Meek Mill started rapping in rap battles when he was a young teenager, but what was his first song?
Meek Mill’s “first song” is difficult to define. Mill was part of a group called “The Bloodhoundz” before embarking on a solo career. The group released four mixtapes, although the order they released the tapes is unclear. In 2007, Mill’s released his first solo mixtape—The Real Me—which had no separately released singles.
Now let’s explore Meek Mill’s upbringing and how the rapper secured a spot in the competitive rap scene.
The Beginnings of Meek Mill
Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was born on May 6, 1987, in South Philadelphia, USA. His father died when he was only 5 years old, during an attempted robbery.
Meek, his mother, and his older sister moved to North Philadelphia after the death of his father. The family was not financially well-off and his mother struggled to support her children. She had odd-jobs such as cutting hair and would also shoplift.
As a child, Meek was shy and wouldn’t often speak. He met his late father’s brother who was working as a DJ, under the stage name “Grandmaster Nell,” who had gained traction in the industry and influenced artists such as Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
It was this guidance from his uncle that developed Meek’s interest in hip-hop. He also took influence from artists Chic Raw and Vodka, and would watch their DVDs in order to emulate their style.
As a young teenager, Meek started taking part in rap battles and would use the stage name “Meek Millz.”Meek worked hard to perfect his flow and would fill notebooks with verses and phrases to use in his battles.
With three other friends, Meek formed the group “The Bloodhoundz.” In order to get their music out in the community, the friends bought blank CDs and cases and encouraged their friends to burn the group’s music and distribute the mixtapes.
The Making of a Rapper
The Bloodhoundz released four mixtapes that received some attention locally but largely went unrecognised.
Listen to some of Meek Mill’s early work—“Respect My Gangsta” by The Bloodhoundz
The Bloodhoundz separated and Meek Mill’s started to record solo mixtapes, which included The Real Me (2007) and his forth tape Flamers 2: Hottest in tha City. From the latter, Mill released three singles “I’m So Fly,” “Prolli,” and “Hottest in the City.”
The mixtape was heard by Charlie Mack, the president of “215 Aphillyated Records,” who signed Meek to the label. Later that year, Mill met the owner of Grand Hustle Records—T.I. who offered to travel with Mill to Warner Bros. Records.
Both Warner Bros. and T.I. offered him record deals but Mill decided to go for T.I.’s offer, stating that it was “an opportunity of a lifetime” to work with the established rapper.
But then something unexpected happened. Mill was arrested and charged with gun and drug possession, and ordered to serve seven months in prison. Luckily, Mill was able to resume working with the record label after he was released in the summer of 2009.
While working under Grand Hustle, Mill released another mixtape—Flamers 3: The Wait Is Over, in 2010. The tape received positive reviews and tracks on the tape were remixed by T.I., Rick Ross and Vado.
Due to legal troubles involving the owner of Grand Hustle—T.I.—Meek was unable to release a full official album under the company. He left in 2010.
Meek signed to Mayback Music Group in 2011 and released his debut single, “Tupac Back”, featuring Rick Ross, from his MMG’s compilation album Self Made Vol. 1 (2011). Later that year he released his second single, “Ima Boss”, also part of the compilation album.
The track was later remixed, featuring T.I., Birdman, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz and Rick Ross. The remixed song reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Mill’s most successful song at the time.
In May of 2012, Meek released the mixtape Dreamchasers 2 and it was downloaded 1.5 million times within six hours of the release. Three days later, Meek Mill signed with Roc Nation management.
Meek finally released his debut studio album in October of 2012. The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart, its highest position.