In the days following the release of Meek Mill’s Wins & Losses, it seemed like the Dreamchasers founder had finally moved forward in his career. The Philly rapper was able to put all of the BS behind him and delivered a project that was well-received by those willing to give it a chance.

After being consumed by multiple feuds and the tabloid fodder of his relationship with Nicki Minaj for much of the last two years, Meek looked like he’d started a new chapter in his life. But just as he began this proverbial winning streak, he managed to shoot himself in the foot once again.

Amid an overwhelmingly positive reaction to Wins & Losses, news emerged of Meek having a hidden Drake diss on the album. The Maybach Music Group artist either hid or mistakenly left some bars about Drizzy on the clean version of the LP. On the song “1942 Flows,” Meek delivers an extended third verse with the following rhymes:

Heard they say I talk about my Rollies too much
But them flows you be using sounding stolen too much
500 on my neck, they say I’m glowing too much
Had to block that little bitch because she blowing me up
You be doing too much, you only looking for attention
Swagger jacking, jacking niggas’ swag, that’s extentious
Came in the culture like a vulture, now you winning
But this is just the beginning, Double M the emblem for real

For whatever reason, these lines didn’t appear on the explicit version of the project — the one most people will hear. As a result, Meek comes across like a rapper who’s fearful of how this diss will be received. If he actually meant to cut these bars, it’s a terrible look to have them go public via a mishap behind the scenes. And if he did it on purpose, then he tried to bury his barbs on an edition of the LP that the majority of his listeners won’t consume. Meek can’t win for losing.

Essentially, Meek had a 3-1 lead in the playoffs and managed to let in slip away.

He put together a brilliant rollout for Wins & Losses, dropping a series of creative short films inspired by the album. He gave insightful interviews that made him seem like an artist who truly understood his position in rap’s crowded landscape. Then, he delivered quality music that managed to silence some of his loudest critics. But still, he somehow managed to fumble on the goal line with his handling of this Drake diss.

The “Whatever You Need” MC had every reason to diss Drizzy. Their storied beef has become a predominant aspect of his entire career and his rival continues to throw shots him, as heard on the More Life playlist. So why the subterfuge?

The bars are good. The criticism is valid. Meek actually had the perfect opportunity to assert himself in a battle that turned him into a laughing stock. Instead, he seemingly shied away from the conflict. One can only assume he’s worried about the reaction.

Perhaps he doesn’t want to be in the mega star’s crossfire again. Maybe he’s ready to move on to another chapter in his career. But this backhanded release of a diss indicates his issues with Drake are still messing with his psyche.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be something he wants to either truly confront or move past.

Until Meek does, he can’t really win.