Meech entered the music scene back in 2007. At only 15 years old, the Minnesota-native’s Fingazz-produced single, “Thicka Than a Snicka” helped him to get his foot in the door. After a failed record deal and a brief hiatus, Meech is ready to reinvent himself with his debut mixtape, _Guitars & Lifestories_.
Mr. Peter Parker and The LA Leakers host the 15-track project. The mixtape opens with Meech showcasing his lyrical ability over the instrumental of Beanie Siegel’s “Feel it in the Air”. While Meech may not be the next J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar lyrically, his emotional delivery is admirable. Following this freestyle is another, this time over the instrumental of B.o.B’s “Paper Planes”. While it’s a bit dissatisfying to hear such old beats being utilized, Meech does do them justice, giving both tracks a breath of new life.
The first original track to appear is “Astronomy”. While not one of his best performances, it’s the first introduction of guitars into the production scheme. Meech spits about his unrelenting will to become a star over a dynamic electric guitar-driven track.
The next track, “High School” is where Meech applies a formula that makes him standout and shine. Not afraid to incorporate pop influences, the 20 year-old delivers an upbeat record about dropping out of high school in search of the good life.
Moving on to track #5, another original composition, the style of “High School” continues. Infusing a catchy melody and hook, “Homies” is dedicated to good friends and good times.
“Ready or Not” finds the Minneapolis MC stepping into the dark and entering the erie Fugees-sampled beat. We hear the honesty and humbleness as a reference to his failed record deal comes pouring out. Meech spits:
I done been through it all
From being on top, back to the bottom and not coming back up to the top again…
It’s a hard process, though
It’s nice to hear the flexibility in his songwriting ability, flipping from upbeat records to something of more sophisticated content.
The party continues on the next track; “Famous” is another Fingazz production. Influencing an electric guitar, this track is another infectious party jam that will appease to a younger audience .
Track #8 is “All on Me”. This is where Meech goes for a more hip-hop feel. The laid-back track is all about the love of money, a familiar theme in rap music. While it’s nice to hear a more traditional rap record on _Guitars & Lifestories_, this track comes off as a bit generic.
Enter an acoustic guitar, Meech shines once again. “Rio de Janeiro” is a fresh hip-hop/R&B crossover track. This track gives you that feeling of driving down Sunset Blvd. This is one of the mixtape’s standouts.
“Never Giving Up” is one of only two tracks to feature another artist. Minnesota’s Taylor J joins Meech on the hip-hop track. This one is a little less pop, a little less guitars, and a little more rap. The violin-led production and the combination of solid verses from both artists makes this a good portrait of Meech’s rapping ability.
The guitars come back out of the cases for “My Carlo”. After getting just over one minute into this track, I was a bit taken back to see that it was only 1:45 in total length. This kind of disrupts the flow of the mixtape. The next track, “Supreme” leaves the same bitter taste in the listener’s mouth.
Thankfully, “Stranded” is a full-length song. No guitar this time around, Meech opts for a piano. This is one example of where the Meech’s singing falls short. The autotune-assisted vocals just don’t come across as well as they have in previous tracks.
The mixtape’s lead single, “No Chaser” follows next. This is definitely the best track on the mixtape, and the best release from Meech thus far. The feel-good song, which features MODSUN, has all the elements of a great feel-good jam. This is one that’ll live in people’s iPod’s for a long time.
“Dear Step Dad” is the final track of _Guitars & Lifestories_. Utilizing Eminem’s “Stan” instrumental, Meech pens an emotional letter to his biological father. Once again, the emotional delivery comes across well. The depth shown in this track shows his sophistication and ability to make more than just party records.
Bottom line:_ Guitars & Lifestories_ is a great re-introduction to Meech as an artist. While some tracks may seem almost unfinished due to their short duration, the full-length tracks really stand out. It’s never an easy task coming back from a long hiatus to such an unforgiving industry, but I think that the style he’s created for himself will bring Meech back to the limelight soon enough. I just hope that he’s here to stay.