The Complete Guide to Meek Mill’s Lyrics About Watches
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The Complete Guide to Meek Mill’s Lyrics About Watches

From 'Flamers' to 'Meekend Music,' it's time to clock Meek's career in watch lyrics.
June 2, 2017, 4:14pm

Since the dawn of humanity, people everywhere have shared a base level grasp on gravity. Sometimes things went up, they always came back down, and that was enough. It wasn't until Newton published Prinicipa in 1687 that we began to understand why. Newton took an accepted occurrence of an apple falling, applied science, and began to understand the greater implications of it: The law of universal gravitation.

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In this scenario I am Sir Issac Newton, the apple is 14 Meek Mill albums, and the greater implication is how much Meek likes to rap about watches. Much like Newton studied the mechanics of attraction between two objects, I listened to 222 Meek Mill songs in a row and recorded every watch reference he makes. They will bury me at Westminster Abbey.

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From 2008's Flamers to this year's Meekend Music, I recorded every line from "Crowns on my wrist" to "Presidential, bitch." Throughout his 14 projects Meek references watches 156 times. Ninety-three times he mentions them by name brand directly. One hundred and fifty-six watch references over 222 songs means an average of .7 watch references per song. I don't have the data for any other artist, but I suspect he is on the higher end of the average watch reference spectrum. For those who doubted that Meek liked watches—that was a dumb thing to doubt. For those who always believed Meek liked watches, great job, you did it.

Where did his obsession begin? Has Meek always been fascinated by big Franck faces, or was this hobby picked up later in life? It's obviously the first one, but still, let's explore album by album to clock exactly how his relationship with watches has evolved.

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Flamers (2008) | WATCH-METER: [1]

Flamers boasted 18 songs, but it only two carried any watch references. Meek Mill's first hit "In My Bag" and the remix are the only tracks worth your time if your time is spent on things that tell time. At 4:18, Flamers has the worst ratio between watch bars and songs out of all of Meek's projects. It's clear that someone took Meek aside after this tape and let him know he was doing okay, but the next nine years would go a lot smoother if he rapped about watches for most of it.

Watch References: 4
Brand Breakdown: Rolex, 1; Breitling, 1
Best Bar: "I be high to the sky / I glide like a Rolex"


Flamers 2: Hottest in tha City (2009) | WATCH-METER: [7]

Great artists are defined by periods of work. From 1901 to 1904 Picasso created cold mono-chromatic blue paintings, and from 2009 to 2010 Meek rapped about Audemars Piguet. To the unfamiliar, Piguet might sound like sexual watersports, but true horology heads will be familiar with the timeless Swiss watch brand. During his Audemars period Meek was signed to T.I.'s label, Grand Hustle. The Trouble Man has had his fair share of Audemars bars over the years, so it's possible we have him to thank for the uptick in Meek's watch lyrics. Thank you, Trouble Man.

Watch References: 13
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 7; Breitling, 1; Rolex, 1
Best Bar: "Alley-oop a little bitch / Omelly slam her for the score / Yeah, it's my time / And I'ma shine / Like I'm a fucking Audemars"


Flamers 2.5: The Preview (2009) | WATCH-METER: [6]

Flamers 2.5 is Meek's last tape with Ruggy of Batcave Studios, and it contains his most diverse array of watch references to date. It's the only project he's released with more than three brand name namedrops: Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Rolex, and Cartier all make an appearance here.

Unfortunately, it seems quality is more important than quantity, as Flamers 2.5 is Meek's least listened-to mixtape on DatPiff. His reference to Cartier on "I'm The Shit" is his first and last namedrop of the French jeweler. When it comes to craftsmanship it seems Meek will accept nothing less than Swiss excellence. Ultimately, we all know Cartier is French trash used for checking when "the game" is on whereas Rolex is used for more intelligent activities like checking when the library is open.

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Watch References: 11
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 2; Breitling, 1; Cartier, 1; Rolex, 2
Best Bar: "Wrist looking like the same arena where the Flyers be—ICEY"


Flamers 3: The Wait is Over (2010) | WATCH-METER: [6]

Meek's first retail mixtape marks the end of his Audemars period and the beginning of hearing "GANGSTA GRILLZ YOU BASTARD" on all of his mixtapes. Interestingly enough, the two biggest hits from this tape, "Make 'Em Say" and "Rosé Red," have absolutely zero watch references. I believe this was not an oversight but rather an example of Meek testing himself. He knew he could make endless slappers with watch references, but he had to see if he could do without. He could and he did. "Make 'Em Say" managed to eke its way onto the Billboard rap chart, and "Rosé Red" was a good song that was fun to listen to not everything has to be a competition, damn.

