Real nigga what up?! It’s been a year and Meek’s “Dreams & Nightmares” is still the shaking the block.
Numbers lie. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Meek Mill’s debut, Dreams & Nightmares, sold over 369,000 copies to date. But beyond the music industry’s general ledger, the album’s title track/intro is platinum plus in the streets.
It’s been almost a year since the release of Dreams & Nightmares. While it’s singles “Amen”, “Burn”, and “Young & Getting It” were well-received, it’s the intro that has unexpectedly extended the album’s shelf life. “No, I didn’t think they would respond to that song like that,” Meek said on Hot 97’s Juan Epstein podcast. “But you know, that’s why I made that song in that manner. I didn’t think they was gon’ catch it they way they caught it.”
But what is it that turns listeners from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde? Produced by Tone Beats, the track colors outside the lines of traditional song formats. “‘Dreams & Nightmares’ is my favorite cause it’s different. It ain’t shaped like a regular song,” Meek said. “[It's a] new feel. It’s an intro, I never expected an intro to be doing this out here.” The song begins with nimble pianos and a creeping crescendo. Then at it’s apex, crumbles with ominous keys and Meek’s insatiate delivery.
Lyrically, Meek’s at his best. His rhymes are reflective, palpable, and aspirational. He taps into the common man’s sensibilities in way that’s more testimonial than karaoke. Look at this guy, he’s a shoe in for the remix. “It got that energy the way it build up and drop it be just like, an extra energy,” says Meek. “People go crazy in the clubs when they hear it.”
Not since J
ay-Z’s “Interlude 2 (PSA)” Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” has a record, barring a hook and multiple verses, impacted urban hang suites like, “Dreams & Nightmares”. Only time will tell if another song can. For now, all we can do is to continue to pray for times like this.—B.Dot