Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill is back with a new EP titled QUARANTINE PACK. Being made up of only four songs, the record is clearly on the shorter side of the spectrum. For those worried this project will hold nothing of significance, the 33-year-old has proven his ability to create an engaging body of work at this length with his 2018 EP Legends of the Summer. With features from Lil Durk, 42 Dugg, and Vory, will Meek Mill be able to successfully launch this new chapter of his career?
In less than 13 minutes, Meek Mill displays the stylistic and topical versatility that has made him into the powerhouse he’s known as today. “Middle of It” is the perfect attention grabber as the Philidelphia rapper uses his hard-hitting flagship delivery to list a series of flexes most could only imagine attaining. Even after becoming the prominent social activist he is today, the Maybach Music member still embraces his gangster side. Although 42 Dugg’s somewhat over-the-top vocal fragments make things awkward, “GTA” feels like a straight callback to this as it’s menacing bars and subtle story of triumph honor Mill’s street ridden past. Complementing this raw agression, Meek’s demons open up on the other side of the project. “Pain Away” joins him with Chicago rapper Lil Durk for an introspective analysis of how they cope with some of their darkest thoughts. Being lyrically provoking, the only complaint comes from Meek’s autotuned delivery, which feels muddy at times. Saving the best for last, “Think It’s a Game” is more than a song as its well drawn out message that focuses on betrayal and deception are struggles that nearly everyone can relate to. Being perfectly balanced with two bangers and two deep cuts, it looks like Meek Mill will go forward building off the ideas from his last album, Championships.
Sonically, there is a solid soundtrack backing Meek’s every move. “Middle of It” should be the standard for trap bangers as minor details like background vocal sampling, change in drum patterns, and the placement of various instruments in the undertone makes it stick out from the pack. Even though it’s not as memorable, this same standard is upheld on “GTA” as its beat is continually building itself up and then strips down to give the constant feeling of suspense. The subtle chopped-up chipmunk sampling on “Pain Away”, is another nice touch but the dramatic organ underline overshadows this due to its intricacy. Although it is one of the most potent cuts I’ve heard in a while, “Think It’s a Game” feels too similar to other songs in its lane for it to be deemed remarkable. After listening to this EP, it’s clear Meek Mill’s producers are still giving him some of the best sonic backings in all of mainstream hip hop.
Overall, QUARANTINE PACK isn’t as fleshed out as Legends of the Summer, but it’s still good as we catch up with Meek Mill for the first time in nearly two years. While gritty hits are nothing new to him, Meek’s introspective side seems to have taken a turn for the better as his lyricism and songwriting are more personal than ever. In the future, I would expect to see a few of these songs featured on Meek Mill’s next full-length studio album as the purpose of this EP was most likely to run a test demo of how his new sound will resonate with the culture.
- Meek still the king of street bangers
- Introspective side has improved drastically
- Well produced
- Nothing presented is truly groundbreaking
- Meek Mill’s autotune sounds cheap and uncomfortable
Written by: Marc Dator
Scored and edited by: Marc Dator founder and owner of Fantastic Hip Hop