Watch References: 14
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 5; Rolex, 2
Best Bar: "Hate is my motivator / Wrist's on refrigerator"


Mr. Philadelphia (2010) | WATCH-METER: [10]

Mr. Philadelphia should have been called Mr. Watch. It would have been an empirically worse title that sounds like a Blues Clues character, but it also would've represented the content of the mixtape much better. Meek does not shout out Philadelphia nearly as much as he shouts out what's on his wrist and how much it cost.

The two song sequence of "Banned From TV" and "Where Dey Do Dat" boasts a combined nine watch references. Both "Legggo" and "Dope Boy" feature watch references in their refrains. "Ain't Gonna Sleep" has the most straight to the point watch lyric of all time. No metaphors, no rhymes, Meek just says three brands in a row, "Breitling, Rollie, Audemars." This is either the laziest or most efficient flex of all time.

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Watch References: 31
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 5; Breitling, 4; Rolex, 6
Best Bar: "I asked my little bitch, she seen a brick and she said, 'No' / I told that little bitch look at my wrist, and she said, 'Oh'"


Dreamchasers (2011) | WATCH-METER: [6]

After a brief break with DJ Ill Will and Rockstar, Meek got back with Drama for his most critically acclaimed series to date. As if there was any doubt (there wasn't), on Dreamchasers the watches are back too. In lesser numbers, but they're still here.

Dreamchasers marks the beginning of Meek's Rolex Period. For the next five years every one of Meek's projects will give Rolex the majority share of references. Meek will reference Rolex by name 34 times in his songs and not receive a dime for it. Someone should have worked out a deal for Meek because this is some of the craziest unpaid product placement I have ever heard of.

Watch References: 11
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 2; Franck Muller, 1; Rolex, 3

Best Bar: "Gotta go to court tomorrow / DA on my dick / so I'ma wear my Audemars / just to make her sick"


Dreamchasers 2 (2012) | WATCH-METER: [8]

Dreamchasers 2 is the most downloaded mixtape in the history of DatPiff. With 2.9 million listens, 4.6 million downloads, and a fat 20 watch references this project is cemented in the mixtape hall of fame. Here Meek solidifies his commitment to Rolex by refusing to mention any other brand. From track one through 16 it's Rollie, Rollie, Rolex. These things don't come cheap. Throughout the tape the various price comparisons he lists off are: "40 racks," "60 racks," "a Camaro," and "a whole brick."

Watch References: 20
Brand Breakdown: Rolex, 10
Best Bar: "Right back like I never left / Rollie on my wrist cost a Camaro, yeah the double S"


Dreams and Nightmares (2012) | WATCH-METER: [4]

Meek's long-awaited debut album came in 2012 to the tune of 165k sold. Long time fans were satiated with the best album intro in history, stunning production from Jahlil Beats and The Beat Bully, as well as features from Nas and Rick Ross. (Long) time fans were crestfallen with the glaring lack of watch references, however.

On all levels except lyrical, this is a Meek Mill project. He appears on every song, but somehow it feels like he is barely punching the clock. Saved by a memorable intro and strong commercial performance, this project has a gigantic watch-shaped hole that needs filling. With watches.

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Watch References : 5
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 1; Rolex, 3
Best Bar: "There was something bout that Rollie when it first touched my wrist / Had me feeling like that dope boy when he first touched that brick"


Dreamchasers 3 (2013) | WATCH-METER: [7]

Mixtape Meek is the best Meek. After sensing his failure with his previous release, Meek sought to correct it immediately. He wastes no time with the first line of the tape, "100 grand large on the watch, blessed." That's a lot of money to spend on a watch, but it's true: We are blessed.

Those who have been listening since Flamers 2.5 will notice some familiar lines. Some will call it recycling, but I believe it's homage to his earlier work. The hook for "Dope Dealer" is the second time Meek has compared a yellow watch to Homer Simpson, and the hook for "Rich Porter" is the second time Meek has said his watch was flooded like New Orleans. This is not an oversight; Meek just like cartoons and FEMA disasters. These are normal hobbies. I see no problem with it.

