Championships (album)

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Championships
Meek Mill – Championships.png
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 30, 2018
Recorded2018[1]
GenreHip hop
Length69:15
Label
Producer
Meek Mill chronology
Legends of the Summer
(2018)
Championships
(2018)
Singles from Championships
  1. "Dangerous"
    Released: November 5, 2018
  2. "Going Bad"
    Released: January 22, 2019[2]
  3. "24/7"
    Released: April 16, 2019

Championships is the fourth studio album by American rapper Meek Mill. It was released on November 30, 2018, by Atlantic Records and Maybach Music Group.[3] It follows his Legends of the Summer EP, released earlier in 2018, as well as his previous album, Wins & Losses, released in 2017.

Championships features guest appearances from Cardi B, Drake, Kodak Black, 21 Savage, Jeremih, PnB Rock, Fabolous, Future, Young Thug, Ella Mai, Jay-Z, and Rick Ross, among others.[4] Meanwhile, production was handled by Bangladesh, Cardo, Cubeatz, C-Sick, Don Cannon, Hit-Boy, Hitmaka, Prince Chrishan, Tay Keith, and Wheezy, among others. The lead single from the album, "Going Bad" featuring Drake was released on January 22, 2019.[2]

Championships received positive reviews from critics and debuted atop the US Billboard 200, selling 229,000 album-equivalent units in its first week .[5]

Background[edit]

On July 21, 2017, Meek Mill's third studio album Wins & Losses was released.[6] On November 6, 2017, Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years in state prison for violating parole and served five months at the State Correctional Institution – Chester in Chester, Pennsylvania.[7][8] On April 24, 2018, Mill was released pending the outcome of the appeal to the Pennsylvania supreme court.[9] The Philadelphia district attorney had petitioned Judge Brinkley for his release, citing credibility issues with the arresting officer in his initial 2008 conviction.[10][11] Brinkley had declined and instead scheduled the case for a hearing.[10] Hours after his release from prison, Michael G. Rubin, a minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and long-time supporter of Mill, flew Mill in by helicopter to a 76ers basketball game to perform a ceremonial bell-ringing on the court before the start of the game.[12] Garnering support from other public figures such as Jay-Z and Kevin Hart, Mill stated that he would like to use his situation to "shine a light" on the criminal justice system.[13][14] On July 6, 2018, Mill released his fifth extended play Legends of the Summer, his first new music since his release from prison.[15]

On September 28, 2018, Meek Mill announced that he would be releasing an album "real soon, like in a matter of weeks."[16] On November 8, 2018, during a conversation regarding criminal justice reform at Georgetown University, Mill announced that the album would be released in November.[17] The album was reported to include songs about Mill's "experiences and issues with social justice" following his release from prison earlier in 2018.[18]

Release and promotion[edit]

On November 14, 2018, Meek Mill appeared in a Vogue interview, playing a portion of his collaboration with rapper Cardi B and revealing the album would be released on November 30, 2018.[19] He later announced the album's title, release date and cover art on social media on November 16, 2018. The cover art, a close-up shot of Meek Mill's face, was called "minimalist".[20] The tracklist was revealed on November 29, 2018.[4]

Singles[edit]

On November 22, 2018, "Oodles o' Noodles Babies" and "Uptown Vibes" featuring Fabolous and Anuel AA were released as promotional singles.[21] Meek Mill performed "Oodles o' Noodles Babies" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon the same day.[22] The lead single from the album, "Going Bad" featuring Drake was released to urban contemporary radio on January 22, 2019.[2]

Other songs[edit]

The music video for the song, "Intro", was released on December 10, 2018.[23] The music video for "Trauma" was released on December 19, 2018.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic77/100[25]
Review scores
SourceRating
Clash8/10[26]
Consequence of SoundB[27]
Exclaim!9/10[28]
The Guardian3/5 stars[29]
HipHopDX3.9/5[30]
NME4/5 stars[31]
Pitchfork7.7/10[32]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[33]
Vice (Expert Witness)B+[34]
XXL4/5 (XL)[35]

