Meek Mill At Theater Of Living Arts
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By Ashley Coleman
Coming home to headline his Dreamchasers tour, Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill performed two sets (one at 7 p.m. and another at 11 p.m.) on Aug. 25 at the Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia. I attended the 11 p.m. set, which felt pretty late for me, but Meek Mill's fast-paced performance was more than enough to keep me awake. As I walked to the venue, South Street was packed with fans both leaving the early show and arriving for the second.
Openers for his show included local rappers Lee Mazin and Young Pooh. Philadelphia native DJ Drama then welcomed the crowd and asked if anyone had ever heard of a little something he put together called the Gangsta Grillz mixtapes. Both of Meek Mill's Dreamchasers 1 and Dreamchasers 2 mixtapes were hosted by DJ Drama. As the crowd's roar got louder in anticipation of Meek Mill's entry, the rapper ran onstage rapping to the lyrics of his intro to Dreamchasers 2, which temporarily shut down one of the biggest mixtape sites, Datpiff.com, when it was released in May and surpassed 2 million downloads in one day.
Meek Mill's love for his city is one thing that is undeniable. Judging by the energy emanating from the audience throughout the night, it was clear how much Philadelphia loves him back. He kicked off his set with two fan favorites, "Flexin On Em" and "Racked Up Shawty," both from Dreamchasers 2. Meek Mill expressed how great it was to perform for a hometown audience those who have been there since the beginning of his career. He segued into "Rosé Red," a song that inspired the rapper's fans to start a Twitter campaign to get Miami rapper Rick Ross to do a feature on the remix of "Rosé Red" before Meek Mill landed his deal with Ross' Maybach Music Group in 2011.
Running through features on the Self Made Vol. 2 mixtape, Meek Mill performed "Actin' Up," "David Copperfield" and "Bag Of Money." Paying homage to those who came before him, Meek Mill brought to stage special guest Young Chris, formerly of the Young Gunz, to perform his verse on "House Party." Moments later the familiar beat dropped for the popular song "What We Do" and State Property rapper Freeway ran onstage to an amped-up crowd dancing with their hands in the air.
With Meek Mill's highly anticipated debut album, Dreams & Nightmares, set to be released Oct. 30, he took time out of his set to rap lyrics a cappella from the forthcoming album. The lyrics were about the death of his father, who was killed when he was a toddler. His father's death is a reoccurring theme in many of the young rapper's lyrics.
Meek Mill continued with "Burn" and "Ima Boss," and finished his set with the playful "Amen.”
Still young and full of life, Meek Mill expressed that he doesn't like to leave after his set. Fittingly, he turned the Theater Of Living Arts into a party and had the DJ play Top 40 hits as he danced onstage along with the crowd.
To catch Meek Mill in a city near you, click here.
"Flexin On Em"
"Racked Up Shawty"
"Lean Wit It"
"Bag Of Money"
"Ready Or Not"
"Used To Be"
"What We Do"
(Ashley Coleman started out as a GRAMMY U member in 2006 and is currently the Membership Coordinator for The Recording Academy Philadelphia Chapter. You can keep up with her at www.writelaughdream.com.)