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On Friday, Meek Mill released his new album, ‘Expensive Pain’ - along with the video for yet another soon-to-be iconic album intro track, “Intro (Hate On Me)” - which has already surpassed 2.3M views in its first weekend.
His fifth studio album and first since the 2018 release of ‘Championships’ following his widely publicized release from jail and subsequent rise into the stratosphere since then - ‘Expensive Pain’ marks a big moment for the beloved North Philly artist.
“Intro (Hate On Me)” is everything we’ve come to expect from a Meek Mill intro - from its dramatic production to Meek’s signature, unrelenting flow - he somehow manages to come with that same “Dreams & Nightmares” energy from nearly a decade ago. The ominous, string-led production is actually a sample of Nas & Diddy’s iconic collaboration, “Hate Me Now” released in 1999 - updated for 2021 to keep up with Meek’s insane pace and creating the space for him to rapidly cycle through a variety of impressive flows. “Intro (Hate On Me)” is a great example of how Meek has developed his signature sound in recent years - still sounding like himself but adding new elements like melodies and a more free-flowing cadence that has each bar competing for sunlight as the last one bleeds into the next.
The video for “Intro (Hate On Me)” visually shows us just how far Meek has come, once again standing on his native Philadelphia streets, but this time with a neck full of diamonds and presidential-level security detail. From there we catch glimpses of Meek in the club, in the Rolls Royce on the way to the private airport, on the private jet, in the private foreigns-only garage, and finally in London. If I had to guess, knowing nothing about Philly, I would bet that he’s standing on 18th Street - the same street he grew up on as a young man that is now immortalized in baguette diamonds around his neck.
The video closes with a throwback clip of a teenaged, cornrow-sporting Meek Mill battling on those same Philadelphia street corners - driving home just how transformative a journey his has been.
Expensive Pain is an excellent body of work with the perfect mix of the new school and the signature Meek Mill sound that’s endeared him both to the street and the masses. The project has an impressive list of features including Lil Durk, Lil Baby, Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Moneybagg Yo, Kehlani, A$AP Ferg, Brent Faiyaz, and Giggs. It also features Meek’s Dreamchasers’ artist, Vory - a talented, singer with his own unique style who’s been making waves and ready-to-blow ever since his prominent placement on Kanye’s latest spectacle, DONDA.
Whatever your thoughts are about Meek Mill, his journey is inspirational and his impact is undeniable. “Intro (Hate On Me)” embodies everything about Meek that makes him unique and compelling, an excellent choice to open the long-awaited studio album.
Check out the video for “Intro (Hate On Me)” below - and be sure to check out the rest of Meek Mill’s highly anticipated new project, ‘Expensive Pain’.