Meek Mill is back with Expensive Pain, his first album in three years.
Hot on the heels of the album’s release, the Philly rapper opened up to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about his new music and reflected on his infamous beef with Drake.
“It’s one of my favorite right now. I think this is probably one of my favorite albums where I express myself,” Meek said of the follow-up to 2018’s Championships.
The title was inspired by his studio sessions with Lil Uzi Vert and Brent Faiyaz, who both appear on Expensive Pain.
“I actually said expensive pain on a song with Uzi when we was in a booth rapping. I said, ‘You ain’t rich, your stash can’t pay my drug bill.’ Basically we smoke a lot of weed and stuff like that, and I was playing it for Brent Faiyaz one day in the studio, he heard me say that, he was like, ‘That bar hot.’ He was like, ‘That’s a fire word, expensive pain.’ He was like, ‘That should be an album title.’ And I start thinking about it and then I stuck with it.”
Also in the interview, Meek recalled the fallout from his feud with Drake and how he was able to bounce back.
“2019, I think my slowest year, me and Drake was beefing,” he said. “I was at a disadvantage. He was winning, in the eyes of the people. I still walked my way through that, went through prison, I had to go through something. Once I bounced back out, Championships. We had a pandemic, two years go by, few people fading away. We in 2021, I’m going to stand on Expensive Pain, I’m going to stand on my talent, and I’m going to remain confident and hope that people pay attention to what’s going on because they got a long way to go. I’m trying to keep pushing.”
Meek, who is managed by Roc Nation, revealed how JAY-Z’s The Blueprint influenced him as an artist and businessman.
“I come up off The Blueprint. We come up from listening to the blueprint of real life,” he said. “My stages of life growing up, we ain’t really had dads growing up in the streets, so music was important to us. We were young, we ain’t really know about the level of stuff JAY-Z was talking about, but when I got older, I got The Blueprint, I was rapping, I was making music. So that was the beginning of me falling in love with how JAY move and how he handle business. I couldn’t really understand it, but once now I got around JAY and see how he’s moving and how he handle business, this is my infrastructure that I follow.”
He went on to applaud the Roc Nation CEO for all he’s done for his community. “He make it better for all young black men in the business to be able to move fast and open bigger doors,” added Meek. “Sometimes I even text him and be like, ‘Yo, you’re making a faster lane for all of us. I want you to know that,’ because that’s a big deal when you break barriers like the ones he break. I don’t really shy away when people I’m connected to break big barriers, and I see him do that a lot.”
In addition to juggling a successful career, Meek is a devoted dad. In May of last year, he welcomed his second son, which gave him a new perspective.
“I got a 10-year-old son and I got a one-year-old son, so it just gave me a extra eye opener, opened both of my eyes that I really got to be a man, and really be here for some people, and build a real family and situation for some people that I made,” he said. “I had babies and I never grew up with a father, so I got a responsibility to raise them to be way better than I am.”
In celebration of the album’s release, Meek will perform Expensive Pain in its entirety during his “Expensive Pain: Meek Mill & Friends” playback concert on Oct. 23 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Tickets are on sale now.