At New York’s Roc the Mic studios last night, Meek Mill broke open a pack of Swisher Sweets in a reflex fashion. His hands were there – his eyes and mind elsewhere – as he rapped along to over 40 of his songs, only some of which are destined for his and DJ Drama’s Dreamchasers 3, due to hit the Internet Sunday. In a post-“Control” world, Meek is the one most obviously shooting back, having already released songs like “Kendrick You Next” and “Ooh Kill Em.” Rolling Stone spoke with the outspoken MC last night about his new mixtape, skateboarding with Lil Wayne, his expensive watch and more.
You’ve got a few songs still left to finish. The one with Lil Durk and T.I., a couple of others. Are you sure you’ll get it done by Sunday?
I got to! [Laughs.]
I didn’t think you could get any more dramatic than the last intro you did, on your album Dreams and Nightmares. But on this mixtape you’re going in 50 Cent-style on a couple of people. What was going through your head when you recorded it?
Kendrick’s verse. Kendrick’s verse, man. [Laughs] I don’t know if I’ma keep it, though. Some of the guys I’m throwing shots at, I’m actually cool with these guys and I don’t really be throwing shots at guys I’m cool with … that really was influenced by the Kendrick shit, so we’ll determine by tonight if I’ma finish that or not. My focus is on the intro, on making another fire-ass intro that I can go crazy to in the club.
Yeah. So you said this is just for fun, but I feel like lines are so easily crossed when it comes to this kind of thing. When does this not become fun?
Rapping is always fun. I’m from Philadelphia where the murder rate is always high. That’s not fun. Rapping is fun, making music is fun. Music is always gonna be fun, I think.
MMG’s album Self Made 2 opened up with the song, “Power Circle” which features both you and Kendrick. That was recorded when you guys were friends. Now that you two are battling, is he still in your power circle?
Yeah. Of course he’s in there, the power circle, my power circle. He’s one of the young hottest guys in the game right now. Of course. How could he not be? I mean, I don’t feel no type of way. I won’t feel no type of way until people start feeling some type of way.
People online make fun of you for yelling so much. Do you laugh at that, or does it make you want to yell at people?
Ha, nah. My music is turnt up. I come from Philadelphia. If you come in a cypher, you can’t be quiet. You can’t be cool, cause these guys, it’s a thousand people in the corner watching. They talking while you rapping, they not paying attention, so…when the intro come on, when the low part is on? Everybody talking, some people singing it, but when that intro drop and the beat turn up and Meek Mill get to screaming? That’s when the club turn up! That’s when that LIV confetti fall! This is DJ prime-time right here, you know what I’m saying? Busta Rhymes yelled too much, DMX yelled too much, a lot of people yell too much. The hell is rap? Tupac yelled too much. Everybody got their own twist.
Is a Meek Mill song a Meek Mill song if you don’t mention what watch you’re wearing?
Yeah, it’s always a Meek Mill song. I always gotta talk about these things I earned because I came from nothing. When I say nothing, I mean nothing at all. I don’t know how y’all listen to my music or however y’all put it. Every rap I got don’t have no watch in it. You got raps where I’m talking ’bout real shit. You got raps where I’m talking ’bout real life experiences, coming from nothing, coming from the jungle, not even having enough money to buy a watch. When I talk about this shit, this is the shit I’m living. When I talk about my wrist, look at my wrist. Look. What you see?
Some iced-out shit that cost a hundred-thousand. Three years ago, I was in a jail cell. This deserve to be talked about! Better than handcuffs on my wrist. This a hundred-thousand dollar watch! We come from nothing! If I don’t talk about this, what the fuck I talk about? This shit right here, these chains, I used to want a Roc chain. I got my own chain. This shit deserve to be talked about. And if you don’t want to hear about it, most likely you a fucking hater because all I love to hear about is people talking about success, money and graduating to the next level. That’s what I like to hear about. And if you don’t like hearing about them type of things, then I don’t refer you to MMG music. Everybody I’m with loves to talk about success and advancing their life.
A video came out last week where Lil Wayne was supposed to be teaching you how to skateboard. Clearly, you were having trouble. Did he teach you anything?
Yeah, man. I just figured, I’m good at riding dirtbikes, that’s a real hardcore sport, this skateboard just can’t be nothing to me! But trying to get down that ramp, I almost broke my back. [Wayne] taught me don’t fuck with the skateboard, that’s what he taught me.
How long did you have those bruises for?
For like a month, matter fact! My back was hurting for a long-ass time after that. I slammed on my back, I’m skinny as shit. I don’t be falling like that. That shit took a toll on me.