Album Review: Meek Mill - Expensive Pain
Written By: Mike Gondola
Grade = 78% or 3.5 ️Stars
Tracklist - 55 minutes
Intro (Hate On Me) 2:55 ️
Outside (100 MPH) 3:19 ️
On My Soul 2:22
Sharing Locations (Feat. Lil Durk & Lil Baby) 2:41 ️
Expensive Pain 3:34
Ride For You (Feat. Kehlani) 3:02
Me (FWM) (Feat. A$AP Ferg) 3:00 ️
Hot (Feat. Moneybagg Yo) 2:31 ️
Love Train 3:55
Northside Southside (Feat. Giggs) 3:03
We Slide (Feat. Young Thug) 3:31 ️
Tweaking (Feat. Vory) 3:17
Love Money 3:02
Blue Notes 2 (Feat. Lil Uzi Vert) 3:50 ️
Angels (RIP Lil Snupe) 3:01
Cold Hearted III 2:48
Halo (Feat. Brent Faiyaz) 3:32
Flamerz Flow (Bonus Track) 1:41
It’s been nearly three years since Meek Mill released his Grammy nominated LP Championships. On his new LP Expensive Pain Meek tells the listeners that money doesn’t always make you happy and Biggie was right when he said "Mo Money Mo Problems”. Meek has now been in the game 10 years and to keep up with the new wave of hip-hop he brings along some of the hottest artists in the game on this project. Features include Moneybagg Yo, A$AP Ferg, Kehlani, Young Thug, Giggs, Vory, Lil Uzi Vert, Brent Faiyaz, and BET’s hip-hop award winning duo, Lil Baby and Lil Durk. On this album we get the high energy bars we love from Meek as well as a few change up’s as he experiments with his sound.
Once you have been nominated for a Grammy the bar and expectations for the artists next album are going to be high. On his fifth album Expensive Pain Meek proves that he hasn’t lost a step. I think Meek’s newest project is just as good and in some ways better than his last LP Championships. We haven’t seen an abundance of Meek Mill the last three years. Part of that is due to quarantine but this album puts him right back in the conversation when it comes to the rap games elite class. This album has plenty of help and star power when it comes to features but Meek shines on several of his solo tracks.
Meek sets the tone on the first two tracks Intro (Hate On Me) and Outside (100 MPH). This is where Meek is at his best as a rapper. On these high energy tracks he demand to be recognized as Meek sounds like he’s trying to literally kill the beat. On the first track Meek is embracing the hate. The first two minutes of the track Meek is on his fast pace flow before the beat slows down. Meek shows his versatility by slowing down and catching the beat before riding into track two. Track two Outside (100 MPH) is another favorite of mine. This is the perfect post quarantine song. On this track Meek is on his trash talking by talking about money, sex, and killing his opps.
After the first two songs we get a change up from Meek on the track On My Soul. This is a slower record where Meek uses auto tune. I respect the fact that Meek is trying to evolve and bring some diversity to the album but this is just not where Meek is at his best. Besides On My Soul there are also tracks like Love Train and Love Money where Meek tries this technique. These are some of the weaker songs on the album. There are a couple slower songs on this album that are good but those songs usually have a feature. Ride For You features Kehlani and We Slide has a feature from Young Thug. We Slide might be the best song on the album. The one auto tune song that wasn’t too bad was Angels (RIP Snupe). More then the sound itself I respect the lyrics as Meek talks about losing a friend. The theme of money leading to problems reappears on this song when Meeks says lines like:
All the money deals made me stress more. Made it out the hood, they think I'm blessed more. Seen my brother's true colors, ain't have a check for 'em. And when it come to my mother, don't even chеck on.
The leading single to this project was Sharing Locations which features Lil Baby and Lil Durk. On the Baby/Durk album The Voice of the Heroes Meek was one of only 4 artists to be featured. Meek appeared on the track Still Runnin which was one of the best songs on a very strong project. Baby and Durk returned the favor on Sharing Locations. On Still Runnin the three rappers each had there own verse with out a hook. On Sharing Locations the three rappers traded bars on both verses and Lil Durk carried the hook. The only negative is I would have put Still Runnin on this project and Sharing Locations on the Baby/Durk project. Meek may have had a couple more bars then the other two but it felt like the duos song since Durk had the hook. Still Runnin was equally split in three which made it better suited for a solo project. Other than that, this track was fire and good pick for a lead single as Lil Baby and Lil Durk are the two biggest rappers in the game.
This album was a little less serious than his last LP Championships. There was just enough substance on tracks like Cold Hearted III and Expensive Pain but for the most part there was a lot of fun music which made this 55 minute project a very easy listen. There were less “flips” on this album. (Flips are remakes of older songs). I rarely like flips and prefer new music. There were great features and Meek shined on the tracks that were in his lane. This project was 14 minutes less than his last LP so i wouldn’t be surprised if we get a deluxe as that is the trend with most rappers as big as Meek. Most of the misses on this project were the auto tuned ones. In the future I hope we get less of that but overall this was a solid project from Meek. I liked it even better than Championships.
Best Song = We Slide (ft. Young Thug)
Download: Expensive Pain