Meek Mill's Championships found the Philadelphia rapper in peak form, bringing forth a variety of memorable tracks upon first listen. But there's something undeniable about Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and Jay-Z dropping gems over a reinterpreted take of Biggie's "What's Beef?" And rightly so, as all three parties deliver.
"Screamin' gang gang now you wanna rap," spits Ross, in peak boss form. "Racketeering charges caught em' on the tap/ Lookin' for a bond, lawyers wanna tax, purple hair got them fa**ots on your back." Clearly, Ross is addressing 6ix9ine's legal conundrum, albeit with a merciless take; one has to wonder if 6ix9ine is being made into a cautionary tale, or simply scorned for his reckless behavior. In any case, it's nice to hear the Boss once again, especially in such esteemed company as this.
"When you bring my name up to the judge just tell em' facts, tell em how we fundin' all these kids to go to college, tell him how we ceasin' all these wars, stoppin' violence," raps Meek. "Tryna fix the system and the way they designed it, I think they want me silenced." The man sounds rejuvenated, his sense of hunger renewed. To hear Mill trading bars with such company speaks to his current position in the game; though it's tough to say who delivered the best verse, there's certainly a case to be made for his own.
Any lifelong Jay-Z fan will inherently draw excitement from a Hov feature in 2018. Sparing, though seldom disappointing, Hov closes out the "What's Beef" interpolation with a scathing take on the music business. "We was praisin' Billboard but we were young, now I look at Billboard like 'Is you dumb?" He also takes shots at the ever-popular 360 deal, in which talent essentially gives up a percentage of live shows, merchandise, and more, in exchange for an enticing advance.
Lock me in the cell for all them nights and I won't snap, uh
Two-fifty a show and they still think I'm sellin' crack
When you bring my name up to the judge just tell em' facts
Tell em 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 they designed it
I think they want me silenced
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