Mixtape Review: Meek Mill, Dreamchasers 3

Philly MC goes in on third installment of the popular Dreamchasers series.

4star
Posted: 10/01/2013 05:18 PM EDT

Ever since Rick Ross signed Meek Mill to Maybach Music Group, the Philly spitter has continually taken his game to higher levels.

On the highly anticipated Dreamchasers 3, Meek shows no sign of slowing down. Like Ghostface Killah and fellow Philadelphia MC Freeway, some people find Meek's slightly higher-pitched raspy voice a point of contention when it comes to naming him one of the top MCs. But one thing that's tough to argue about is the 26-year-old's increasingly versatile flow, which shines bright even when pitted up against industry juggernauts like Fabolous, French Montana and Jadakiss.

DC3 starts out with one of the wealthier intros in recent memory, "I'm Leanin.'" Auto-Tuned ad libs compliment Diddy and Birdman's signature smack talk while up-and-coming stars Meek and Travis $cott offer up a glimpse of what's coming.

While all that celestial power shines on the opening track, Meek carries the CED-produced banger "Make Me" alone. Meek then brings the big guns back out on the Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross-assisted "Dope Dealer," but still holds on his own with rhymes like, "F--k rap, I might sell swag/She want me 'cause she know I got that Chanel tag/She f--k me and she gone get that Chanel swag/Her boyfriend like, 'Where you get that Chanel bag?'"

Elsewhere, Meek pays tribute to fallen Dreamchasers signee Lil' Snupe, who was killed earlier this year. On "Lil Snupe Skit," the late teen MC demonstrated the skills that brought him to Meek's attention, spitting the story of how he first met the MMG lieutenant. "I got to Philly, rollin' on the bus, Greyhound/Man I heard I had to lay it down/N---a bad coughed up in my f----n' seat/But I knew if I got to Meek/I was gonna kill the f----n' beat/And I could be a f----n' millionaire, trillionaire," rhymed Snupe. Next Boi-1da cooked up something proper for the fallen soldier on "Lil N---a Snupe." Meek's unfiltered emotion made this touching ode one of Dreamchasers 3's most bittersweet and memorable moments (R.I.P. Lil' Snupe).

The raucous MC then brings back Nicki and F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S for "I B On Dat," which has already been getting serious airplay on radio stations nationwide. All three tear up the track, which favors that old Three 6 Mafia sound that started so many club brawls.

Then, Meek Milly gets back to basics on the stripped down "Hip Hop," bringing that old school Jersey City sound with a track that brings to mind early '90s Naughty by Nature. And on "Heaven or Hell" (easily one of the mixtape's hottest songs) Jadakiss and Gourdan Banks help make this 2013-adaptation of The Luniz classic "I Got 5 on It" a certified heater. "Nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail/Nobody wanna die, nobody wanna kill/The things we do just to make it, though/but nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail/Nobody wanna die, we're just tryna live our life," Banks sang on the hook.

Another high point for DC3 was "F----n' Wit Me," which was produced by The Mekanics and a resurgent Scott Storch, who laced the track with his signature keys and bass combo.

Another standout verse came from Cory Gunz on "Right Now." The YMCMB rapper tore up the Rio beat with lines like, "F--k hoes we don't' love those/N---a you don't live by the thug code. It's levels to this s--t, it's metals in this s--t/And several n----s getting reduced to the slump nose/Stomp n----s out til the club close/leave a n---a shirt filled with mud holes."

Dreamchasers 3, like most mixtapes, does have some filler like "My Life" and the monotonous "We Ain't the Same" (which ironically bares too much similarity to what every other rapper is saying on records these days). It's not perfect, but it's pretty close.

With Meek's current momentum, a slew of fellow dreamchasers in his corner and one of the strongest teams in the game behind him, he is establishing himself again as a true star on this tape and a deadly opponent on the mic.

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(Photo: MMG)

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