Philadelphia rapper, hip hop icon, Amazon star, and prison reform activist Meek Mill has made good records, great records, and so-so records. Despite being a clever lyricist with a focus on loss and a picturesque sense of the street’s sensibilities – be it his own block, the universal block or the cell block – Meek’s emotions haven’t always been on display, with much of even his best material coming off as cold or distant.
That’s what made his on-air Grammy tribute to the late, great Nipsey Hussle on Sunday night so amazing, even devastating. Mill’s “Letter to Nipsey” track that dropped quietly on January 25, the night before the Grammys, featured rapper/producer Roddy Ricch, who actually was in town last night at Theater of Living Arts for his is #1 album, “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial.”
.Meek’s plainspoken rap and passionate delivery convey a tone most of Mill’s best verses have lacked since his start…
“Couple days ago, was chilling with my youngins/Seen your kids on the Gram, it made me sicker to my stomach/And as the marathon continue, we keep running/But I’m like, damn, I wish you seen that pussy coming, for real.”
Hussle’s world was Los Angeles, a far distance from Mill’s North Philly, yet their families and their heartache are connected, as was each man’s proximity to his home town with both famed for giving back to their communities and heightening family ties.
Find this track and blast it loud. And just hope Meek keeps up this level of intensity, forevermore.