It’s been a year since Meek Mill started the biggest hip-hop beef in recent memory by calling out Drake for not writing his own raps—a cardinal sin in the game. All eyes now turn to Meek’s next project, Dreamchasers 4, where the MMG rapper will need to change his narrative and win back the respect of the public.

It’s still confusing, to some degree, how this played out. Meek went from having an ace up his sleeve, with the Quentin Miller reference tracks seemingly proving that Drake didn’t write all of his own songs, to being the underdog in the fight, counted out by plenty. This is partly Meek’s fault, as he looked unprepared for the situation and let Drake strike a major blow against the Philly rapper with the Grammy-nominated diss “Back to Back.” Since then, it’s been an uphill battle for Meek.

Meek hasn’t released a full-length project since June 2015, when he dropped Dreams Worth More Than Money, but he’s been recording and working to promote his next mixtape, DC4, for months. By virtue of the last year, this next project is the most important of Meek Mill’s career. Unfortunately for Meek, the Drake beef is not the only obstacle he’s been forced to deal with in the time since his last project. In February of this year, a judge ruled that Meek had violated the travel restrictions of his probation and the MMG rapper ended up having to serve three months on house arrest. Though that’s not a long period of time, any sort of setback for Meek at this point is a major blow against his efforts to feed the streets and win back the public.

Now that he’s off of house arrest, he’s looking to get back to where he was before the chaos of last summer, back to being one of the most promising rappers in the game. Meek, now 29 and four years removed from his debut album, has no time to waste. The first step on the road to redemption: Rick Ross’ MMG Weekend in Atlanta over the fourth of July, where the entire label showcased what’s coming next from the collective. Most of the roster, which includes Wale, Omarion, and Gunplay, is bringing out new music soon, but all eyes were on Meek, unsurprisingly. This was the first time he’s been out in public, let alone in front of members of the press, since he emerged from house arrest in early June.

Embracing the moment, Meek was eager to share what he’s been working on, though the details of DC4 are under wraps; a source close to the camp suggested the project may not be out until sometime this fall. As of now, Meek has teased a possible track list with features from Pusha T and more, but most everything else is unknown. Still, Meek came with new songs and they did not disappoint. In a packed, smoky studio filled with his day-one crew of Dreamchasers, nestled alongside some select rap journalists at Mean Streets Studio in Atlanta, Meek unleashed this long-awaited new heat.

There were some necessary club bangers, including a song with Young Thug and another with  Tracy T titled “Way Up.” On the latter, Meek raps, “Way, way, way up, I can’t believe they tried to play us,” which sums up his last year in the game. He acknowledged that his mixtape output has been stronger than his albums, which makes it even more important for fourth installment in the Dreamchasers series to come correct.

The new songs he played showcased Meek’s darker side too. Backed by soulful samples and gritty production, he’s rapping with newfound purpose. On one song in particular he sounds refreshed and hungry, rapping over a sample of the song “Midnight Blues” (it’s unclear if it was Gary Moore or Snowy White’s version), Meek sounds refreshed, but hungry.

“Back down on my own, we got to get it from the bottom,” Meek told us before playing the track. He’s not lying, but he’s also not ignoring his situation. He understands that he’s up against the odds, and is ready to take on the challenge. Still, he’s not just wallowing in the last year and sending unrelenting shots at Drake; he’s thinking about his life in all its breadth. Meek Mill isn’t going anywhere, and with Dreamchasers 4, we’re about to see how ready he is for what’s next.