capable of maturing his sound -- but his personality and sound are both so integral to him sounding like a commanding presence on the mic rather than a itinerant shouter. When stuffed into a track like "Froze," so middle-of-the-road and definitionless that it feels like a DJ Khaled throwaway, he just sounds like a another dude doing Migos flows far less interestingly than the actual Migos. (A truly lackluster verse by Nicki -- "make n*ggas stare at my hands, even though I am not miming"?! -- doesn't help either.)

Whereas DWMTM's guests seemed to cater to Meek's sound, this time around Meek is more okay with stepping out of his comfort zone, as he does most noticeably on "Offended." It feels like a Young Thug or 21 Savage song that Meek hopped on, right down to the de-tuned piano keys and more muted beat, and while Meek does fairly well fucking with a more melodic delivery than usual, it doesn't feel like he's playing to his strengths. A far more fitting foray into Atlanta's universe is "Way Up," whose 6/8 time signature provides an obstacle course that makes for much more thrilling verses from Meek. Meek's at his best when he's pushing his voice to its limits, showcasing his unique gifts rather than fading into the background or doing karaoke with other styles of rapping. As he's told us and showed us many times throughout his career, Meek Mill is not an actor or a faker; he's incapable of being anyone but his real, aggressive Philly self. DC4's main problem is that he attempts to change that perception without first taking any acting lessons.

All that said, the end result of DC4 is similar to previous Dreamchasers installments, despite arriving there in a completely different way. A few very strong tracks ("Litty," "Shine," "Lights Out," "Blue Notes," "Way Up," "Tony Story 3") tentpole and otherwise scattered, tedious listen, whihch could be said about any of the previous tapes in the series. Here's where the success of DWMTM actually distracts you from the rest of Meek's career-- it's easy to forget that before that, he was known as a super talented rapper with a healthy list of amazing tracks and guest appearances, but no truly stellar full-length to his name. DC4 shows that he's not willing to go gentle into that very same good night again, as he actively tries to expand his boundaries, but in matching DWMTM's ambition and expansiveness, he often loses the very core that's always grounded his music. 

Meek Mill's "DC4" (Review)

 
73%

Editor rating

Golden: 4 Broken: 0
Unanimous

Audience rating

675 votes
74 %

Editor Rating

72%
Patrick Lyons Road to recovery
This situation isn't dire enough to call a comeback, nor is "DC4" good enough to deem a comeback project, but with just as many great tracks as any previous tape in the series, it's a good square one from which to start.
33107
81%
Danny Schwartz Rap game Howlin Wolf
After a few listens through "DC4," I found myself returning again and again to "Blue Notes" and "Shine," two of the most poignant songs Meek Mill has ever made, and wishing he had dedicated more of the project to these sorts of tracks that make him sound like the street rapper equivalent of blues legend Howlin Wolf.
16817
70%
Trevor Smith A step forward but not a triumph
Meek Mill's "DC4" is not quite as strong as any previous installments in the "Dreamchasers" series, nor does it contain the emotionally-charged highs of his "4/4" EPs. Ultimately, the project fails to arrive with the red carpet rollout its comeback narrative promised, but does occasionally remind us that Meek is one of rap's most thrilling performers, and one worth rooting for.
33111
68%
Rose Lilah Getting there?
Meek Mill has faced a few hurdles in his rap career as of late, resulting in a skewed view of the rapper -- that extends to his music. DC4 is a valiant attempt at recovery, but somewhat misses the mark, as a commercially-released mixtape. The album seems to constantly alternate from fast cuts to slow ones, negatively affecting the user listening experience-- and Meek is always at his strongest when he's rapping over a banger (because yelling). There's also a handful of records that work better for their featured artist than for Meek himself.
34139

Audience Rating

How do you rate this album/mixtape?
User  Rating:
audience rating
432 VERY HOTTTTT
55 HOTTTTT
48 MEH
16 NOT FEELING IT
124 MAKE IT STOP
 

Meek Mill attempts to bring "Dreams Worth More Than Money"'s ambition back to his mixtapes, but in doing so, sometimes waters down his product.


Rarely do rugs get pulled out from underneath individuals with the speed and brutality of Meek Mill's Summer 2015 L-athon. The closest comparable examples are nearly all fictitious: Maximus' sudden enslavement after a battlefield victory in "Gladiator," Gary Bertier getting in a car crash while speeding away from a pep rally in "Remember The Titans," Lane Pryce running into financial rock bottom after successfully orchestrating a business coup in "Mad Men."

