Championships is Meek Mill's fourth studio album which was released on November 30, 2018 by Atlantic Records & Maybach Music Group
On July 21, 2017, Meek Mill's third studio album, "Wins & Losses" was released. On November 6, 2017, he 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.
On April 24, 2018, Mill was released pending the outcome of the appeal to the Pennsylvania supreme court. The Philadelphia district attorney had petitioned Judge Brinkley for his release, citing credibility issues with the arresting officer in his initial 2008 conviction. Brinkley had declined and instead scheduled the case for a hearing.
Hours after his release from prison, Michael G. Rubin (a minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and long-time supporter of Meek 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.
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.
On July 6, 2018, Mill released his fifth extended play, "Legends of the Summer" his first new music since his release from prison.
On September 28, 2018, Mill announced that he would be releasing an album "real soon, like in a matter of weeks." On November 8, 2018, during a conversation regarding criminal justice reform at Georgetown University, he announced that the album would be released in November.
The album was reported to include songs about Mill's "experiences and issues with social justice" following his release from prison earlier in 2018.
- Uptown Vibes (featuring Fabolous & Anuel AA)
- On Me (featuring Cardi B)
- What's Free (featuring Rick Ross & Jay-Z)
- Respect the Game
- Splash Warning (featuring Young Thug, Roddy Richh & Future)
- Going Bad (featuring Drake)
- Almost Slipped
- Tic Tac Toe (featuring Kodak Black)
- 24/7 (featuring Ella Mai)
- Oodles O' Noodles Babies
- Pay You Back (featuring 21 Savage)
- 100 Summers
- Wit The Shits (W.T.S.) (featuring Melii)
- Stuck In My Ways
- Dangerous (featuring Jeremih & PNB Rock)
- Cold Hearted II
"Championships" debuted at #1 on the 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. In its second week, it fell to #2 on the chart, moving another 129,000 equivalent units that week.
In its third week, the album remained at number two on the chart, moving another 83,000 album-equivalent units that week. In its fourth week, it dropped to #6 on the chart, moving another 54,000 units that week.
On June 5, 2019, "Championships" 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.
"Championships" received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 77, based on 10 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
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 the track "On Me," "features Cardi B stealing the show in perhaps her most confident rapping to date."
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."
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."
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."