Meek Mill understands what it takes to overcome odds. The native Philadelphia rapper and activist recently dropped Championships on Nov. 30, his first album deliverance since being released from prison in April, after what many viewed as a miscarriage of justice.
Championships is Meek’s fourth studio album after Wins & Losses, released back in June of 2017, and Legends of the Summer EP, a project released this past July.
Rounding out at 19-tracks and 72-minutes in length, Championships features some of hip-hop’s finest personalities, including former-foe Drake in “Going Bad” and JAY-Z and Rick Ross in “What’s Free?” Other notable appearances include Cardi B, Kodak Black, Young Thug and 21 Savage.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Meek told fans, “This album is going to hit all my fans, whether you’re a day one Meek fan or you just learned about my music through my legal situation.” He continued, “You’ll have street records, you’ll have party records, you’ll have songs for the ladies, and then you’ll have more personal records that touch on everything I’ve been through this past year.”
Championships tells an underdog’s story.
In “What’s Free?” Meek raps about the defamation of his character and the inequalities within the United States legal system. He raps, “Two-fifty a show and they still think I’m sellin’ crack. When you bring my name up to the judge, just tell him facts.” He continues, “Tell him how we ceasin’ all these wars, stoppin’ violence, tryna fix the system and the way they designed it.”
After Meek publicly ended his three-year long beef with Drake back in September, he pairs up with him on “Going Bad,” one of the album’s instantaneous sensations. Together again, Meek raps, “Me and Drizzy going back-to-back, it’s gettin’ scary,” an ode to Drake’s original diss-track aimed at Meek in 2015.
Meek is far from meek when calling out the discriminations he’s faced in own career, as well as the injustices faced by any young black citizen in today’s nation. In a separate interview with Beats 1, Meek told Ebro Darden that this album is a meditation on, “beating poverty, beating racism, beating the system, beating gun violence and beating the streets.”
Meek’s beaten all of these in his own time, becoming a true and living testament to this champion mindset. In “Trauma,” Meek raps, “how many times you send me to jail to know that I won’t fail.” Since 2008, Meek’s been in-and-out of jail six times.
Overall, Championships brings the significant lyrics Meek is known for, paired alongside his unquestionable motivation to defy the challenges he’s faced and continues to surmount.
In “Oodles O’ Noodles Babies,” Meek raps, “Remember, nobody never believed in us, when they see us now, they can’t believe it’s us,” harkening back to his original April statement after his release from prison, where he stated, “I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues.”
Meek has again risen to the occasion, using his voice to stimulate change, as the same champion in a new Championships.