Meek, like all aforementioned parties, began his Shakespearean drama of a summer on top of the world, at the undeniable peak of his career at the time. That Spring, he had started dating Nicki Minaj, a paradigm for success and bodaciousness in hip hop, and on the third-to-last day of June, he released Dreams Worth More Than Money, his best-received and first #1 album. Less than a month later, however, it would all crumble in the eyes of the public as he started, stalled, and then quickly and unanimously lost a beef with Drake. This shouldn't have diminished DWMTM's success, but to this day, mention Meek's name to a rando on the street and odds are "Drake beef" will pop out of their mouths before "number one album." It doesn't help that Meek has gone on to feud with The Game and hometown legend Beanie Sigel in recent months either -- "beef" has appeared next to his name far too many times in the past year and a half. 

Dreamchasers 4 arrives quite a while after its original announcement, and with good reason. Save for this January's 4/4 two-part EP, it's Meek's first major chance to right his ship-- "comeback" seems too extreme a word for a guy who topped the charts 16 months ago. He's clearly spent a ton of time selecting beats, crafting verses, and collecting features, and it shows. The grandiose, lush-sounding DWMTM marked a departure from Meek's more workmanlike previous releases, and although DC4 was made on a lower budget, the attention to detail is comparable to its predecessor. The production and song structures are varied, the mood shifts throughout, and the features, in general, are pretty lit. The only problem is that unlike the majority of his last album, a good deal of DC4 doesn't sound like a Meek Mill project. 

Intro "On The Regular" fakes us out with an "O Fortuna" sample (very original, Meek) that makes it seem like another huge, bar-filled "DC1 Intro" is on the way, but instead Meek opts for a pretty basic hook and even more pedestrian flow. That's not to say it isn't an enjoyable track, but for Meek, whose calling card is jaw-dropping lyrical displays on intro tracks, it feels like an unwelcome side-step. Ensuing tracks "Blessed" and "Litty" fare better, the former off the strength of an amazing beat, the latter thanks in major part to Tory Lanez, but again, they don't sound like Meek songs. "Blessed" has the wavy New York cool of a French Montana track and "Litty" has Meek seeming like the featured artist. It's not until "Shine" that we get the Meek of old. He's given plenty of room in the beat to seem totally in command of the song's pacing, perfectly timing flow switches with transitions, and his weighty lyrics matching the inspirational-sounding backing vocals. 

It's not that I want Meek to stay stagnant-- later standouts "Lights Out" and "Blue Notes" prove that he's more than capable of maturing his sound -- but his personality and sound are both so integral to him sounding like a commanding presence on the mic rather than a itinerant shouter. When stuffed into a track like "Froze," so middle-of-the-road and definitionless that it feels like a DJ Khaled throwaway, he just sounds like a another dude doing Migos flows far less interestingly than the actual Migos. (A truly lackluster verse by Nicki -- "make n*ggas stare at my hands, even though I am not miming"?! -- doesn't help either.)

Whereas DWMTM's guests seemed to cater to Meek's sound, this time around Meek is more okay with stepping out of his comfort zone, as he does most noticeably on "Offended." It feels like a Young Thug or 21 Savage song that Meek hopped on, right down to the de-tuned piano keys and more muted beat, and while Meek does fairly well fucking with a more melodic delivery than usual, it doesn't feel like he's playing to his strengths. A far more fitting foray into Atlanta's universe is "Way Up," whose 6/8 time signature provides an obstacle course that makes for much more thrilling verses from Meek. Meek's at his best when he's pushing his voice to its limits, showcasing his unique gifts rather than fading into the background or doing karaoke with other styles of rapping. As he's told us and showed us many times throughout his career, Meek Mill is not an actor or a faker; he's incapable of being anyone but his real, aggressive Philly self. DC4's main problem is that he attempts to change that perception without first taking any acting lessons.

All that said, the end result of DC4 is similar to previous Dreamchasers installments, despite arriving there in a completely different way. A few very strong tracks ("Litty," "Shine," "Lights Out," "Blue Notes," "Way Up," "Tony Story 3") tentpole and otherwise scattered, tedious listen, whihch could be said about any of the previous tapes in the series. Here's where the success of DWMTM actually distracts you from the rest of Meek's career-- it's easy to forget that before that, he was known as a super talented rapper with a healthy list of amazing tracks and guest appearances, but no truly stellar full-length to his name. DC4 shows that he's not willing to go gentle into that very same good night again, as he actively tries to expand his boundaries, but in matching DWMTM's ambition and expansiveness, he often loses the very core that's always grounded his music. 

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