Fresh off an unceremoniously break-up with the Young Money goddess, Nicki Minaj, and an ugly beef with Drake, Meek Mill in his latest Album Wins and Losses attempts to recount and scale his ordeal.
Over the past few years the Philadelphian Rapper has been the butt of countless jokes and in his own eyes he saw the effect of the reversal of fate in his beef with Drake.
In Wins and Losses, Meek Mill attempt to re-tell the narrative through his perspective and in a certain way the album goes to explore his losses as a kid from North Philly who has been involved in several run-ins with the law enforcement, lost his dawg (Lil Snupe) to the cold hands of the streets and life as a Young Black American fighting a perpetual war with the penitentiary. However, the case, the other side of the album explores his wins as a young rapper making it, signed to one of the hottest labels in the game and constantly reminding hip-hop that he is one who is going to be around for a while.
Wins and Losses takes a cue from his début album Dreams and Nightmares. In Dreams and Nightmares, Meek intertwines rap ambitions and the realities of the streets in one sound. To further support the claims of rappers like Joel Ortiz who would say “music saved my life”, Meek Mill presents rapping as the bulletproof vest that saved him from the bullets shot by the streets. The strength of the album comes from the fact that he is being real and is not majorly dropping corny lines of how much he spends in the club and how he wrecked that bitch the night before; however, they may seem, the album reeks more of a silent and melancholic wave. He highlights the low point and possible pitfalls of success and fame, painting them along the violent nature of the streets.
The intro to the album started off strong like the typical Meek Mill fashion with words like “eat the dream, sleep the dream, dream the dream”. A typical representation of how much of a dreamer he still is and regardless of his losses he is still a winner. In tracks like Heavy Heart, These Scars (feat Future and Gordan Banks), Young Black American, Made It from Nothing, and Price, the differences appear as he seems vulnerable to the streets and the life he has suffered. Other tracks touch his seemingly celebratory wins in Never Lose and Ball Player, in Whatever You Need he seemingly details his complicated feelings with Nicki Minaj. ‘So when you see me out don’t ask me about no Nicki/fuck I look like talking my business on Wendy’
In all ramifications Young Black American stands as the most politically and socially conscious track on the album. Similar to Meek’s switching his own style for a mimicry of Young Thug’s in the trap-melodic track We Ball, here Meek Mill attempts to sound more distant from his usual energy to fitting into the laced Al Green vocal sample as Jay-Z’s Blueprint: Momma Loves Me track off the Blueprint album. His deliberate switch of flows seems intentional but it measures too slow to that of Hov’s and places the track on a more conscious table. The track stands out as one of the most significant tracks on the album and in a realistic place it expresses Meek’s present situation.
Either ways, the album signifies purpose for the rapper and his ambition for the album is notable. It surely introduces listeners to a certain kind of growth from the rapper. Maybe its major flaw, however, is its inconsistent production and its lack of the general mainstream conceptual album arrangement regardless of that, Wins and Losses is a 4.0 star album.
Sorry Meek Mill, the system don’t love you, but we do.