Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares Lyrics: A Cultural Phenomenon

by Alex Harris

24th November, 2023

Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares Lyrics: A Cultural Phenomenon

Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares is not just a song; it’s a masterpiece of storytelling that captures the essence of an artist’s journey from the streets of Philadelphia to the pinnacle of rap fame. This track, which serves as the intro to Meek Mill’s debut album of the same name, has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring millions of fans and influencing the music industry. In this article, we will examine the Dreams and Nightmares lyrics, exploring their themes, symbolism, impact, and legacy.

The Structure of Dreams in Meek Mill’s Lyrics

Dreams and Nightmares released on October 30, 2012 is divided into two parts, each with a distinct musical style and lyrical content. The first part, which lasts for about two minutes, is a slow and sombre piano-driven ballad where Meek Mill reflects on his past struggles and aspirations. He raps about his humble beginnings, his incarceration, his loyalty to his friends, and his determination to succeed. The iconic line, “I used to pray for times like this, to rhyme like this,” is a testament to the power of faith and perseverance.

The second part, which lasts for about three minutes, is a fast and furious trap anthem where Meek Mill celebrates his present achievements and challenges his rivals. He raps about his wealth, his fame, his collaborations, his enemies, and his ambitions. The line, “Hold up wait a minute, y’all thought I was finished?” is a rhetorical question that marks the transition from the first part to the second part and also serves as a defiant statement to his critics and doubters.

The Contrast in Dreams and Nightmares Lyrics

The contrast between the two parts of the song is not only musical but also thematic and symbolic. The first part represents the dreams of Meek Mill, the hopes and visions that motivated him to pursue his rap career. The second part represents the nightmares of Meek Mill and the realities and challenges that accompanied his rap success. Dreams and nightmares are not mutually exclusive but rather intertwined and interdependent. Meek Mill acknowledges that his success is the result of his struggle and that his struggle is not over despite his success.

The contrast also reflects the duality of Meek Mill’s identity and persona. On one hand, he is Robert Rihmeek Williams, a young man from North Philadelphia who faced poverty, violence, and injustice. On the other hand, he is Meek Mill, a rap superstar who commands respect, admiration, and influence. The song showcases both sides of his personality, revealing his vulnerability and his confidence, his gratitude and his pride, his humility and his arrogance.

The Reality in Meek Mill’s Lyrics

Meek Mill does not sugarcoat or romanticise his life experiences in Dreams and Nightmares. He candidly speaks about the hardships and dangers he faced on the streets, the injustices and abuses he endured in the criminal justice system, and the conflicts and controversies he encountered in the rap industry. He also acknowledges the risks and responsibilities that come with his fame and fortune, such as the threats to his life and freedom, the temptations and distractions that surround him, and the expectations and obligations that he has to his fans and his community.

These experiences, though harsh and painful, have shaped his character and his music. The line “Seen my dreams unfold, nightmares come true” in Dreams and Nightmares encapsulates this sentiment, highlighting how his darkest moments have been as influential as his brightest achievements.

The Impact of Dreams and Nightmares

The song has transcended music, becoming an anthem for resilience and triumph over adversity. Its significance was magnified when the Philadelphia Eagles adopted it during their journey to Super Bowl LII in 2018, where they defeated the New England Patriots in a historic upset. The song became a symbol of the city’s spirit and struggle, and Meek Mill, who was incarcerated at the time, received a phone call from the team’s owner after the victory.

The song has also influenced the music industry, setting a new standard for album intros and rap storytelling. Many rap artists have praised the song and its impact, such as Jay-Z, and Drake. The song has also inspired countless remixes, covers, and parodies, demonstrating its popularity and versatility. Dreams and Nightmares was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA on December 9, 2019.

Meek Mill Dreams and Nightmares song cover
Meek Mill Dreams and Nightmares song cover

The Legacy of Dreams and Nightmares

Dreams and Nightmares is more than just a song; it’s a cultural landmark that reflects the life and times of Meek Mill and his generation. Meek Mill’s ability to articulate his journey so vividly and passionately through his lyrics makes this track a timeless piece of art. As we dissect these lyrics, we uncover layers of meaning, each telling a story of resilience, hope, and the unyielding power of dreams.

