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"Going Bad" is one of the top charting singles from Meek Mill's album Championships. It’s a very boastful record that doesn’t have a much deeper meaning or context. It mainly is championing the success of Meek, who has gone through so much. This is the peak, the “Championship.” Seeing that he’s won against so many past struggles. And these struggles have motivated him to get to this point.
Playin' with my name, that shit is lethal, dawg (Who you say you was?)
Trust me, at the top it isn't lonely (Strapped)
Everybody actin' like they know me, dawg
Don't just say you're down, you gotta show me (What you gotta do?)
Bring the clip back empty (It's empty)
You asked to see the boss, so they sent me, dawg (Sent me, dawg)
(The verse's words are basically laid out. Keep my name out of your mouth, Im at the top, and quit actin' like we know each other 'cause I'm at the top and you aren’t.)
The song sonically is amazing—it works perfectly with the voice of Drake and Meek Mill. The beat doesn’t make the song, it doesn’t overpower their voices, it accentuates and enhances seamlessly while also being present and in your face. Both Westen Weiss—who has worked with artists like FUTURE, 24HRs, and Trippie Redd—and the current chart-topping Atlanta producer Wheezy co-produced this song.
The music video to the song has older origins. The video and artist are in the present time, but the overall aesthetic has it dated to around 1960-1980, the time when mobsters and mafia were most present in America. It screams Goodfellas or The Godfather. The video opens with an ornate ceiling like that of a Catholic church then pans to the city of Philadelphia. After, it continues to take up angles of the ceiling and show the beautiful cream marble, detailed paintings, and chandeliers. A bunch of suited men walk in: Jay Prince, Nipsey Hussle, T.I, DJ Mustard, Swizz Beatz, and many other upper brass of the rap community. Straight-faced, they continue to walk into the building up a flight of stairs and proceed to have a meeting. Following this aesthetic of upper-class mobsters, they become these self-proclaimed “dons” of the rap community so to speak. Throughout the video, they continue to embody regular actions and cliches seen in almost every mob movie. Expensive liquor, women, watching horse races, cigars, suits so sharp they could cut a piece of paper, jewelry, etc.
This music video is a message. It’s telling all people that we own this, we're at the top. The boastfulness inside the song is translated into the music video. It isn’t some ignorant rap or music videos about cars or clothes. It’s doing that in a classier, more calculated fashion. After the scene is set, the verses given by Meek and Drake continue to be said as they “do things mobsters do.” Panning shots of the meeting at a long wooden table while they light cigars with matches, them all standing in a gigantic building with beautiful marble floors and expensive tapestries, but while Drake and Meek proceed to bar out. They're just steadily cementing their status within higher class life inside our heads, trying to send a message to all that doubt them, think they’re unworthy, or have something negative to say to them. They came dapper, energetic, and ready; it was like they took some tips right out of Puff Daddy's handbook. The video itself was amazing and so was the song, especially since we saw Meek and Drake squash their beef and show us that they're on to much greater things.