Meek Mill – Wins & Losses (Album Review)

Wins & Losses is the third album that Meek Mill has released under the MMG label. After backlash back and forth clashes with Drake, the highs and lows of his relationship with Nicki Minaj, the consequential loss after the success of Drake’s “Back To Back,” and the punishment of the law, make no mistake that Meek has wanted to return with a vengeance. Does Meek return with the blue flame of old like his much older projects? Let’s dive into this third album Wins & Losses.

Release/Promotion

In May 2017, Rick Ross took to the media to announce an upcoming album of “another MMG member’s” project. Following in July 2017, the track list and the album cover was released just weeks before the release date of the album with the official release date being as of July 17th, 2017. The leading single was first “Whatever You Need,” featuring Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign which was released on June 1st, 2017. The second single released for the album was “Young Black America” featuring The-Dream which was released on June 24th, 2017. On an interview with Streetz 94.5, Meek explained a bit about the process and concept regarding the album.

“I just wanted to give people a real perspective of my life, what we call wins and what we call losses. I lost my case, we lost Lil Snupe, Chino lost his brother. Where we come from, that’s a loss. When you talk L’s and W’s, you get an L, that mean you got life in jail. It’s critical, it ain’t what they talking about, so I wanted to give my perspective on it, let people know what I’ve been through.”

Fun Fact: To bolster the promotion of the album, Meek had released a freestyle on Spotify’s Rap Caviar Playlist and in the same breath of the freestyle, acknowledged the album’s release. For additional promotion, he also released a 4 part film series titled Wins and Losses: The Movie that was released from June 17th to June 20th. The entire movie as a whole was released on the same day of the album release. Peep the entire film below.

Production

The following artists contributed to the production of the album:

  • Rick Ross (Executive Producer)
  • Meek Mill (Executive Producer)
  • Papamitrou
  • Streetrunner
  • Tarik Azzouz
  • MP808
  • Tazzaracci
  • RaRa
  • DJ Mustard
  • James Royo
  • Rance (of 1500 or Nothin)
  • Dougie
  • Cardiak
  • Wheezy
  • Future (Yes, Future Hendrix produces)
  • iBeatz
  • GKoop
  • Infamous Rell
  • Illmind
  • Honorable C.N.O.T.E
  • Street Symphony
  • D.O. Speaks’
  • 8×8
  • Maaly Raw

Fun Fact: We know that Meek Mill at one point was called Meek Millz, his battle rap persona. Known video footage confirms that Meek has at least 2 battles with different opponents including a diss towards other Philly native, Reed Dollaz. Far as freestyles go, not many can say they went back and forth with a primed and still popular Cassidy. Peep the footage of a young and hungry Meek Mill trade bars with Cassidy before the signing of MMG (and even Grand Hustle) in which he was on house arrest.

Artist Spotlight: Quavo (of Migos)

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I mean…he did have like the most fire hook in the entire album. I mean don’t you know this man’s catalogue far as hooks? One thing people seem to forget is that if you have just a 1/3 of any Migos member, your track is going to standout in one way or another. Offset can definitely outfox a rapper if his flow on the verse is put together. But what’s the other best weapon if you can’t get that? Quavo. Easily able to not only hold his own on a verse (commercially that is) but make an immaculate catchy hook (don’t make me get the catalog). Along with his family members, Quavo has definitely achieved greatness and is definitely wanting to use this same momentum achieved during the coming time of Culture 2. As for his solo route? We’ll see!

…and Takeoff didn’t get left off “Bad & Boujee.”

Honorable Mentions

Lil Uzi VertPlease stop saying he’s trash. He isn’t for you hip-hop snobs…not to mention he’s a “rockstar,” remember (word to 21 Savage)? Definitely want that same tenacity brought on Luv Is Rage 2.

Yo GottiNot sure If I’m alone here but for some reason, Yo Gotti has definitely been putting out great feature verses as of late. If you name a track “That Range Rover Come With Steps,” get Future on the track and still kill it, you must be doing something well.

Strengths & Weaknesses

MMG Legacy

Strength: Let’s discuss Maybach Music currently for right now and their current roster (ACTIVE that is). Rozay, Wale, Meek, Stalley, Rockie Fresh, Omarion, Tracy T and indirectly Fat Trel (Free Trel). So at one point, MMG was the crowned music group to be apart of which was about the time Meek and Wale had signed at the exact same time. In a music group, each member is solely responsible for putting out great music and developing as an artist. We of course have Rick Ross. We also have Wale (despite his constant blaming of being considered corny even though he releases great music). Meek Mill of course I feel is the one that stands out the most that brings out the symbolism within MMG.

