Meek Mill

Meek Mill's 'Dreams and Nightmares' is now officially the greatest Philly sports anthem ever

Meek Mill's 'Dreams and Nightmares' is now officially the greatest Philly sports anthem ever

A city's best sports anthems come about organically but quickly feel destined. They seem timely but not ephemeral. They feel deeply rooted in a team's geography and identity while remaining highly accessible to outsiders. They're stirring, exciting and maybe even a little bit intimidating. And when things are truly meant to be, they end up soundtracking championship celebrations. 

Before last night, Meek Mill's "Dreams and Nightmares" qualified for all but the last part of that description. And now, its resume is complete: The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles both came out at Super Bowl LII to the song's iconic beat switch, and spent the post-game locker room celebration after their 41-33 win over the New England Patriots rapping along with the entire song. And now, it almost has to be considered the greatest anthem that Philly sports has ever known. 

Not that it doesn't have decently stiff competition. McFadden and Whitehead's disco classic "Ain't No Stoppin Us Now" soundtracked the indomitable 1980 Phillies' World Series run, breaking a title drought decades longer than even these Eagles. A decade later, Tag Team's "Whoomp! There It Is" propelled the sh*t-stirring '93 Phils to the Series with appropriate sha-ka-la-ka swagger. Fresh Aire's "Here Come the Sixers" is as deliciously funky and timestamped a '70s jam as the eventual title-contending 76ers teams of the late decade could've asked for. And of course, Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" will exist throughout sports culture for as long as their late-game timeouts in high-pressure situations. 

But none of them have ever felt quite so important to Philly culture as this. It helps, of course, that Meek Mill is not only a native and proud Philadelphian, but that he's become a local cause as a result of his recent imprisonment, which ranks somewhere on the scale between "unfortunate," "wrongful" and "cartoonish." And while McFadden and Whitehead were local products who played a key part in the city's epochal '70s soul scene, Meek is the only performer of the bunch who's become downright synonymous with Philly on a national scale -- the guy filmed one of his first music videos at Lou Williams' house, damn it. 

And even more important than Meek's cultural significance to Philadelphia, the song quickly become inextricable with this Eagles team because it seemed to fit their story so well. The song's not a linear narrative by any means, but it's an obvious underdog anthem in both lyrical and musical theme, almost a before-and-after of the Eagles turning from wide-eyed aspirants into devil-eyed agents of destruction. When the bass drops and everyone shouts along to the "HOLD UP WAIT A MINUTE/ Y'ALL THOUGHT I WAS FINISHED?!?!?" section, it's pretty clear why the team written off by so many going into these playoffs adopted it as their theme song. 

Even though the song has already been a huge part of Philly and hip-hop culture for a half-decade, its association with this team permanently ensures its local immortality, even for those who don't keep Power 99 on their radio presets -- and means we'll rarely think of one without the other for some time to come. The 2017 Eagles did it without an album. The 2017 Eagles did shit with Mariah. They gon' remember the 2017 Eagles. 

Joel Embiid visits Meek Mill in prison

Joel Embiid visits Meek Mill in prison

CAMDEN, N.J. – Joel Embiid visited rapper and friend Meek Mill this week to offer encouragement.

“First of all, it was scary,” Embiid said Saturday after shootaround. “I’m never going to jail. I got into that place and I was pretty scared. I just wanted to go out there, support him, pretty good friend of mine. So I just wanted to go out there, show him some support and let him know that we’re behind him. There was a little bit of injustice there so I just wanted to go out there with whoever I was to show him the support.”

Last month Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison for a probation violation. The terms sparked outrage by many, including some on the Sixers. Mill, a Philadelphia native, frequently attended games and has received support from several of the players.

Embiid, Ben Simmons and Justin Anderson were photographed holding t-shirts that read “Stand with Meek Mill” at the Jay Z concert Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin, who reportedly joined Embiid on the visit per TMZ Sports, wrote a letter to the judge in favor of Mill prior to his sentencing, per the Crossover.

Just let Joel Embiid be himself

Just let Joel Embiid be himself

Some of you woke up today at the blasphemy of seeing the Sixers' star, injured, player Joel Embiid dancing and dabbing shirtless at last night’s Meek Mill concert at the Wells Fargo Center.

Some of you woke up today watching a young man, who practiced nearly in full pre-game in plain view last week, having fun at a Meek Mill concert. If you’re in the first group, Aaron Rodgers has one word, five letters, for you … R-E-L-A-X. Stop saying it’s a bad look for a 22-year-old to have fun at a concert.

Do we all want to see Embiid out on the court, continuing his sensational season? Absolutely. However, how can you get upset at a guy who is, quite clearly, not really endangering his well-being and just having fun?

Joel Embiid has proven on the court, and on social media, that he only has one speed and while it may land him on the sidelines more than basketball fans want, it shouldn’t keep him from having fun and being the person Philadelphia sports fans have grown to love.

Just let Joel be himself.

Take a moment to remember why the city has fallen in love with the 7-foot center from Cameroon and why he was third in the Eastern Conference in fan voting for the All-Star Game. It’s not only his ability on the court, but it’s the celebrity crush drama, his love for Shirley Temples and the fact that when he posts on Instagram, we all have to check to see what location he decided to put.

If you tell Embiid to stop now, maybe it all stops and he becomes just another basketball player. He’s not just another basketball player, he’s unique.

I was hoping he’d come out for another song, but, you know, minutes restriction.