On the first verse of the opening track to the Legends of The Summer EP, Meek Mill proudly boasts that the “king’s back.”
Judging from the rest of what one will hear on this album, the king is indeed back, and he hasn’t missed a beat, either. Ever since he was released from prison in April, Meek has been a busy man, striving to re-capture the hip-hop throne. The Legends of The Summer EP is a good first step toward taking hip-hop back to a time where both lyrics and sonics mattered.
Even before Mill was incarcerated, hip-hop had been on a slow march toward “popfication,” with many of today’s modern stars blending the genre in with traditional pop sounds. The return of Meek Mill to the scene doesn’t mean that hip-hop won’t stop its march in this direction. There are too many artists that have ingrained it in the minds and hearts of younger listeners.
What it means is there will be a tad bit more variety in the genre, with Meek bringing the importance of lyrics back to the genre. Legends of The Summer is filled with clever lyrics throughout the EP, and this album is the very definition of an extended play, with the listener being in-and-out of this album in about 15 minutes.
There will be no need to rush through it, as every single track on Legends of The Summer is captivating and has tremendous replay value.
The opener, “Millidelphia,” has Meek detailing his past ordeals over a hard beat cooked up by the master beatmaker himself, Swizz Beatz. Next up is “Dangerous,” which showcases Meek’s softer side. The track is your standard love ballad, nothing too special; but Meek’s lyrics really sets a lovely tone to the proceedings, and having Jeremih and PnB Rock didn’t hurt the track, either.
Meek doesn’t stay soft for long, as he gets back to his roots on “1am.” The beat on this track is fierce and will rival anything that has been released over the past year. “1am” is a short one (2:44 running time), but it packs a lot of punch in that short space. Wrapping up the EP is the remarkable “Stay Woke.” Teaming up with Miguel, “Stay Woke” is the best track on the album, with Meek letting it all out over a haunting and intoxicating beat.
Legends of The Summer is a tease to what is to come from one of the undisputed kings of hip-hop, and oh, what a tease it is.
Take a listen to the EP below.