More Culture:

February 07, 2023

Lil Uzi Vert says 'Just Wanna Rock' has not replaced Meek Mill's 'Dreams and Nightmares' as Eagles rap anthem

The Philly rapper responded to a claim by DJ Drama that the hit single is propelling the hometown team's Super Bowl run

In October, as the Philadelphia Eagles began stacking wins and looking like a Super Bowl contender, Lil Uzi Vert released the Jersey club-inspired single "Just Wanna Rock," an instant hit from the upcoming mixtape, "The Pink Tape."

Fueled by a pre-release on TikTok, the song catapulted Uzi to the top 10 of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. And as the Eagles took the field for the NFC Championship game against the 49ers, the team was led out of the tunnel by Uzi as the song filled Lincoln Financial Field.

The song's drawn out, "Daaaaaaamn" refrain pretty well sums up what the Eagles have accomplished this season as they prepare to face the Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII.

Record executive and promoter DJ Drama recently proclaimed in an interview with TMZ that "Just Wanna Rock" has supplanted Meek Mill's legendary "Dreams and Nightmares" as the rap anthem of Philly and the song of the Eagles' 2022-23 season.

"I think it's fair to say that 'Just Wanna Rock' has replaced — with all due respect — 'Dreams and Nightmares' as the new anthem for Philadelphia, as the new anthem of the Philadelphia Eagles this year," DJ Drama said. "So, I'm looking forward to hearing that song many, many times Super Bowl weekend."

Replace is a strong word. For one, Meek Mill also appeared at the Linc and performed "Dreams and Nightmares" during the Eagles' first game with the Cowboys on "Monday Night Football," which inspired A.J. Brown's, "Philly is lit" comment after the Eagles got the win. 

As the undisputed anthem of the Eagles' first Super Bowl title run in 2017-18, "Dreams and Nightmares" has an immortality that will always make the song synonymous with that championship. What's even more impressive about Meek's longevity with that song is that it came out in 2012 and remained popular enough a decade later to fill the Wells Fargo Center for an anniversary concert for his debut album.

On the other hand, DJ Drama definitely has a point about "Just Wanna Rock." The touchdown celebration done by Miles Sanders (and attempted by Jason Kelce) after the Eagles' first score against the 49ers is inspired by a TikTok trend connected to Uzi's song. 

Former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby, who was part of the first Super Bowl team, also boldly predicted in 2019 that Lil Uzi Vert will be the next Michael Jackson, an opinion some of Darby's teammates thought was outrageous. 

Breakout Philly rappers tend to respect other Philly rappers who paved the way for them, so it's not surprising that Uzi's response to DJ Drama's comments was to downplay the crowning of "Just Wanna Rock."

"I don’t think so. That song like been around for a very long time, and that song is still hitting exactly the same way," Uzi said during an interview at Sunday's Grammy Awards. "I’m just gonna have to see, you know, in a couple of years or a decade or whatever."

Uzi added that they look up to Meek Mill and have drawn inspiration from him.

"(Meek) that’s a big Homie from Philly, and that’s like one of my big homies," Uzi continued. "So I just like feed off the energy that he gives actually to be able to even produce or put out that type of music. So like, hopefully, like s***, hopefully. He would hope that for me too. Not yet though it’s too early to tell."

Meek Mill also seemingly reminded DJ Drama on Twitter that "Dreams and Nightmares" has an untouchable legacy in a world where rap hits usually shine brightly for about six months and then start to fade.

The Phillies got a huge boost during last year's World Series run with Callum Scott's cover of "Dancing on My Own," so it's probably fair to say that "Just Wanna Rock" is serving a similar purpose for the Eagles. But there is no way that team doesn't play the generational hit — "Dreams and Nightmares" — to get amped up for the Super Bowl.

Without question, if the Eagles take care of business on Sunday night, both songs will give fans chills for years and years to come.