The Jane Austen or E.L. James (or Walter White?) Award for Chemistry
By Kaylen Hann | 19 December 2012
Meek Mill & Rick Ross
To say nothing about quality just yet, having listened to Meek Mill rap on Dreamchasers II after several weeks of listening to Killer Mike/El-P’s R.A.P Music, it was like shaving my legs with a brand new razor. If you have ever bit your lip through a couple weeks’ worth of shaving well beyond a razor’s expiration date, and finally had the spare cash to rain down on a new box of the absolute cherriest of fancytime Venus blades (heh, what’s up fellas)…you know and have felt this particular joy. Which I am likening to Meek Mill’s rapping. Or, you don’t, and haven’t, and in which case I paraphrase with: holy shit, it’s sweet. Like that familiar sample of Australian girls saying, “Maybach music…sweet”—it is sweet. And in full concurrence with Diddy, who posits:
“Every time you hear that Australian girl say, ‘Maybach Music,’ it’s like your dick gets hard. Or at least my dick gets hard.”
Rapid, clean—Mill raps through production with slick moisture-enhanced strokes. As far as vowel-nimbleness goes, he’s no A$AP, but his flow’s as incisive as it is sleek. It’s a delivery which makes his Rick Ross quotations so charged, so invigorating; it’s what makes his rapping alongside Ross himself in track “Everyday” so impactful, contrasting, and just fucking great. Mill’s crisp white sails billow, full of the Rawse’s hot-air huffs—“WUH!”
“Yawning,” in Italian, is associated with “hunger,” breath and appetite hinging from the same bolt. There is a robust appetite to how the Bawse releases breath from his colossal chest—the “WUH” resounds with a gargantuan, anaconda-like hunger; a mammoth appetite capable of unhinging its great jaws and devouring beasts whole in his fiery belly. A furnace lit-up with blistering, cocaine-white heat. While Meek Mill, holding down the other end of the elemental spectrum: “I’m cool. I’m freshhh.” It’s an on-point self-assessment; all of Mill’s allusions to himself as the Fresh Prince are entirely apt in this way.
On collaboration track “So Sophisticated” from God Forgives I Don’t, released in relatively close proximity to Dreamchasers II, Ross and Mill divvy up the track something like Gotye’s* “Somebody That I Used to Know”—50/50 or 60/40. And neither party winds up straying too far from their respective sides. Much like the Divine Fits’ split of songs between Britt Daniels and Dan Boeckner, “So Sophisticated” is an instance where the lack of overlap is a disappointment; frankly, the more the opportunity for contrast, the better a track featuring both dudes becomes. And there’s plenty of that to speak of in “Everyday”: Ross escalating his “WUH” to “Wooop!” as Mill’s lyrics climb, shrill, and cap off with a stylistically satiating “Bitch,” the interjections tossed back and forth like they toss, I don’t know, bitches?
It stands out even with the choice guest rappers—with the exception of 2 Chainz, which is almost a par-for-the-course exception on any mainstream hip-hop mixtape. I can not be the only one wanting 2 Chainz to just go the hell away already. Go away “Tity Boi”—get off my mixtapes. He’s kind of like that guy who shows up to all your friends’ parties and no one can remember who initially started inviting him or how to stop inviting him. But to compensate: TDE’s Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean in “Lean Wit It,” with allusions made to Rozay’s “Ass (f/ Nicki Minaj)” and a biting snarl, is about as gruff as the album gets.
While Dreamchasers II is easily a “lesser Mill” in the face of Flamers, the way he does it, when I’m listening, you just don’t want Meek Mill to stop rapping. Just like you really don’t Ross to tell you your girlfriend’s boring.
(*Someone told me how to pronounce “Gotye” once but I still pronounce it like it’s “Goat-y”)