Rap battles in 2015 are like The First 48: The two days immediately following an opponent’s diss are crucial. The stakes become even higher when you set your own deadline for a response and blow by it like a yellow light. So you can imagine how silly Meek Mill looked yesterday after being prodded by Drake once again in a bubbling battle that’s thus far been one-sided. Actually, you don’t have to imagine — there are plenty of memes that get the point across.
When Drake released “Back to Back (Freestyle)” during Wednesday’s rooster hours, noting Meek’s nonexistent reply to the previous diss “Charged Up,” the jokes flew. The sand in Meek’s hourglass had all collected in the bottom half. This fight is finished, fans concluded. Hell, even his hometown Phillies took a blowout L to Drake’s native Toronto Blue Jays last night. But is it really over for Meek Mill?
Not so fast. Sure Drake has jumped out ahead and got the people on his side, but this is battle is far from a TKO. While odds are stacked against him, Meek Mill can get back in the game. Here’s why.
1. Meek Mill Is an Underdog
When Meek Mill impetuously accused Drake of using ghostwriters last week, you just knew a battle was brewing. And the contestants’ reputations preceded them: There was Meek, a tested battle rapper ascending for household name status now that he is Nicki Minaj’s boy toy. And then there’s Drake, the Canadian former Degrassi actor who just happens to be the (in)famously tender top gun of hip hop. Sure Drizzy has greater mass appeal, and Meek was the aggressor, but the underdog of the whole thing was a bit undetermined.
Well, now, make no mistake, Drake has the upper hand. Meek has all but been counted out after failing to respond to not one but two diss tracks. Conclusions have been made. Memes abound. But everyone loves a comeback story. And while most are counting him out, it's still clear all eyes are on Meek right now to see if he can rise from the dead.
2. You’re Waiting for It
Trey Songz knows the power of anticipation, and Meek does, too. Sure a response record dropped around Halloween would ring hollow, but it’s been less than a week, bruh. Regardless of how short rap fans’ attention spans are in 2015, you’re going to tune in whenever Meek decides to respond. (Also, the longer this goes, the more publicity for Meek, who's probably never been covered by FOX Sports before this whole thing stated).
3. Drake Has Shown His Hand
Meek has taken some pretty harsh haymakers, both from his opponent and spectators. It really can’t get much worse for him, unless he doesn’t respond at all, which, let’s face it, isn't going to happen. (Word is, Meek has already has a record with Drake’s name on it, but you ain’t eem hear that from me.) While “Charged Up” and “Back to Back (Freestyle)” are strong diss tracks, they are by no means knockout blows. I believe Drake can come harder, but Meek is in the position to counterpunch. Then, we have a battle.
4. Battling Is in Meek’s DNA
The MMG star was born from the world of battling in Philly rap cyphers, where coming off the cranium with sharp, witty punchlines is clutch like a stick shift. The heat of SMACK rap rivals a sauna. So you’ve can imagine Meek is feeling cool as penguin feet as he accepts his lumps via computer speakers, with days to think about a counter strategy and (long) nights to sleep on it (although it’s likely he hasn’t been doing much snoozing these past few days). Which brings up the next point...
5. Meek Has Had Ample Time to Write a Monster Verse
Word to his GF (or Safaree Samuels?). He’s had plenty of time to dissect Drake’s quips, study old Degrassi episodes, roundup gags with his woes, etc. While initiating this beef may have seemed impulsive, he seems to be taking his time to make sure he comes correct. With every day that passes, expectations rise. But Meek is no slouch on the mic. He’ll bring his best bars.
6. He Only Has to Make It Competitive
Just two or three strong attacks will get some fans back on Meek’s side (and more memes flowing). And he’s got some strong bragging rights: He is, in fact, dating Drake’s dream girl. There are many possible angles to exploit. If he can at least deliver a quality record, he’s right back in this thing.
7. Meek Is Making a List and Checking It Twice
Meek’s got a lot of enemies, got a lot of people tryna drain him of his energy. Let’s count them out, shall we. First there’s Joe Budden. His offense is speaking out of turn on Omeeka, criticizing Meek for showing emotion and affection toward his girlfriend Nicki Minaj like any normal human being. Enemy No. 2 is Safaree, who believes his johnson is larger than Meek Mill’s. So cocksure, Safaree is. Pause. And lastly, there’s Drake, who failed to tweet an iTunes link to Dreams Worth More Than Money.
Meek is clearly a huge fan of Tupac Shakur — he’s referenced him in the titles of two of his own singles — so he just might drop a “Hit ’Em Up” style takedown of all his newfound foes. Which could not only warrant the wait, but be a more powerful approach than Drake’s unary cuts.
8. People Have Short Memories
Let’s just be honest, let’s just be real. The same folks who were rethinking every Take Care-inspired life decision after hearing Quentin Miller’s reference track to “10 Bands” last week are now hailing Drake the G.O.A.T. after he bombed on Meek Mill. Rap fans are some of the most fickle earthlings there are. Which is why this battle is far from over. Stay tuned.
(Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images for WatchLOUD.com)