Meek Mill is ready to get the respect he deserves after releasing his fifth studio album, Expensive Pain. The LP arrived on Friday (Oct. 1), complete with features from Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Moneybagg Yo, Kehlani, ASAP Ferg, Giggs, Young Thug, Vory, Lil Uzi Vert and Brent Faiyaz.
Fans praised Expensive Pain on social media Friday morning, giving the album a promising start for its first week sales. However, speaking with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe for “New Music Daily,” Meek revealed he still feels he’s not properly recognized as an MC when compared to his 2011 XXL Freshman Classmates.
“Personally, and it’s up for the fans to have an opinion, and that’s what keeps me going, I don’t feel like I get the credit that I deserve as far as the artists,” he said, via AllHipHop. “I come from the 2012 era. If you go check the [2011 XXL Freshman Class cover], shout out to [XXL Editor-in-Chief] Vanessa [Satten], I’m on the cover. It’s me, YG, it’s Kendrick [Lamar], it’s Mac Miller, rest in peace, Fred Godson.”
Meek continued, “But all them guys, I respect them highly and a lot of them guys lasted in the game... I’m one of them guys that’s still here in 2021. I’m about to put on at a talented level, not a marketed level. I want to go straight to the fans.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Meek also explained how marijuana has changed his artistic process.
“This season right here, if I could tell you the truth, I never really was smoking weed my whole life because I was on probation,” he said. “When I used to be 18, I was a young kid caught up in a trap house in the basement, smoking weed, writing my raps. That’s the real spirit of Meek Mill when I really took rap serious.”
“Now I’m back in the studio smoking freely,” he added. “I’m not on probation. It unlocked the real art side of me, really new flows, new melodies, being more vulnerable, more personal. I think the people [are] going to be able to identify when they hear this album. I got a lot of energy but I’m not screaming on a lot of records. You can hear me more clear because I’m expressing myself.”
On Oct. 23, Meek and some of his album collaborators will perform at a special “Expensive Pain: Meek Mill & Friends” concert at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.