There aren’t very many perfect album titles in terms of the music industry. Many times an artist names an album something that has nothing to do with the project, more of an inside joke if you will. Fans spend time researching the meanings behind album titles only to hear the artist gave it that particular name for a different reason. We all remember Summer 2015 as Hip-Hop fans; that was the summer of Ls for Meek Mill. The minute he took to Twitter to voice his displeasure for Drake and open the ghostwriting rumors was the minute he began declining in terms of popularity. Thanks to that we got a more fierce Drake in the form of ‘Charged Up’ and ‘Back To Back’.
It looked like it was over for Meek Mill at this point but he never gave up, not even after news broke of his breakup with Nicki Minaj. “Lose the battle, win the war” is the old adage for taking your losses in stride and Meek’s perseverance through this devastating summer would not keep him down. Wins And Losses is Meek’s first commercial release since the Drake debacle with commercial being the best way to describe it.
This album is very formulaic in terms of its structure. If you’ve listened to a project from Meek Mill you know that he starts with a breathtaking intro but begins chasing radio hits with his singles while filling it in with a couple solid tracks. This makes Wins & Losses no different from his past releases, only showing flashes of change with a few songs on the 17 track release. The radio ready ‘Whatever You Want’ should be a summer smash but falls short a bit with its lazy sampling from Tony! Toni! Toné!’s famous record of the same name. This happens again with The-Dream assisted ‘Young Black America’. What should be a record that celebrates the rise and success of a young black man in this country falls short due to more lazy sampling, this time from JAY-Z’s ‘Blueprint (Mama Loves Me)’.
Wins And Losses has balance and may include some of Meek’s best records since his Dreams and Nightmares debut. ‘1942 Flows’ allows the Philly staple to address topics in an honest fashion, opening up about his nothing to famous story. At this point he’s been asked about his breakup with Nicki Minaj so often that he even addresses it in the third verse, “so when you see me out don’t ask me about Nicki/f*** I look like tellin’ my business on Wendy”. ‘We Ball’ serves more as the “Young Thug World Tour Of Outrapping You On Your Own Song” as this record feels more like Thug inviting Meek to his house rather than the opposite (another album trait that Meek has done in the past). This album isn’t hard to digest by any means but it does offer a glimpse into Meek’s mind and what has been happening in his life for the past couple of years.
It’s nice to get a look into Meek’s soul but the creativity of this album fails to grab attention, blending in with many of his past albums and mixtapes. You’ll find a select few songs that will make you a fan but overall Meek hasn’t done anything original or creative in the last few years. He has become the consummate label rapper. Fans will love this project as Meek speaks to his core but in regards to obtaining new fans, Wins And Losses finds it somewhat hard to go into the win column because of its repetitive structure.
Repeatable: ‘Heavy Heart’, ‘1942 Flows’, ‘We Ball’ feat. Young Thug
Skippable: ‘Never Lose’, ‘Open’
By Joe Coad