“Championships,” is Philly rapper Meek Mill’s new, fiery fourth studio disc. This collection of 19 cuts is his first since finishing his five-month prison sentence. It opens on “Intro.” Here Mill spits a Martin Luther reference and includes a flip of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” which serves as a tuneful tribute to both Beanie Sigel and the 31-year-old rapper’s hometown.
Other highlights include “Trauma” wherein Mill reflects upon just how quickly a life can go wrong. It’s more than the almost prerequisite “look-what-I-learned-the-hard-way” number. “Wit the Sh*ts (W.T.S)” has a unique almost strange beat and an appearance by Melii that is nearly show-stealing. The album endnote, “Cold Hearted II,” is chock full o’ soul-injected street raps and is the final example of prison’s impact on the artist.
Mill does fumble on occasion. The Cardi B-guested “On Me” has a nigh-irresistible knock but concerns the predictable topics of expensive rides and women. “Splash Warning” has Future, Roddy Ricch, and Young Thug but it’s not substantive and runs under the three-minute mark like an old school radio single. “Going Bad” suffers from being too hyped. They don’t sync with the platter’s theme and sound like filler.
Overall, “Championships” isn’t about being a champion of the hip-hop genre. It’s about Mill assuming the role of a champion of the common man. Sadly, Mill’s very verbose exuberance begins to become far too noticeable as the deep cuts approach. Maybe next time he’ll realize that brevity, like patience, is also a virtue.