Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares album falls closer to a nightmare than a dream. Brief moments of ingenuity and conceptual strengths are heavily offset by lackluster efforts and predictable cadences.
The title track “Dreams and Nightmares” summarizes everything Meek discusses on records. He adequately displays how a young male from the hood has dreams fulfilled by rap successes before the track takes a drastic turn for the worse. Understandably so, Meek attempted to draw stark contrast between dreams and nightmares and sufficiently succeeds. “Dreams and Nighmares” fails after angelic piano keys transitions to a devilish bass drop, and Meek begins shouting at maximum vocal capacities. His voice is already borderline and increasing the volume is far too intense.
The paradoxical title of “In God We Trust” leads listeners to believe it will be structured after his “dream” theme, but he proceeds to paint more pictures of destruction. It seems like Meek fell in love with the title and felt obligated to include it on the album. Once again, thematically, Meek missed the mark, but displays a vicious flow.
“So for 100 keys, think what my click will do/ I’m talkin’ clappin toaster, bullets will hit ya roof/ They hit his body he went in shock, no Pikachu.”
Meek’s subject bank is painfully limited. He’s readily defined by monetary braggadocio statements, badd yellow chicks, drugs, and a team of shooters ready to do dirt. There’s nothing more to his lyrics. Given that he raps to the same cadence on almost every song, any one of his verses can be substituted for another with no notable difference. It ruins the quality of songs like “Maybach Curtains” and “Lay Up,” whose star studded casts anchor the tracks.
“Lay UP” or “Maybach Curtains” could have easily replaced “Amen,” “Burn” and “Young & Getting’ It” as radio singles. The feature power of Nas, Wale, Trey Songz and John Legend easily overshadow Big Sean and Kirko Bangz given the song’s industry sound.
One underrated facet of Meek’ style rests in his storytelling ability. Regardless of point of view, Meeks knows how to phrase, and stage events in a climatic fashion. He allows listeners to visualize words. Meek continues to develop the success of his Dreamchasers “Tony Story” with the sequel “Tony Story, Pt. 2”, and relays parts of his own tribulations on “Traumatized.” He discusses personal pain and addresses the man that killed his father with eerie distaste.
“Hope you hear me, I’mma kill you n***a/ to let you know that I don’t feel you n***a/ yeah, you ripped my family apart and made my momma cry/ so when I see you n***a it’s gon’ be a homicide/ Cuz I was only a toddler, you left me traumatized.”
Overall, Meek Mills project was less than admirable. Lack of versatility, incomplete theming, and a couple of poorly executed punchlines inhibits the maximum effect of his passion and energy. Ironically, his nightmare’s makes the album worth listening to, and his dreams weigh the project down with their ubiquitous placing. A listener can sleep on this Dreams and Nightmares project and not have missed much.
Normally disappointment litters the NFL each week, but after thorough search, I didn’t find many stories to fit the bad and ugly categories. So, this edition of my NFL weekly review will focus on breakout performances and achievements.
Doug-ie Martin/There’s no place like home
Cruz has the Salsa, I have the Dougie
Last week I alerted NFL fans to pay particular attention to Doug Martin after 214 yards of total offense against the Vikings. As expected, this week Martin taxed the Raiders’ defense for a career-high and franchise-record 251 rushing yards and 4 TDs. Martin scored TD runs of 1, 45, 67, and 70 yards, becoming the first player in NFL history to record three TD runs of at least 45 yards in a game. His 24 direct points exceeded 17 teams point output, and his 220 yards in the second half crushes his previous rushing records. Ironically enough, last week, I jokingly asked Martin to teach us how to Dougie, so he did after a big touchdown run this week. This performance was a classic homecoming story as Martin roots stem from Oakland and he returned to California with people present. He reportedly had more than 60 family members and friends in attendance witnessing him singlehandedly dismantle a defense. Final Score: Doug Martin and the Buccs 42, Raiders32.
Charles Tillman and the Bears Defense
Taking candy from a baby
One Chicago Bears player forced four fumbles this week. I bet if you had a guess your first, and most fitting, vote would go to Brian Urlacher. Surprisingly cornerback Charles Tillman was the culprit responsible for continuously separating offensive players from the football, including a strip on the Titans first offensive play from scrimmage. Yet, impressive defense didn’t stop there. Urlacher housed a 46-yard interception, giving the Bears defense a TD in 3 consecutive weeks raising their total to 5. The special teams unit followed suit by blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown. Their defense was impeccable and made the Titans appear small. A gargantuan defensive efforts almost makes a person forget the Bears scored 51 points this week. Final Score: Bears 51, Titans 20.
Lucky or good?
Adding the highly touted number one draft pick, Andrew Luck, didn’t raise Colts’ expectations entering this season while beginning the post Manning era. Yet, the performance of Andrew Luck has the Colts comfortably sitting at 5-3, actively chasing a playoff berth. Luck led the Colts to victory throwing for a rookie-record 433 passing yards, barely breaking Cam Newton’s record of 432 yards from last season. Luck’s poise and ability to command the pocket confirms that he’ more about skill than luck. I almost mistook Luck as Manning running the Colts’ offense. Check their numbers, you’ll be surprised. Both Luck and Manning have 2,404 passing yards on the season. Final Score: Colts 23, Dolphins 20.
Sit down kid
Statistically speaking, two receivers had more yards than Bears wide out Brandon Marshall in week 9, but neither of those receivers hauled in a TD pass, let alone 3. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall’s chemistry hasn’t digressed from their Bronco days. In essence, Marshall classifies as a poor man’s Calvin Johnson. Marshall capabilities extend to every intangible Johnson has, but he may not be as fast or jump as high. Yet I’d argue that he’s just a strong, may be more physical, and his hands are just as sure. He helped complete a franchise day in Bears history, catching Chicago’s fourth TD of the first quarter for 28 points.
Adrian Peterson returns to form
Drink more of that and you’ll be good.
The NFL’s most physical runner appears to have gotten his mojo back after a 2011 MCL tear. Everybody knows AP is the most violent runner the league has to offer. His game-breaking speed and agility coupled with ferocious strength makes AP one of the league’s most formidable opponents. Seattle came in as one of the most physical and stingiest rush defenses in the NFL, and AP has struggled to tally consistent numbers Sunday, none of that mattered as AP totaled two TDs and 182 yards, averaging 10.7 yards a carry. His longest run of the day came on a 74 yard sideline sprint, where AP suddenly cut inside, between two defenders, and was walked down inside the 5-yard line. It’s clear to see AP’s leg strength and agility has returned. Stay watchful for improvements in his conditioning. Once it returns, he will resume duties as a game-breaking force. Seahawks 30, Vikings 20.