Meek Mill Dreams and Nightmares Lyrics

Ain’t this what they’ve been waitin’ for?
You ready? Uh, uh

Verse 1
I used to pray for times like this, to rhyme like this
So I had to grind like that to shine like this

And the matter of time I spent on some locked-up shit
In the back of the paddy wagon, cuffs locked on wrists
Seen my dreams unfold, nightmares come true
It was time to marry the game and I said, “Yeah, I do”
If you want it you gotta see it with a clear-eyed view
Got a shorty, she tryna bless me like I said achoo
Like a nigga sneezed, nigga please, ‘fore them triggers squeeze
I’m gettin’ cream, never let them hoes get in between
Of what we started, lil’ nigga but I’m lion-hearted
They love me when I was stuck and they hated when I departed

I go and get it regardless, draw it like I’m an artist
No crawlin’, went straight to walkin’, with foreigns in my garages
All foreign bitches ménagin’, fuckin’, suckin’ and swallowin’
Anything for a dollar, they tell me get ’em, I got ’em
I did it without an album
I did shit with Mariah
Lil’ nigga, I’m on fire
Icy as a hockey rink, Philly nigga, I’m flyer
When I bought the Rolls Royce they thought it was leased
Then I bought that new Ferrari, hater, rest in peace
Hater, rest in peace, rest in peace to the parking lot
Phantom so big, can’t even fit in the parking spot
You ain’t talkin’ ’bout my niggas, then what you talkin’ ’bout?
Gangstas move in silence, nigga, and I don’t talk a lot
I don’t say a word, I don’t say a word
Was on my grind and now I got what I deserve, fuck nigga!

Maybach Music

Verse 2
Hold up, wait a minute (Minute), y’all thought I was finished? (Whoa)
When I bought that Aston Martin, y’all thought it was rented? (Yeah)
Flexin’ on these niggas, I’m like Popeye on his spinach
Double M, yeah that’s my team, Rozay the captain, I’m lieutenant
I’m the type to count a million cash then grind like I’m broke
That Lambo’ my new bitch, she don’t ride like my Ghost
I’m ridin’ around my city with my hand strapped on my toast
‘Cause these niggas want me dead and I gotta make it back home
‘Cause my mama need that bill money, my son need some milk
These niggas tryna take my life, they fuck around, get killed
You fuck around, you fuck around, you fuck around, get smoked
‘Cause these Philly niggas I brought with me don’t fuck around, no joke, no
All I know is murder, when it come to me
I got young niggas that’s rollin’, I got niggas throwin’ B’s
I done did the DOA’s,I done did the KOD’s
Every time I’m in that bitch, I get to throwin’ 30 G’s
But now I’m hangin’ out that drop head, I’m ridin’ down on Collins (Skrrt)
They let my nigga Ern back home, that young nigga be wildin’ (Let’s go)
We young niggas, we mobbin’ (Mobbin’), like Batman and we’re robbin’ (Whoa)
This two-door Maybach with my seat all reclinin’
I’m like, “Real nigga, what up? Real nigga, what up?”
If you ain’t about that murder game, then pussy nigga, shut up!
If you diss me in your raps I’ll get yo’ pussy-ass stuck up
When you touchdown in my hood, no that tour life ain’t good
Catch me down in MIA at that Heat game on wood
With that Puma life on my feetlike that little engine I could
Boy, I slide down on your block (Block), bike on 12 o’clock (Rah)
And they be throwin’ deuces on the same nigga they watch (Meek Milly)
And I’m the king of my city ’cause I’m still callin’ them shots
And these lames talkin’ that bullshit the same niggas that flopped
I’m the same nigga from Berks Streetwith them nappy braids, that lock
The same nigga that came up and I had to wait for my spot
And these niggas hatin’ on me, hoes waitin’ on me
Still on that hood shit, my Rolls-Royce on E
They gon’ remember me, I say remember me
So much money, have yo’ friends turn in yo’ enemies
And when there’s beef, I turn my enemies to memories
With them bricks they go for 40, ain’t no 10 a key
Hold up, broke nigga turned rich (Rich), love the game like Mitch
And if I leave, you think them pretty hoes gon’ still suck my dick?
It was somethin’ ’bout that Rollie when it first touched my wrist
Had me feelin’ like that dope boy when he first touched that brick
I’m gone

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