“Hold up, wait a minute … ” this week’s intro, brought to you by The Undefeated’s sports and culture reporter Justin Tinsley:
To say Meek Mill’s had a roller-coaster ride the past three years would be the understatement of all understatements. But here he is with his fourth studio album, Championships
, which has won the adoration of fans and critics alike. There’s the Jay-Z feature on “What’s Free”
that turned the internet on its head. It wasn’t just an album highlight but one of the sharpest, hardest and most poignant verses in a career that quite legitimately stakes claim as the greatest of all time. And then there’s the on-wax reunion with Drake on “Going Bad.” This was the musical peace treaty to their high-profile 2015 beef, which opened a Pandora’s box of claims and accusations that left neither man the same careerwise. Yet, at its core — and at its most undeniable moments — it’s the Meek Mill who has always illuminated the brightest. It’s the same Meek, the “same n---a from Berks Street with nappy braids that lock.” The ribs-touching hungry, with a point to prove and the weight of the world on his shoulders, but with a mission to accomplish. An introspective but volatile album that examines a 31-year-old/young OG tired of being a product of the system, but one who ultimately, for now, has no choice. Conflict has usually spawned great music regardless of genre — and Meek’s no different. It’s hard to win a championship in December, but there’s an exception to every rule.