Last night was one of the best nights I’ve ever had as a music journalist. Tidal hosted an in depth conversation with one of the most influential artists of our generation, Meek Mill.
He has come a tremendously long way from the streets of Philadelphia. In more ways than one, Mill has successfully beat the odds. That’s something to really take into account. When a black man, or someone from an impoverished neighborhood beats the odds they’re catapulted into a spotlight. They become everyone’s “example” of what to be. But as Meek explained, not all people who defeat adversity want to be an activist. He shared that he wants to keep being a role model for the youth and continue helping neighborhoods just like his own. And he also wants to enjoy his success like any regular person would.
I was able to attend Tidal’s live event. It was held at the PlayStation Theater in New York City. The crowd was vibrating with great energy. All music lovers gathered to listen to Meek speak. He provides motivation and inspiration for the many people he represents; People who have been counted out by society. Meek spoke about Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, the time he spent in prison away from his son, Beyoncé shouting him out and more.
When Meek entered the stage everyone stood and applauded and cheered. The crowd was very open and accepting. It seemed as though each person in the audience genuinely cared for the artist they had become a fan of. He shared some funny moments: like when Kevin Hart and Michael Rubin came to visit him on his block* in prison or that awkward moment where he and Nicki Minaj are at dinner with Jay Z and Beyoncé and Jay decided to “accidentally” play Back to Back.
I even got to join in on the chat. Being from Philly I was able to watch Meek rise to fame, from the very beginning. I watched him take five steps forward in the music industry only to be knocked back ten, more than once. He remained determined. Each time an entry was blocked he made sure to have another way to get in the door. That is why he is so inspirational to our city. The Philadelphia Eagles fka “the underdogs” coming out to his monstrous hit “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)” during their 2017 Superbowl win is a testament to that.
Before then the song had already stood as an anthem for anyone who was enduring hard times and planning on coming out on top. And past our city limits Meek is garnering a diehard fan base. I ran into a singer from New York, Nadia, with a cool DC tattoo. DC stands for “Dream Chasers,” a group and mantra initiated by Mill to push everyone forward.
[I remember when I first heard the Intro. There were three of my friends and I in our dorm. We all anticipated Meek Mill releasing his debut studio album, Dreams and Nightmares. The city was ON FIRE waiting for it and we brought that fire with us to college. When the beat started to play we all looked at each other. That’s the exact moment I realized that you cannot count this man out. We had to run the song back at least 20 times. It filled us with so much energy and we learned all the lyrics that night.]
As a music journalist my goal for all artists is to let them know how they have impacted millions of people. I want them to know that the consumers of their art appreciate them sharing so much of themselves with us. I wanted artists to know that they truly do resonate with a vast variety of people for a multitude of reasons. And that, when they experience adversity their supporters are along for the ride.
Check out my question below and make sure to stream the full Conversation with Elliott Wilson & Meek Mill on Tidal.