Meek Mill is back with another single, and this time he has a message on his mind. "YBA" is a dose of advice-giving Meek, with the rapper advising young, black Americans to be cautious in their decision-making, and to remember their actions can have life-altering impact.
The video for "YBA" is filled to the brim with vivid imagery. Meek hits a lot of familiar themes throughout the song; he suggests all kids want to do is "rap and hoop" instead of focusing on more traditional career paths, like becoming a lawyer, while also bemoaning fake friends and people who are mostly interested in flexing for the 'Gram.
Throughout the video, Meek is shown to be sharing all this wisdom with a young man growing up in a tough neighborhood. Surrounded by crime and violence, Meek's words and the world around him cause the young man to go through several moments of deep contemplation. Meek is effectively the big brother who made it out, trying to make sure he shares his wisdom with kids who can use it to better their own lives.
There's a powerful sequence midway through the video, with a couple kids looking on at a crime scene with anguish draped over their faces.
Toward the end of the video, there's a thought-provoking sequence, when the child Meek is speaking to throughout the video watches on during a Donald Trump rant, followed by a group of black men in KKK-style hoods unmasking themselves.
It seems Meek is trying to convey two different messages at the same time—that there are greater things to aspire to than life in the streets hurting one another, and that some people (like Trump) are always going to view them a certain way no matter what they do with their lives.
He sends that point home with his gift to his young partner, a Dreamchasers chain that symbolizes what striving for your goals can turn into.
The-Dream emphasized the message behind the song and video in a post on his Instagram, saying, "we must rise beyond petty."
A post shared by THE-DREAM (@thekingdream) on Jun 24, 2017 at 5:59pm PDT
You can catch the full video for "YBA" up top.