If you’re remotely familiar with Meek’s story—even just a song or two, really—you already know exactly what he’s talking about. Born on May 6, 1987, Robert Rihmeek Williams grew up in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood.
meek mill concert sept 13 – A History Rolling Stone
Chart-topping Philadelphia rapper who received a career bump after a high-profile prison sentence. In an April 2018 opinion filed with the state supreme court , Brinkley refused to recuse herself and defended herself from allegations of misconduct; she argued that Mill’s sentence was reasonable” and appropriate.” A representative for Brinkley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mill may finally be in the clear, but the documentary stands as an indictment of a broken system. It raises serious concerns about just how much justice there is in our criminal justice system, particularly for the powerless—which Mill was when he was first arrested, and badly beaten, over a decade ago on what the film suggests were corrupt charges. And it raises questions about Meek himself; in the past, I’ve written that , while Mill’s case sheds light on inequities, we ought not to deify him: Meek Mill is no Nelson Mandela. Yet the Amazon doc—granted, it was produced by Mill loyalists—can only lead to a reconsideration of Mill, both as an evolving artist and as a newly-awakened social activist.
Even before he was released from prison in April, the change in Mill had been evident. He was tired, not just physically but also mentally, of a marathon in the criminal justice system he couldn’t escape. The best thing he could do was make sure his past was no one else’s future. That’s part of the bind and state of possibility Mill finds himself in. Growing into the man, the father, the agent of change and the friend he knows he can be. But still harboring the animosity and the vulnerability that made Robert Rihmeek Williams, Meek Mill.
TM: Yeah, we talk to him all the time. I mean, the bulk of the work happened already, but there may be more to do, because let’s imagine that Krasner decides he wants to try Meek again, then we’d have to prepare for a trial. And that is, you know, a lot of what we’ve done already may benefit this defense team. But I can imagine there would be other witnesses to find, there’d be other documents to interrogate. You know, it’s a whole different strategy, like making a motion to get someone out of prison, who’s been put there because of probation violations, is a very different legal strategy than preparing for a trial where there are witnesses to not only attack yourself from the defense side, but to bring in support of your strategy. And to attack the concept that Meek is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Also in the mix at the July 16 hearing: a long held request for fresh adjudication. Mill’s original 2008 judge, Genece Brinkley, sent Mill back to prison in 2017 after she found he’d violated his probation with minor technical probation violations and returned him to prison for 2-4 years. Brinkley had also denied Mill’s continued bids for a new trial, stating in court papers that she did not believe Mill’s lawyers or the D.A.’s office had sufficiently proved the evidence used to secure his original 2007 arrest was tainted.
Meek faced 19 counts when he finally goes before Judge Genece Brinkley for the first time. He waived a jury trial because of the costs, with Brinkley acquitting his co-defendants. She then found him guilty of seven charges, four of which concerned the gun. The misdemeanor offense of illegal carry” typically warrants a fine and house arrest; the rapper got two years in a county prison and eight years of probation.
He’s been on probation for nearly 10 years,” Joe Tacopina, one of Mill’s lawyers, told CNN in 2017. Nobody goes on probation for 10 years.” In June the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a split ruling on the matter , allowing Brinkley to remain on Mill’s case.
The unanimous three-judge opinion granted the rapper a new trial because of new evidence of alleged police corruption and said he would likely be acquitted if the case is retried.
Amazon’s docuseries Free Meek chronicles Mill’s story from the trumped-up and fallacious charges to the ray of hope that became today’s court hearing.
The Grammy-nominated Philadelphia artist pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor gun charge stemming from a 2007 gun and drug case that has kept him on probation for nearly 12 years.
Meek Mill is an American rapper and songwriter from South Philadelphia. His career began as a battle rapper, before he was signed to T.I’s Grand Hustle Records, and then Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group.
Philadelphia rapper Robert Williams, who performs as Meek Mill, broke out in 2012, after he signed with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group and released his first solo album, Dreams and Nightmares. The album, which followed a string of increasingly popular mixtapes and singles he’d been unleashing since 2006, hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and solidified his standing as one of the top young guns on the MMG roster. Meek – who was raised by his mother after age five, when his father was shot to death, also got himself on the rap mogul track by creating his own record label, Dream Chasers Records, which by 2013 had released mixtapes by rappers including Loui V. Gutta, Jahlil Beats, and the late Lil Snupe. Meanwhile, Meek is no stranger to stages, touring regularly on his own and appearing at concerts with labelmates Rick Ross and Wale. Fans with tickets can expect Meek to create a party atmosphere while generously sharing his stage with guests artists.
Common among those who have ever been locked up is the aforementioned fear — especially among those still on probation. Without having to dive explicitly into the fear — because it’s with them every step they take, every time they blink their eyes and every time their heart beats — they can exude or leak it. This emotion manifests across the vision boards of Championships. The system Mill bucks against on the album is also the muse that has him in new territory as an artist. It’s a disgusting gift, and an all-too-real curse.
I’m extremely grateful that my long legal battle is finally behind me and I appreciate that it has sparked a much-needed discussion about probation reform and the inequalities that exist within our two Americas,” Meek Mill said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Future, the Atlanta MC who started out with the Dungeon Family has been releasing music at a frenzied pace, dropping seven studio albums since his debut, Pluto, along with a sting of collaborative Mixtapes with notables like Drake, Young Thug, Zaytoven, Juice Wrld, and Gucci Mane. The two joined forces Sunday night at Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion for their Legendary Nights tour, a 24-city event which brought Meek and Future along with YG, Mustard, and Houston’s own Megan Thee Stallion across the country.
