Music

New Tracks From Meek Mill and Chance the Rapper Tackle Criminal Justice and Trump

Settle in with some headphones and get ready to nod.

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|||Twitter/@MeekMill
Twitter/@MeekMill

Meek Mill and Chance the Rapper both released music this week that sees the iconic hip-hop artists taking on criminal justice reform, economics, and Trump/Kanye. It's good stuff and you can listen to it below.

Championships by Meek Mill

Oh, say can you see, I don't feel like I'm free/Locked down in my cell, shackled from ankle to feet/Judge bangin' that gavel, turned me to slave from a king/Another day in the bing, I gotta hang from a string/Just for poppin' a wheelie, my people march through the city/From a cell to a chopper, view from the top of the city
—"What's Free"

Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill dropped Championships on Friday. His first studio album since being released from prison in April, Mill's decision to collaborate with Drake on "Going Bad" signifies the end of a long feud between the two, while "What's Free" shows Mill riffing deeply on the wheelie that cost him his liberty.

First convicted in 2008 at the age of 19 for possessing a gun in a grocery store, Mill has spent the lat 10 years in and out of prison and on probation. His most recent stint hinged on a farcical and petty abuse of state power: a social media video showed him popping a wheelie on a motorbike. The subsequent reckless endangerment and reckless driving charges violated the terms of his probation and saw him sentenced to two to four years in prison.

Since his release, Mill has used his story to show how easy it is to become swept up in the criminal justice system. He has has vowed to lobby for criminal justice reforms, especially for those facing long probation times.

Jay-Z also addresses his own friendship struggles with Kanye West, who has spent the better part of 2018 declaring his love for the president, on the song. Calling out his old collaborator by name, HOV makes it clear that he won't be donning a red MAGA hat anytime soon.

New Tracks from Chance the Rapper

Don't gifts get re-wrapped?/That shit could get sticky like tree sap/I gave you free raps, that shit sound like free facts/Which is 'bout as common as free Blacks
—"The Man Who Has Everything"

Though Chance the Rapper hasn't released an album since 2016, he's kept fans fed with the occasional single. We got a double delight on Friday, when Chance uploaded "The Man Who Has Everything" and "My Own Thing (feat. Joey Purp)" to SoundCloud. The songs are personal, focusing on topics like his relationship with his fiancée. In between those reflections, however, is some commentary on his decision to release music for free.

As Sean McBride wrote at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in 2016, the free-music strategy is a capitalist one. By advertising his product that way, Chance's raps become accessible to all kinds of crowds. When people begin to yearn for more, he can make up the cost, in part, with sold-out tours and merchandise sales.

While Chance himself has not used the c-word to describe what he does, he did tell the Chicago Tribune, "I put my music out there for free because I wanted people to see and notice it as a beacon for what I'm doing…" But make no mistake. Chance added that he's never been "against" selling his product, which he believes has value.

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43 responses to “New Tracks From Meek Mill and Chance the Rapper Tackle Criminal Justice and Trump

  1. I like a lot of hip hop I grew up with from the late 80s and early 90s, but this isn’t that. Things done changed.

    1. I prefered that era too but things change I guess….

    2. I’m more of a Renaissance hip hop man… if you get too late 80s-early 90s it’s a bit touch and go.

    3. I just listened to a bit of the Meek Mill thing. Man, that’s just terrible. Painful, really. Is it supposed to sound like shit like that? It’s like they’re not trying all that hard. Maybe that’s the point.

      The Chance the Rapper one was a lot better, but still not that great. Just kind of a stream of consciousness thing that didn’t care too much about meter.

  2. Good tips today in H&R with the von Trier film and these two new cuts.

    Will listen to them when I get home, Zuri D.

  3. The cop dangled me over a shark tank, don’t you see
    But there was no precedent on point so it was qualified immunity
    . . .
    They didn’t charge me, just grabbed my jewels and stole them
    They say it’s OK because the proceeding was in rem

  4. Again, if any group wants to insure that nobody gives two shits about them — insure that their vote is, in no conceivable way, up for grabs.

  5. The new Tekashi69 vid with Virginia Postrel taking shotgun bong hits and blowing smoke rings while clapping her ass is pretty dope if u ax me.