Watch References: 15
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 2; Rolex, 7
Best Bar: "So I'mma ball harder than the muhfuckin' Carters / Beyoncé n Shawn / Arm bluer than their daughter"


Dreams Worth More Than Money (2015) | WATCH-METER: [7]

Fourteen watch references on Dreams Worth More Than Money is nothing to scoff at, and neither is the commercial performance. Meek moved 215K copies and got his first number one album with his sophomore effort. The album carried eight Rolex references across 14 tracks, making it Meek's second most Rolex-heavy release.

Those little crowns continued to carry Meek to victory at the 2016 Billboard Awards, where he beat out two Drake albums and To Pimp a Butterfly to win the Top Rap Album of the year award. If you think the Billboard Awards are meaningless because they're based solely on sales metrics instead of artistic achievement, that's a good point you raised I guess I didn't think about that.

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Watch References: 14
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 2; Rolex, 8
Best Bar: "Came from the hood now we jump out of states / Peep all these diamonds, they jump out the face"


4/4 (2016) | WATCH-METER: [3]

Three watch references is not enough to tide the hungry. Where a project like Mr. Philadelphia is a four-course meal for chronographs, 4/4 is a light snack. Some might say to focus on the ratio of watch references to songs. This is a four track EP, giving it an above average ratio of .75 references per song. I say don't do that. Rap about watches more.

Watch References: 3
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 1; Rolex, 2
Best Bar: "Audemars, I got a Range on me / Shit, a hundred thousand aint a thing to me / What's your range, homie? / This another level / Flood the Rollie, get another bezel"


4/4 Part 2 (2016) | WATCH-METER: [2]

Meek's second EP has too many songs about Drake and not enough songs about watches. Instead of working the Quentin Miller angle Meek should have rapped about how many watches he has and how many watches Drake does not have. This would have worked unless Drake had a grandiose collection of watches we've never seen. Then I suppose it would have backfired spectacularly. Either way it would have been worth a try.

Watch References: 3
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 1; Rolex, 1
Best Bar: "You wanna see a dead body? / Come roll with Ricky / My wrist and neck cost a Bugatti"


DC4 (2016) | WATCH-METER: [6]

The fourth installment to the Dreamchasers series arrived in October of 2016, and it could not have come sooner. After two EPs with minimal watch content, Meek needed to get back to the basics. In this case the basics was rapping about watches more.

On DC4 Meek expands his Swiss taste to Patek Philippe. In the intro track, "On the Regular," Meek references Patek for the first time in his career. He continues to explore new lanes on "Way Up" with a nuanced instance of self-examination as he raps, "Bust down the Role gave me confidence." In a rare moment of vulnerability, Meek admits his emotional attachment to material goods and the effect it has on his ego. Some will see Meek's hobby as a gross expression of wealth, but can you put a price on confidence? Yes. About $100,000 and maybe more if you need diamonds on your confidence.

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Watch References: 10
Brand Breakdown: Audemars Piguet, 1; Patek Philippe, 2; Rolex, 6
Best Bar: "Take out a nine and I sell it for thirty / Then straight to the jeweler / I'm bustin a Rollie / to light up the city like Meechie '03"


Meekend Music (2017) | WATCH-METER: [2]

A timepiece tragedy. A chrono-catastrophe. This is bullshit. Meekend Music has the fewest watch references of any Meek project to date. Two. What's the point?

This is a cry for help. This is Meek's 14th project, and it's the first time he has not used the word "Rolex" in a song. The man has been rapping for nine years—NINE YEARS—and every single album/mixtape/EP has mentioned Rolex except for this one. What is wrong? Is Meek developing as an artist to the point where he no longer needs the stability of the lyrical tropes that carried him but are ultimately a stale, meaningless regurgitation of what has been said a million times before? No. That's impossible.

This is the calm before the storm. The tide before the wave. The music with not a lot of watch references before the music with a lot of watch references. I foresee a future where DC4.5 drops and the first track is just Meek saying the word, "Rolex" really slowly. Second track he flips it and says "Rolex" like a hundred times. Third track? Doesn't exist because that is the perfect album already.

Watch References: 2
Brand Breakdown: Patek Philippe, 1

Best Bar: "Like that dirty dirty, how I lean niggas / And my wrist so subzero like freeze nigga!'"

Asher Dakota is Noisey's data science correspondent. Follow him on Twitter.