The only way to describe this album is as the biggest moment in Meek’s career. After being in prison for eight months, all eyes were on him for an impressive comeback, and he delivered. He also overcomes one of the most infamous rap beefs of all time with a surprise feature from Drake to show that all is well between the two. After overcoming so many obstacles, I can confidently say that this was Meek’s most important project in his career.
Going back to 2015 when Meek tweeted “Stop comparing drake to me too…. He don’t write his own raps! That’s why he ain’t tweet my album because we found out!” Meek was instantly looked at as an enemy in the rap game to the monster hit-maker Drake. This wasn’t the end of Meek’s troubles, as Drake fired back with one of the greatest diss tracks of all time with “Back to Back”. After Drake had clowned Meek, went to prison, and lost Nicki Minaj, it seemed as though no one was on his side. This is why “Championships” is a very special album for Meek. As everyone is beginning to show love and support again, Meek Mill closes the year out strong and delivers and album for the books.
The lyrical focus on “Championships” is more focused towards his comeback to the game, which makes it a breath of fresh air to the bust-down rollie flex era of rap that we are currently in. “Watching a black woman take my freedom / Almost made me hate my people/ When they label you felon, it’s like they telling you they not equal / 11 years going to court knowing they might keep you or drive you crazy / 23 hours in a cell, somebody save me/ I’m on a jail card, trying to explain it to my baby / I gotta do the calendar twice, and that’s a maybe,” Meek raps on “Trauma”. On “Intro” he gives us a vintage performance where he raps like the Meek we all love to hear.
Another highlight of the album is the production. For half of the album, the beats stray away from the generic trap style that you can find on any generic rapper’s album. One of my favorites is the jazz beat from “Uptown Vibes”. Songs like “Intro”, “Respect the Game” and “Championships” have instrumentals that remind us of the Dreamchasers days. The other half of the album falls apart production wise with mainly generic beats but they balance out with Meek’s flows, lyricism, and features.
Feature wise, this album had its ups and downs. The obvious best features were on “What’s Free” with Rick Ross and Jay Z. Another feature I particularly enjoyed was Cardi B’s on “On Me”. The most important feature on this project was obviously Drake’s, but I don’t think it was the greatest on the album. He also used Kodak Black and Ella Mai to contribute some fire hooks on “24/7” and “Tic Tac Toe”. One of my least favorite features on the album was 21 Savage’s verse on “Pay You Back” which surprised me because I am typically a fan of 21’s feature work.
Overall, Meek Mill came back strong and delivered the album he needed to get back into the game. After all he has been through in the last two years, “Champions” was a sensational comeback album and I think the title fits perfectly. We look forward to seeing Meek grow and surpass the artist he once was.
Favorite Tracks: Uptown Vibes, On Me, What’s Free, Going Bad
Sleepers: Respect The Game, Trauma