First Impressions: Meek Mill’s “Wins & Losses” Album

After all the jokes and the dust settles, Meek Mill proves that he's still a force to be reckoned with on his third studio album.

Coming off the news that his second studio album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, had recently gone platinum, Meek decided to drop his third album entitled, Wins & Losses. If there’s any artist who knows about dealing with a balancing act of wins and losses, it’s Meek Mill, without question. From starting his own record label, to his beef with Drake, to having a platinum album, to all the drama with Nicki Minaj and Safaree, Meek can tell you a little bit about winning and losing. The title is generic, yet so fitting for the Philadelphia rapper.

Top 5 Tracks

5. “Issues”

This is the album’s lead single of sorts. “Issues” was honestly the song that got me hype about Wins & Losses. It was at this very moment, that I realized Meek Mill had a chip on shoulder with this album. The beat is cool, but what stood out most, of course, is his bravado, particularly on the hook. Speaking of the hook, he used auto-tune to his advantage. Although some aren’t a fan of it, that’s what made this track what it is — a banger.

4. “Young Black America” feat. The Dream

This is definitely Meek’s most socially-conscious song yet. That Jay-Z “Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)” sample is such a nice touch too. There are many different depictions of what it’s like to be black in today’s America, but this song visualizes the thoughts of so many people in inner cities across the country. Meek didn’t need to do anything fancy with this one. He was spitting real-life facts and that’s all I needed to hear.

3. “We Ball” feat. Young Thug

This was a truly captivating track for me when I first heard it. From the jump, it was clear that this would be an emotional track, as Meek talked about the loss of some young up-and-comers who looked up to him, including Lil Snupe and Lor Scoota. The Thugger feature was A1 as well. His flow is unlike anything we’ve ever heard before. Also, I don’t know what that noise is in the background of the track, but it’s flames.

2. “Heavy Heart”

Yet again, another heartfelt song by Meek. Personally, I believe this is when the guy is at his best. This track in particular is super relatable. Even if you’re not in the hood, many can relate to being hesitant to trust people around them. The track is ultra soulful, but Meek still raps with his usual aggression, which I have no gripes about. He wasn’t afraid to be vulnerable here and it made for one of the album’s brightest moments.

1. “1942 Flows”

“Flows” is right. That’s exactly what Meek did throughout this entire track. This song was enjoyable from start to finish. The flow is crazy, the beat is stupid and Meek singing on the hook was surprisingly great. He was spitting straight bars on this track. Anybody that doubted that Meek was capable of this is simply a fool. “Getting money, me and all my woes.” That’s all we ever wanted.

Overall Review

It’s still early, but this is arguably Meek Mill’s greatest project to-date. The Dreamchasers mixtape series is classic and Dreams Worth More Than Money was solid, but W&L has a completely different feel to it. Critics will say that this is the same ol’ Meek and that he hasn’t progressed. Last time I checked, most rappers rap about the same things. And as fans of the music, do we want rappers to discuss things they don’t actually do in their music? That’s a rhetorical question. People can clown Meek for how he handled the whole Drake fiasco, but he never left as a rapper. This album, though, he appears to be a little more versatile than we’ve ever seen him on any body of work. He rapped with relentless aggression on the “Wins & Losses” intro and “Connect The Dots,” then made tracks for the ladies in “Whatever You Need” and “Fall Thru.” The project was probably a song or two too long, potentially holding it back in a sense. You can’t please everyone, but any true fan of rap should appreciate this one. Wins & Losses isn’t made for mainstream — it’s for the streets. Meek delivered a pure rap project. Album of the Year candidate for sure.

 

Stream Wins & Losses below

 

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