‘Dreamcatchers 4’ impresses

After a long hiatus, Meek Mill returns to the music scene with a powerful album showing his range. Photo courtesy of HIPHOPDX.
After a long hiatus, Meek Mill returns to the music scene with a powerful album showing his range. Photo courtesy of HIPHOPDX.

Meek Mill finally released his latest album in the Dreamchasers series Friday, and Dreamchasers 4 (DC4) delivers all that listeners could’ve hoped for.

Since the beginning of 2016, he began teasing the release of DC4 and would occasionally leak partial tracks. Meek Mill fans’ anticipation grew exponentially time and time again as each possible release date was announced. He was rumored to have almost released it the same day that Drake released his album, Views. Needless to say, that would have only made Meek Mill’s fued with Drake worse. This album really helps show off the true artist that Meek Mill is and re-establishes his place in the industry as a talented musician as opposed to an antagonistic rapper with a lot of flash and no substance. 

The album is full of contrast between overproduced trap music and more genuine, stripped-back solos. In the song, “Blue Notes,” soulful jazz music in the background is paired with Meek Mill’s vocals. This song is different than the others on the album because it features a very genuine more laid-back version of Meek Mill. The beat is slower and the background is less distracting. The listener can really stop and think about the words. Throughout the album there are a few solos from Meek Mill that echo this less-produced style. By taking away the trap aspect that we hear in other songs, like “Litty,” Meek is able to demonstrate his ability to produce multiple kinds of music through songs like “Shine” and “Tony Story 3.” These songs are still backed up by strong vocals. Needless to say, the solos on DC4 emphasize Meek Mill’s ability to produce great work on his own, even though his albums do tend to feature quite a few other artists.

With artists such as Young Thug, 21 Savage, Tory Lanez and Lil Uzi Vert appearing on DC4, it can be hard to focus on Meek Mill, as they all add another layer to the music. These artists’ work thrive in a newer wave of music focused on heavy production, which appears often on tracks Meek Mill produces, making these features seem like matches made in heaven. Songs like “Offended,” “Litty” and “Froze” all show off the benefits of these collaborations. Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, French Montana and others are also featured throughout the album. As a result of these collaborations, each song is different than the next and the album shows the versatility Meek Mill’s music as a whole.

Unfortunately the many featured artists can sometimes overshadow the Meek Mill’s work. For instance, in “Offended,” Young Thug’s verse steals the show.

There’s no doubt that this album marks the return of Meek Mill into the music industry after a hiatus. If anything, the break from music helped Meek Mill build anticipation for his work while spending a good deal of time producing a unique album that justifies the time off. By diversifying the artists and background music, Meek was able to reaffirm his versatility and influence throughout the industry.