In October 2012, after he was heard on one of the versions of Wale ‘s number 64 Hot 100 single “Bag of Money,” taken from Self Made, Vol. 2, Meek finally released his debut album. Dreams and Nightmares entered the Billboard 200 at number two. Its biggest hit was “Amen” (featuring Drake ), which peaked at number four on the rap chart. That month, he also launched his own label, Dream Chasers Records.
Mill previously called the 12-year ordeal “mentally and emotionally challenging,” but said millions of people face the same issues. He became an activist for criminal justice reform since he was sent back to prison in 2017 for technical violations he blamed on his erratic travel schedule as his career soared.
Meek’s debut album Dreams and Nightmares drops TOMORROW, be sure to get your copy here. QRI investigators Tyler Maroney (left) and Luke Brindle-Khym (right) visit the scene of Meek Mill’s first arrest in Philadelphia.
These aren’t answers that can come about over the course of a conversation, or an album of music. Mill is still on high alert. One where freedom is fleeting and paranoia is permanent. It’s equal parts inspirational and heartbreaking. Meek Mill is lucky. And he raps, powerfully, like he knows it.
Pennsylvania is just the first step for the REFORM Alliance. Rubin said the organization’s nationwide mission is to get 1 million people out of the criminal justice system in five years. Nationwide, there are more than 4.5 million on probation and parole.
The Philadelphia rapper had been caught in America’s probation system for years. On Tuesday, his case finally came to an end. Throughout his career, Meek Mill has released several studio albums, EP’s, and Mix-tapes. Many of which we will highlight in the next section below.
As more people hear stories of lives broken by the probation system, there’s greater support for change, Rubin said. He cited a Philadelphia Inquirer story published last week which profiled a Delaware County man who was imprisoned for a probation violation; he couldn’t pay $1,900 in court fines.
At another hearing, Meek’s probation officer claimed the rapper left Pennsylvania without notification. He said that his schedule can change quickly, XXL reports, and asked for leniency. He also requested a new probation officer, but Brinkley denied him.
The hip-hop star, whose given name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, has become one of the most visible and outspoken advocates for criminal justice reform since his 2017 sentencing for technical violations sparked a national movement. He was released last year.
This is why Meek Mill’s next act promises to be so interesting—because, like Nixon going to China, he has the street cred to change behavior rather than perpetuate it. He and Rubin are to be lauded for seeking to emancipate one million people from the parole and probation system, but just getting guys out of prison isn’t real change. Providing opportunity to them, however, is. Maybe Mill starts telling the stories of those he met on the inside, creating a groundswell of empathy. Or maybe he and Rubin hire and train returning citizens to be entrepreneurs. Or maybe his rhymes are constructed to give inner-city kids something hopeful to say yes to, instead of just more gun-waving and acting out.
Best known for songs like Dreams and Nightmares” and Ima Boss,” Meek Mill released his fourth studio album, Championships,” last year, reaching the top of the Billboard album chart In July, he announced that he was starting a record label, Dream Chasers, under the corporate umbrella of Jay-Z’s entertainment Roc Nation.
ESQ: A lot of times in the doc after Meek’s probation hearings, a lyric video plays for one of his songs. I mean, he’s directly recounting incidents from these hearings in his music. And I think the effect on his art is really hard to argue against.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court removed Brinkley from the case as it granted Mill a new trial. Krasner’s office then had to decide whether to retry him or try to negotiate a plea, perhaps to misdemeanor charges. In his testimony at trial, Williams admitted having a gun but denied that he pointed it at police or was selling drugs at the time.
Assistant district attorney Paul George noted in court Tuesday that Williams had no criminal record before or since his original arrest a dozen years ago but added that even though he was a young man at the time, he was adult enough to admit he had a gun”.
Even with one gold and two platinum albums, Meek remains rap’s quintessential underdog. It’s a role he’s comfortable in. I’m in the business of proving people wrong,” he says en route to his conversation with Martinez Anytime people went against me, doubted me or actually offended me, it gave me the energy to go harder and win. I always had that drive growing up.” Meek played basketball growing up — but you can see why sports teams would love his energy.
Meek Mill’s lawyer, Brian McMonagle , who represented Bill Cosby before removing himself from that case, knew something was off when he entered the Philadelphia courtroom of Judge Genece E. Brinkley. Everyone was nervous, especially Meek. McMonagle saw six sheriff’s deputies. The hair on the back of his neck stood up.
But (see lyrics above) Championships is Mill’s story true and through. He’s a rose that grew from the cracked concrete of North Philadelphia. Sharpened his skills rap-battling on corners, and earned a rep as his music graduated from cyphers to mixtapes to chart-topping albums. Those bruised rose petals came with stories of losing a father before the first grade. Of forcing ends to meet when minimum wage wasn’t enough to keep a stove heated, let alone an entire house. Of constant run-ins with law enforcement that would become the story of his adult life. Championships, at its best, is a survivor’s tale.
PHILADELPHIA — Rapper Meek Mill pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge Tuesday in a deal that resolves a 2007 arrest that has kept him on probation or in prison for most of his adult life.
As questions and allegations swirled about Brinkley’s behavior, new information made Mill’s legal team skeptical about the testimony of Reginald Graham, the officer who had arrested the rapper in 2007. According to a March 2018 Philadelphia Inquirer report , Graham’s name appeared on a list of officers suspected of framing witnesses and lying in court. A Philadelphia judge dismissed several cases that hinged on Graham’s testimony. Graham retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 2017 and has remained fairly quiet about this matter, limiting his comments to an extensive June 2018 Philadelphia Magazine article. I stand by all my testimony, every word,” he told the outlet.
In November 2017, Brinkley sentenced the rapper to up to four years in prison, saying a pair of arrests violated probation conditions she set following his 2008 convictions. He served five months before the state’s top court granted him bail. Neither of the arrests resulted in convictions.