Championships received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 77, based on 10 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[25] Writing for Billboard, Sowmya Krishnamurthy stated, "Meek raps with the same fervor he's always had, but there's a discernable focus on Championships. He's bridled his high-octane flow and is more clear-eyed. Incarceration has sparked a new purpose in him, as an activist and also as a man coming into his own." She also opined the reunion of Mill and Drake in "Going Bad" "is a high point" of the album, while "On Me," "features Cardi B stealing the show in perhaps her most confident rapping to date."[36] Evan Rytlewski of Pitchfork gave the album a 7.7 out of 10 saying, "Despite being born of injustice, an air of victory hangs over Meek’s first full-length since he was released from prison. It captures an intensity that the Philadelphia rapper is known for and best at."[32]

Writing for Clash, Aaron Bishop called the album Meek's best to date saying, "On Championships, his fourth studio album, Meek Mill raps with the same hunger, passion and drive that he came into the game with - which earned him veteran status at MMG as Rick Ross’s right hand lieutenant - but now with a renewed sense of purpose and direction."[26] In a positive review for Exclaim!, Erin Lowers praised the album stating, "As much as Championships is filled with nonchalant club/street anthems, it's also about healing. Tempered by both celebration and struggle, Championships shows the duality of Mill's world--one that still reflects on the past, but has made leaps towards his future--and that's perhaps the greatest win of them all."[28]

Commercial performance[edit]

Championships debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart with 229,000 album-equivalent units, of which 42,000 came from pure album sales in its first week. It became his second number-one album, and logged the fourth-largest streaming week of 2018 for an album.[5] In its second week, the album fell to number two on the chart, moving another 129,000 equivalent units that week.[37] In its third week, the album remained at number two on the chart, moving another 83,000 album-equivalent units that week.[38] In its fourth week, the album dropped to number six on the chart, moving another 54,000 units that week.[39] On June 5, 2019, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over a million units in the United States.[40]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal and Spotify.[41]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Intro"
  • Papamitrou
  • Andrew Meoray[b]
3:33
2."Trauma"3:58
3."Uptown Vibes" (featuring Fabolous and Anuel AA)Papamitrou3:10
4."On Me" (featuring Cardi B)
3:45
5."What's Free" (featuring Rick Ross and Jay-Z)
  • Streetrunner
  • Azzouz
6:02
6."Respect the Game"
  • Papamitrou
  • Beat Menace[a]
  • Rance Dopson[a]
3:12
7."Splash Warning" (featuring Future, Roddy Ricch and Young Thug)ATL Jacob2:48
8."Championships"
  • Williams
  • Dario Omanovic
  • Dopson
  • Toney Fountain
  • Dario
  • Rance Dopson[a]
4:21
9."Going Bad" (featuring Drake)3:00
10."Almost Slipped"
4:06
11."Tic Tac Toe" (featuring Kodak Black)Tay Keith3:05
12."24/7" (featuring Ella Mai)
  • Austin Powerz
  • EY
  • OZ
  • Pro Logic
3:41
13."Oodles o' Noodles Babies"
  • Butter Beats (Dolla Bill Kidz)
  • Kendxll[c]
3:01
14."Pay You Back" (featuring 21 Savage)
3:55
15."100 Summers"Hit-Boy2:43
16."Wit the Shits (W.T.S.)" (featuring Melii)
C-Sick2:50
17."Stuck in My Ways"
Cardo3:11
18."Dangerous" (featuring Jeremih and PnB Rock)3:53
19."Cold Hearted II"
  • Papamitrou
  • Beat Menace[a]
  • Rance Dopson[a]
5:01
Total length:69:15

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited co-producer

Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[41]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[46] 26
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[47] 53
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[48] 132
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[49] 1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[50] 30
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[51] 5
Irish Albums (IRMA)[52] 39
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[53] 34
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[54] 20
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[55] 22
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[56] 48
UK Albums (OCC)[57] 33
US Billboard 200[58] 1

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[59] Gold 40,000^
United States (RIAA)[60] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c "Urban/UAC Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on 18 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  3. ^ Centeno, Tony M. (November 16, 2018). "Meek Mill Shares Title and Cover Art for New Album". XXL. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Navjosh (November 29, 2018). "Meek Mill Reveals 'Championships' Tracklist Feat. Jay-Z, Drake & More". HipHop-N-More. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (December 10, 2018). "Meek Mill's 'Championships' Album Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
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  10. ^ a b "D.A. Moves to Get Him Outta Jail NOW... Judge Shuts It Down!!!". TMZ. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Arresting Officer Dubbed Corrupt... by Philly D.A.'s Office". TMZ. March 7, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
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  40. ^ [1]
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