Friday Night: Meek Mill at House of Blues
The aesthetic behind Meek Mill and a large gathering is easy to define, even for someone who has only taken in one Meek song courtesy of the radio or being fed by Rick Ross -- high-energy, an unmistakable high-pitched yelp that churns out one-liners and some of the more blissfully sinister produced records of the past 18 months.
He came to Houston earlier this year with Drake, but announced he had come previously a year ago. Then, he was still waiting for the bubble to finally pop on "Tupac Back," his and Ross' chaotic reach into the realm of reincarnation. In the year since, it is he who is the most sought--after Maybach Music Group signee that doesn't wield a beard and hefty body mass.
In the numerous occasions I've battled crowds inside House of Blues, never had I literally found myself wanting a spot far away from the madness to hunker down. A throng of fans -- women dressed to their own perceived nines and men flailing their arms trying to get the women's attention -- saturated the standing area and packed the seated section to the hilt. When Meek hit the stage, clearly they responded as if one of their own had made it to the absolute mecca.
Weaving between breakthrough national mixtapes Dreamchasers 1 and 2, along with some MMG fodder, Meek commanded attention with his hypeman, both clad in black and fitteds. Shockingly enough, the Philadelphia native's hour-long set whisked by as if it were absolutely nothing. Even during sections where he yielded the floor to Texas legends and upstarts, Meek has picked up from something he most certainly learned from being an understudy on the Club Paradise tour.
Kirko Bangz joined him for "Drank In My Cup," wearing a bucket hat and looking as if he just hopped off a plane from London after finishing fourth in polo, and the crowd lit up for a moment. Paul Wall leapt up for "Sittin' Sidewayz" and Slim Thug and his towering presence was credited as being a Meek influencer. It definitely didn't go to his delivery, let's just say that.
Being well-versed in the ways of Meek and his now signature "shout raps," the energy cranked to an entirely new level when he let off "I'ma Boss," a vociferous and cagey effort that plain and simple is the musical equivalent of being the Juggernaut and running through everything in your path.
It's gym music personified. The rolling synths and kick drums straight from a battlefield push you places and when Meek ended his initial verse -- the smokey, billowing voice of Rick Ross was matched by his actual presence.