Meek Mill’s cocksure swag is reminiscent of Allen Iverson. Like the former 76ers star, Meek puts on for his city, crossing any opponent on the mic. For his first headlining performance since his release from prison, the MMG rapper—decked in all black and rocking his newly released Puma Patent Pack kicks—was shown so much brotherly love in his native Philadelphia at his #WelcomeBackMeek homecoming show on Saturday night (March 21) at Wells Fargo Center.
As the clock crept pass 9:30 p.m., a projector showed Philly OGs such as funny man Kevin Hart, The Roots, Iverson and NBA Hall of Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving as a salute to the night’s hometown hero. The lanky spitter commenced his set by performing the menacing “Monster,” which set the wave for the next two hours. Meek turned it up a notch with his how-to-ball anthem “Levels.”
Meek then announced to a crowd of 20,000 that he would share the stage with some of his hip-hop contemporaries. The first of many guests was the stylish Boogie Down Bronx rep, French Montana, who mobbed on the stage with his usual slow gait to perform his catchy and uptempo track “Don’t Panic.”
Keeping the stage lit, DJ Drama and Milly rolled into “Burn” and “Young And Gettin’ It.” But when Dram dropped the beat to “House Party,” all hands went up for the 2011 Dreamchasers mixtape cut. The energy swelling inside Wells Fargo felt like Iverson’s 1997 crossover on Michael Jordan on live television (FYI: That classic hardwood moment was 18 years ago on March 12). The Answer himself even made a cameo. “#AI was my idol growing up!,” Meek wrote on Instagram with a photo of the two brothers embracing.
Meek hit pause on his flammatory set by thanking those who made his success possible. “Shout out to Puma. We all come from the bottom. We used to sell crack, now we selling sneakers,” Meek said before tossing a pair of shoes into the crowd. “Shout out Powerhouse [Philly’s Power 99 radio station] for giving a nigga something.”
The night would not have been complete without a shout out to Omeeka, though. “They be like, ‘How you get Nicki?’ What? I am a Philly nigga,” Meek said to ear-splitting cheers.
He prolonged the party by bringing out rhymeslingers Yo Gotti (he performed “Fuck You,” “Everybody” and “I Know”) and Fabolous (he did live renditions of “Racked Up Shawty” and “Ball Drop” alongside French). But the highlight of the night: an appearance from Beanie Siegel, who rocked his verses to Jay Z’s “Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up).” Beans, who was hit by a stray bullet last December, seemed in tip-top shape as the Broad Street Bully moved across the stage with ease.
Philly didn’t let up, though. The Richter Scale hit max when Young Gunz bodied the stage. A State Property reunion filled the Fargo with nostalgia as they stormed the stage to thunderous applause to perform their 2003 hit “No Better Love.” Young Chris and Neef Buck followed with a wistful performance of their classic “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.”
The only thing better than seeing Beanie Sigel and Young Gunz onstage was Meek Mill’s facial expression. The Philly God stood back and watched in awe as the city’s rap vets moved the crowd. After snapping a “fansie” for Instagram, Meek brought out Jeezy for “Bottom of the Map” and “Get Ya Mind Right.” Maybach bawse Ricky Rozay also RSVP’d to the Meek soiree by performing “I’ma Boss” and “Blowing Money Fast” as DJ Khaled made a brief appearance.
Meek closed out the show with moving performances of “Heaven and Hell” with Jadakiss, and “Lil Snupe,” an ode to his fallen Dreamchasers artist Lil Snupe, who was murdered in 2013. As per always, Meek shut down the arena in true heroic fashion with one of the best intros in the past decade, the supercharged “Dreams And Nightmares Intro.” It was a party fit for a young king.
See clips of the performance courtesy of Revolt TV here.