Weakness: Here’s the issue with this. Because Meek could be considered the #1 (yeah I ain’t buggin) artist on the label, he outshines the label as a whole. Therefore, all the other remaining artists aren’t getting that same appeal because they don’t exactly fit that image as a whole. Lets be real, as much as I truly like Rockie Fresh as an artist, he doesn’t really fit the Maybach Music image. So then you have to ask yourself, WHAT is considered the image of MMG? Jewelry, cars, anything relative to the street, the struggle, money, etc. So when you sign an artist like Rockie who doesn’t totally fit the image, it questions the label as a whole. Rockie’s content is rather opposite but he fits the cool persona of what MMG is otherwise. The next question is how does this apply solely to Meek Mill as a weakness?

This video…

Notice the hesitation Rockie had like he attempted to freestyle (then again, how do you follow up with a hungry freestyle from Meek period)? What I’m suggesting is to lend a helping hand to the other members on MMG for those that don’t quite fit the image and/or help them attain that level of prestige. Lil Snupe’s potential of what he could of been due to Meek’s advice put him a great position to be a great artist. Keep in mind, as much as Rozay is the boss of the operations, who does one look up to you if he isn’t around? Your second guy (and at this point, the face of MMG) is the go to. Much as some would prefer Wale, I would prefer Meek because of his current position right now.

Meek Mill’s Resolve (The Philly Substance)
(image provided by Billboard)

Strength: So let’s be real…2016, was awful for Meek. He lost Nicki Minaj, he got embarrassed by Drake on “Back to Back,” and had constant backlash with the law as well. So what’s the strength in all of this particular topic? Substance. A Meek Mill with the ability to make a hit track is always fire. A Meek Mill that can spit a different freestyle each time he enters the radio station is always fire. But a Meek Mill with both of these plus the ability to rap with substance is a blue flame. As a man, he acknowledged the fact of his losses up to this point: Nicki, Snupe, his court case, the back and forth freestyles against Drake, etc. So what does one do? Keep going…keep in mind, Meek pushed out 2 projects in the midst afterwards to build momentum towards the album (Meekend Music 1 & 2).

Weakness: A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance 
-Proverbs 28:13

I’m convinced that Meek admitted his mistakes in the form of his losses. As he admitted it, he found it in himself to forget these mistakes which in turn, convinced himself that he can continue within his career. Therefore, I can’t say that this is a true weakness other than him explaining his vulnerability. But this in turn makes him a better artist which also is a strength. Here’s a brief explanation of this in the form of a video presented by Spotify.

Drake vs. Meek Mill: Aftermath

Strength: In case you hadn’t missed it, Meek Mill had a rumored 3rd verse off his track “1942 Flows” which was aimed specifically at Drake. Now the strength in this is what can an already vulnerable Meek Mill who has found resolve within himself to accept the L of which he has received before from Drake and gathered conviction and momentum from his endeavors do against a musically exposed Drake (aka the culture vulture) who has now officially announced a musical “hiatus” on his last track on More Life? Of course, I feel Meek would have the upper hand. But is it fair? I’d say so…”Back to Back” was an afterthought of bullying when it gained the recognition it deserved. Constantly being played at concerts, having Meek’s name chanted in negativity…you could say that Meek could capitalize on a chess move like this. In case you missed the hidden verse, peep the lyrics,

At the dealership, dream car, spent the cash on it
Got my dream girl, riding on me, from the back on it
Ever slide through your old hood, paper tag on it?
Pin me at the bottom, so my hood gon’ brag for me
Heard they say I talk about my Rollies too much
But them flows you be using sounding stolen too much

500 on my neck, they say I’m glowing too much
Had to block that little bitch because she blowing me up
You be doing too much, you only looking for attention
Swaggerjacking, jacking niggas’ swag, that’s extensious
Came in the culture like a vulture, now you winning

But this is just the beginning, double M the emblem, for real

Weakness: 
Well in the event that Drake comes with the same tenacity that he exhibited during the period of “Back-To-Back” came out, that’ll be another L Meek will have to take in the event Meek subliminally comes out the gate with a diss or the response is weak. But for the time being, looks like Meek has the entire advantage considering Drizzy has taken a hiatus…

Final Verdict

So what can we say about this Meek that is different that the Dreamchasers Meek or first two albums he’s released? Growth. A lot of growth to be exact. That fact that he has so much substance to exhibit and can acknowledge the fact openly inside and outside of his music shows his maturity on this album. So what is next for Meek? Maybe develop more talent on the Dreamchasers label? Perfect himself further within his music? We can only wait. All in all, I honestly felt that this album was a self=check to better himself. Long as he can continue to rumble and be like his old “loud’ self, expect Meek to have longevity for a long time on MMG.

Renegade Final Score: 4.7/5

 

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