When I say the streets I mean,
hustling, art, grinding, rhyming, Kulture, wars, education, balling, macing...”
Let me be the first to say it; during the Drake vs. Meek Mill lyrical squabble, I sided with Drake. There’s no question that Drake is the bigger superstar. If you’re a Hiphoppa who respects the Kulture, you’d honestly agree, when it came to that 2015 Drake and Mill pound for pound, The 6 god totally won, hands down.
That being said, I also have to go on the record and say I think Meek Mill is dope. Speaking from the perspective of an Ol Skool cat who grew up grinding in a few different streets, I can truly say Meek is spitting the type of bars I directly relate to. I think Drake is a hot musician and an extremely clever lyricist, yet Meek Mill has that raw and uncut street essence which can’t be denied.
I also have to go on the record and say I think Meek Mill is dope.”
I’ve lived in Northeast Philadelphia on Cottman Avenue and at Bristol and Villanova between 2002 and 2005. Basically, I lived on the rich and the hood side of that whole strip. Coming from Freetown, Sierra Leone, after being in Liberia, going to Guinea, The Gambia and Senegal through the 90s, the one thing that’s been consistent in my life is the streets.
When I say the streets I mean, hustling, art, grinding, rhyming, Kulture, wars, education, balling, macing and all of that. So when I tell you I can feel where Meek Mill is coming from lyrically, on that Philly tip, I mean it. I can’t speak to someone who was born and raised there but I’ve had a taste of that life. Meek is carrying the tradition how every vet would want to see it done.
My mistake was I didn’t listen to all of Meek Mill’s lyrics.”
I won’t be doing the streets any justice if I don’t speak for an emcee who carries its essence. At first, when I listened to Meek I didn’t feel him. Why? Because, I was already tired of Trap rappers who flash wealth, rap about sex and taking molly in damn near every song. I questioned the tight clothes in every video. I was weary of Rick Ross even after he proved himself later, skeptical of believing in new rappers.
To keep it 100, I was in Philly back when Cassidy, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Gillie Da Kid and other Philly rappers repped those streets and became legends there. I was gonna measure every rapper or emcee from Philly with that same stick. My mistake was I didn’t listen to all of Meek Mill’s lyrics. Once I heard the high pitched voice and the trap beat knowing he’s from Philly, I was like, ‘aww man, the South got Philly too’.
After the beef ended, being the person I am, I went and got all Meek Mill’s music and spent some time getting to feel what he raps about.”
Granted, I’d been in Toronto for almost ten years. My littlest homies were between 8 – 10 years old when I bounced from Jersey. They’re 18 – 19 pushing 20 years old now. I’ve always run in and out of New York, Maryland and DC so I never lost my touch. However, it’s very different from how it was when I actually lived there. I’m not saying I think Drake is hot because I live in Toronto; I think Drake is hot because I got his albums and enjoyed his music.
He could have come from anywhere in the world, just like Meek could have come from anywhere and it wouldn’t have mattered to me. After the beef ended, being the person I am, I went and got all Meek Mill’s music and spent some time getting to feel what he raps about.
So, I did my homework. As I did, I had to keep it 100, he’s dope!
He’s spitting what I would spit if I was still out there.”
I was like, what is it about this guy that made Rick Ross sign him? You can say anything about Ross but one thing is for sure, Rick Ross is extra street. Then I was like, what is it about this guy that made Nicki Minaj fall in love with, rep hard and even pick him over Young Money? Why did Maino vouch for him? I know the ‘I wanna Know’ Drake diss was not up to par for a lot of us but why are his followers still loyal?
So, I did my homework. As I did, I had to keep it 100, he’s dope! He’s spitting what I would spit if I was still out there. I don’t spit those types of rhymes anymore because I haven’t done them kinds of dirt in a while but I can relate to Niggaz like Meek who come out with his own style and spit game. I had to tilt my hat and say ‘one love bro. good looking, for holding the streets down’. *