Thursday, February 13th, 2020

Meek Mill ft. Roddy Ricch – Letter to Nipsey

More music with a message…


Julian Axelrod: We see it on social media every time someone passes: a flood of strangers and vague associates drowning out tributes from those who actually knew the person. On this almost-anniversary Nipsey tribute, Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch recreate this awkward dynamic. Roddy, who was inspired and mentored by Nipsey before his death, draws on every facet of the late rapper’s life, music, and legacy to paint a portrait of Los Angeles with the blood of his still-beating heart. But Meek’s more established, so his awkward allusions to vengeance and vague Vegas plans get first billing. When he admits Nipsey’s death forced him to consider his own mortality, it taps into a relatable moment when grief turns to guilty self-reflection. But maybe don’t put it in a song?

Will Adams: The one positive of “See You Again” is setting that low a bar for tribute rap songs. “Letter to Nipsey” clears it breezily with the sentimental beat you’d expect (electric piano chords, emotive guitar), but where the verses cut deep, Roddy Ricch’s hook grasps at straws and barely clutches one.

Tobi Tella: This could’ve turned corny or extremely distasteful, but both artists give us pure, unadulterated heart. Meek basically ignores the beat with a rapid-fire stream of consciousness that feels like legitimately pouring his soul out: not pretending to be Nipsey’s best friend, but truly verbalizing the power of his influence. Ricch’s chorus is melodic and hard to listen to, and his verse shows versatility I didn’t know he had. A beautifully pleasant surprise.

Alfred Soto: As far as tributes go, it’s not sticky or defensive: Meek can’t hide his rage, and Roddy Rich lays down credible verses about the depth of Nipsey’s mentorship. It has the freshness of a solid first draft.

Thomas Inskeep: A sincere song for their murdered friend/mentor (in the case of Ricch) that, while affectionate and well-meaning, doesn’t really do much. Your enjoyment of this will directly relate to how much you enjoy Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch (albeit when the latter isn’t making funny noises like he does on “The Box”).

Brad Shoup: Two men with no unique claim, just grief that still registers almost one year later. Papamitrou works up a West Coast roll that’s half dirge, half chill, and Meek jumps the track so hard he almost falls off. He and Roddy flit all over, trying to capture too much, maybe, but honorably. We just embrace the only life we know.

Reader average: [4] (1 vote)

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2 Responses to “Meek Mill ft. Roddy Ricch – Letter to Nipsey”

  1. “Your enjoyment of this will directly relate to how much you enjoy Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch (albeit when the latter isn’t making funny noises like he does on “The Box”)”

    But the funny noises make “The Box”! It’s the genius part.

  2. I get that that’s why people like it, and I’m not dissing that here, just clarifying that he’s not making said noises on “Letter to Nipsey.”

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