Track of the Week: Meek Mill (Ft Jay Z) – What’s Free

Yaw Owusu has picked a new one from Meek Mills’s new album which has finally surfaced for this weeks Track of the Week…

It’s taken me a bit longer to choose my track of the week because there’s so much new music – from emerging artists we work with like XamVolo, Sub Blue, Astles and LUNA – to established international artists like Meek Mill, Anderson .Paak and Earl Sweatshirt. I think I’m going to have to draw for that new Meek Mill track ‘What’s Free’ featuring Rick Ross and Jay-Z.

To be fair, I’ve never been into Meek Mill too much but his recent experiences have piqued my interest in him and his music. This song is perfect for a new supporter like me. A quality produced record – with a nice play on ‘What’s Beef’ by Biggie…top features and a challenging subject.

Many quotables in this one – especially from Meek and Jay-Z – that speak on the themes of progress despite of persecution and purpose over power!
A standout section from Meek is definitely this:

“Two-fifty a show and they still think I’m sellin’ crack, uh
When you bring my name up to the judge, just tell him facts
Tell him how we fundin’ all these kids to go to college
Tell him how we ceasin’ all these wars, stoppin’ violence
Tryna fix the system and the way that they designed it”

But Jay-Z make take this one with so many cutting lines, including touching on the Kanye-Jay situation, his constant back and forth with Billboard and his uncompromising pursuit of freedom in the face of those that have compromised.

“To this day, Grandma ‘fraid what I might say
They gon’ have to kill me, Grandmama, I’m not they slave…”
and later
“Look at my hair free, carefree, niggas ain’t ne’er free
Enjoy your chains, what’s your employer name with the hairpiece?
I survived the hood, can’t no Shaytan rob me…”

Powerful stuff and reminder of how strong Hip-Hop can be when executed correct! Liberating. Challenging. Poetic.