  6. Enough of you kids with your hippity-hop.Back in my day we listened to Dancehall and we liked it

    1. Ragtime for me, none of this modern stuff.

        1. Ah, some of Scott Joplin’s later work, I see.

    2. When it comes to dancehall, me like me some Collie Buddz.

  7. The day the music died.

  8. I never thought I would say this but Anne Coulter is so fucking right-on:


    So the next time you watch one of those election night videos, remember: If Trump doesn’t keep his immigration promises, Hillary might as well have won.

    Trump will leave no legacy whatsoever. Without a wall, he will only be remembered as a small cartoon figure who briefly inflamed and amused the rabble.

    Anne – you cold-ass bitch – you got this one correct.

      1. Who fucking cares? Bill Clinton did not stake his legacy on keeping “Mexican wetback rapists” out of the USA.

        1. Looks like we struck a nerve here.

          1. “Looks like we struck a nerve here.”

            Caught turd lying again, but that’s sorta like catching HRC making excuses; pretty automatic.

        2. Perhaps you didn’t watch the 30 seconds after Bill Clinton’s kick-the-fucking-illegals-out speech.

        3. The climtons were against immigration before they were for it.

    1. “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to build a barrier, to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in.” — Hillary Clinton.

      What I would say to Ann Coulter is that if trump KEEPS his promise on Hillary Clinton, we could have just voted for Hillary Clinton.

      1. Keeps his promise on “illegal immigration” although my mistype works well in a kind of meta way.

    2. Trump will have had no lasting impact whatsoever.

      I really don’t understand why people’s heads exploded over the Supreme Court.

      1. The SCOTUS was another usurping strategy of Lefties to circumvent the Constitution protections.

        With Trump getting Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the Court and replacing RBG, Thomas and possibly Breyer, Trump’s good appointments will rollback socialist policies and court decisions for decades.

        1. Far more likely than a Goober Reign:

          Democrats enlarge the Supreme Court, relegating Kavanaugh and Gorsuch to a Court career of authoring strident, whining, irrelevant dissents.

          Carry on, clingers . . . as much as you can until January 2019, then as much as you can until January 2021, and then you’re done.

  9. Guy was just walking down the street and they locked him up — tragic really.

    Or not …

  10. Calling out his old collaborator by name, HOV makes it clear that he won’t be donning a red MAGA hat anytime soon.

    Considering the president has shown a remarkable openness to criminal justice reform, he might want to stow the virtue signaling by not openly antagonizing Trump, at least until you get a bill to his desk for signature. Do these people not know who they have to work with to get something accomplished? Did they not pay attention to Kardashian’s success with him?

    Feel good or do good.

    1. It seems Trump is still waffling, he may need his ego polished a little bit.

      And that fact that the above sentence immediately made me think up a dirty joke about Kim Kardashian is totally natural and not weird at all.

  11. Zuri thinks she knows rap and hip-hop.

    Nice TDS tie-in though.

    1. Lotta blacks locked up under Clinton and Obama.

      The truth is a biyotch son!

  12. I see where Bush the Elder has stopped getting any older – it’ll be fun watching the NYT and WaPo and CNN getting all solemn and somber about the passing of such a noble spirit who represented all that was good about American politics and nary a word about how when he was alive and kicking they claimed he was a Literal Hitler only dumber and more evil. Just as they did for McCain and just as they’ll do for Bush the Younger some day.

    I know you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but I will say this – whatever hopes I had for the Reagan Revolution took a hard blow when Reagan picked Bush as his Veep and were completely shattered when the GOP turned to Bush rather than Kemp as Reagan’s reprise. Bush epitomized the blue-blood, silk stocking, noblesse oblige of the Rockefeller Republican wing of the GOP and a complete repudiation of Reagan’s Goldwater Republicanism. What a terrible wasted opportunity and 30 more years of shit.

    1. The GOP was desperate to keep the “whacko actor” out in the first place — they always favor the establishment hacks, just sometimes someone decent slips through the cracks and the people rally behind him.

      Even now, when there are some Republicans worth their salt who remain visible, they won’t get far until the whole party leadership and management is given a thorough de-lousing. Again, Trump was bold and charismatic enough to break through the control; you think someone like Rand Paul is ever going to get a chance with Priebus or a Romney in charge?

    2. +1000

  13. No thanks, I’ll go listen to music that doesn’t suck*.

    *Music that I like — but is there really a difference?

    1. But this objectively sucks ass.

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  15. Wow. Music which seems to tell a politician what’s what? HFS, my doors must be considered blown….

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