Meek Mill Can't Defeat Drake. But Petty Drake Definitely Can

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

So, I have to recant something. Last week, in a piece I wrote for EBONY, I stated that Meek Mill has absolutely no chance to win this beef with Drake. Mainly because he just does not have the particular skillset necessary for this type of battle.

Meek Mill’s problem is that he’s just not equipped with the skills necessary to succeed with this. Although he became popular through battle rapping… he wasn’t actually particularly good at it. He’s not particularly clever or witty; he doesn’t have particularly humorous punchlines; and no one in the history of history has ever raved about a Mill metaphor. He spits drug/murder bars. And often sounds like he’s trying to speak to someone while a blender is running. On a helicopter.

Which is great for the type of Scream Trap Rap he creates. He’ll always get play in strip clubs and on crossfit playlists. But, if attempting to go head-to-head with the current king of the hip-hop hill, you need more than murder bars. So now he’s in an unwinnable feud where everyone—even those on his side—is aware it’s an unwinnable feud. The only way for him to beat Drake at this point would be to literally beat Drake up.


This was (partially) false. It is true that Meek Mill doesn't have the facility or lyrical ingenuity to compete here. He is, to put it plainly, overmatched. But that's the thing. He's so overmatched, so out of his range, and so thoroughly defeated at this point that Drake continuing to mount an offense against him can — and, likely, will — backfire on him. Because when you're up 70 points in the third quarter, you call off the full-court press. Even if your crowd is still cheering for every basket. Because the type of people still cheering for you when you're up 70 and still pressing are the exact same people who'll cheer for the other team if you ever happen to be down 70. 

Basically, you don't do what Drake did at the OVO Fest.

I get it, though. Meek Mill barked up the wrong tree. And that sound we're hearing is a thousand trees falling on him. Will Smith teleportated from Venus to take part in the fun. Kanye West fucking smiled! Even Whataburger took a break from hocking bacon-wrapped skunk meat to join in. And the expiration date on his relationship with Nicki Minaj just went from "raw meat still in the fridge" to "raw meat on the sidewalk."

And then he said "I'm gonna give you a wedgie."
And then he said "I'm gonna give you a wedgie."

So, knowing the momentum and the zeitgeist is clearly on his side, Drake went full Mean Girl. Coming out to "Back to Back", trolling Meek with t-shirts, and teasing him with an endless stream of memes. Of course, we (myself included) lapped it up. Because, while petty, some of that shit was funny. But there's a very particular type of arrogance that cultivates and is cultivated by that type of performative overkill; the type of arrogance that leads someone to believe they're truly untouchable. Truly unfuckwitable.

And yes, that was overkill. With the release of "Back to Back" — and the reception it received — and Meek Mill's release of "Wanna Know" — and the reception that received, Drake had won already. Meek Mill was done. Dead. And now Drake is riding the wind and peeing on his corpse.

But winds eventually shift. They always do. And when they do, that same pee might splash you in the face. Just ask 50 Cent.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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Drake needs to continue to drag him. People thought he was soft for so long and then someone came at him. In Ender's Game, Ender (who is bullied because he is small but smarter and more strategic than all the other kids) says "I destroy them. I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again. I grind them and grind them until they don't exist"

I bet the next person to call Drake soft and come at him will decide differently.