And one with twice the drama and character arcs. While in New York for an appearance on The Tonight Show, Meek saw some kids riding dirt bikes and asked if he could ride one. Meek Mill is a rapper, singer and songwriter.
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Chart-topping Philadelphia rapper who received a career bump after a high-profile prison sentence. In November 2017, Rubin accompanied Mill when the rapper was summoned to a Philadelphia courtroom for a probation violation for a gun and drug possession case from a decade ago. The probation officer and the prosecutor both agreed Mill shouldn’t go to jail.
Meek Mill told him. Meek made clear the harsh realities of the criminal justice system. Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin only wishes he had believed Meek sooner.
In addition to serving as the CEO of Dream Chasers, Mill is the co-chairman of the REFORM Alliance, which launched in January 2019 and aims to advance criminal justice reform and eradicate outdated policies that perpetuate injustice in the United States. Meek is committed to generating awareness around the problems of the criminal justice system – including excessive probation regulations, the disproportionate bail system and the lack of rehabilitation programs available – and highlighting how they disproportionately affect people of color.
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.
The defense also accused the trial judge of bias for sending the entertainer back to prison over minor probation violations. The defense also accused the trial judge, Genece Brinkley, of bias for sending the entertainer back to prison over minor probation violations.
Meek Mill is the latest superstar export from America – he has collaborated with Mariah Carey, Drake, Mac Miller and Trey Songz, and is signed to MMG Music, a record label owned by Rick Ross. His US tour sold out in under a week, with his debut mixtape Dreamchasers being downloaded over 3.2 million times to date. He has had over 21 million hits on his YouTube channel.
His difficulties prompted fierce support from justice advocates and Mill’s celebrity supporters argued that at a time when police violence, mass incarceration, and harsh sentencing continue to disproportionately affect people of color, Mill’s case was an all-too-normal tale of the potential harms of America’s probation system: A single infraction can affect a person for years after they have served time due to an extensive web of supervision and the courts’ ability to put someone back behind bars for even minimal offenses.
Mill and Jay-Z are the faces of the movement, Rubin said. Mill has spoken out publicly numerous times for probation reform, even with a packed schedule. Meek is really involved,” Rubin said.
These are just some of the reforms that groups like Color of Change are calling for. McCants told me that another major goal is to end the use of pretrial probation detainers , which allow a person to be immediately jailed for a probation violation.
Well, this was a pretty egregious case. And it depends on the system, you have federal and you have state. County courts have very wide discretion over how to treat defendants who appear before them. I mean, if Brinkley had given Meek a much less aggressive sentence, like to pay a fine, for example, I don’t know that we would have gotten the call to help. So, were we surprised? Look, it’s always surprising when you prove that a police officer, a decorated police officer was engaged in criminal behavior Graham was never convicted of any crime, nor admitted to any wrongdoing And we had his former colleagues telling us that on the record, and then we found documents to support it. These weren’t just rumors or hearsay. This is real evidence that we brought forth to our client, which then made its way into the court, which was then cited by not only Larry Krasner, the D.A., but the appeals court just a week or two ago when it vacated two convictions.
He took up the cause after clashing repeatedly with the trial judge who ordered 10 years of probation and sent him back to prison in 2017 for technical violations. He spent five months locked up before the Pennsylvania Superior Court granted him bail and removed her from the case.
How is it that there’s as yet no public consideration over Brinkley’s fitness to serve? Just recently, the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Review Board moved to suspend Common Pleas Court Judge Lyris Younge for an alleged pattern of civil rights violations and for her impatient, discourteous, disrespectful, condescending, and undignified” demeanor while presiding over Family Court cases. Well, the same description could conceivably fit Brinkley’s conduct in the Mill case; yet, I’m told, the Review Board hasn’t acted on complaints against her because, unlike in Younge’s case, there’s no multi-case pattern of judicial intemperance.
Meek Mill and Rihanna are just a few of the celebrities that are expected to attend, along with Beyoncé , of course. The Dreams and Nightmares rapper will also be participating in the blackjack tournament.
Mill’s fight in the justice system began to see increased attention in November 2017, when Brinkley sentenced him to serve two to four years in prison after violating the terms of his probation. The rapper’s rise has been haunted by a 2007 arrest, followed by close court supervision, multiple minor probation violations, and periods of incarceration at various points.
Mill faced additional punishments in 2015 and 2016 for probation violations and had more years added onto the initial five-year probationary period. Mill’s team argued that Brinkley was being too strict about relatively minor infractions.
Rubin credited Attorney General Josh Shapiro with pushing him to focus on reform beyond Mill’s case. The negotiated plea comes after an appeals court threw out the 2007 conviction of the 32-year-old rapper, born Robert Williams, last month.
Meek impresses Rick Ross at a college gig and later re-recorded Rosé Red” with the Miami-based rapper. Ross signs Meek to his Maybach Music Group label and Warner Bros.
Meek was convicted in 2007 of drug and gun possession as a teenager. Years later, the circumstances of the conviction were found to be highly suspect However, he remained on probation for the original crimes, beginning a painful, decade-plus-long journey of countless probation hearings and numerous trips to prison. To recap: Meek’s defense team requested that the case be reassigned because the original judge, Genece Brinkley, ” exhibited enormous bias” Brinkley declined, leading Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to step in, filing an appeal with the Pennsylvania Superior Court in May asking for a new trial with a new judge. Free Meek captures it all, showing the nearly absolute power the system can have over an innocent person—and how much it takes to break free of it.
Judge Genece Brinkley, who had overseen the rapper’s case for years, has been at the center of this case and has been accused of being biased in her rulings.
Meek Mill is a critically-acclaimed multiplatinum hip-hop artist, songwriter and entrepreneur that hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Meek evolved from Philadelphia’s hottest underground rapper to one of the world’s preeminent musical artists, having released a slew of smash studio albums and singles, including “Ima Boss,” “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro),” “All Eyes on You,” and “Whatever You Need,” among many others. His latest studio album, CHAMPIONSHIPS, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums,” marking his second chart-topper following his 2015 album DREAMS WORTH MORE THAN MONEY. In October 2012, Meek announced the launch of his own label imprint, Dream Chasers, named after his mixtape series.
While Mill’s case has drawn the most notoriety, criminal justice reform advocates say too many people on probation are going to jail for technical violations, such as being late for an appointment with a probation officer or traveling outside their home county.
The five-part docuseries chronicles Mill’s case and how it put his budding rap career in jeopardy. The journey begins with an in-depth look at the violent, gang- and drug-ridden community he grew up in North Philadelphia. The series also shows a dramatic reenactment of the night that Mill says he was assailed and beaten by police. Although he admits that he was carrying an illegal firearm at the time, Mill asserts that he threw the gun on the ground and immediately surrendered to the cops. Yet, he says he was beaten into unconsciousness and then charged and convicted on 19 counts.
Travel restrictions and ultimately prison stints prohibited Meek from marketing the brutally honest 2017 Wins & Losses project in the manner it deserved. But W&L did permeate the 12-month news cycle that is the NBA. The album’s second song, Heavy Heart,” became the soundtrack many speculated LeBron James used to send subliminal shots toward former teammate Kyrie Irving when news broke that Irving wanted out of Cleveland.
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 officer who testified at his trial said Williams pointed a gun at him during the arrest outside his southwest Philadelphia home. Williams has denied pointing a gun at police.
In fact, the number of people on parole in Pennsylvania is actually increasing, and many of those on parole are finding themselves being placed back behind bars. Roughly one-third of prisoners in the state are behind bars for probation or parole violations, according to a 2017 report from the Council of State Governments Justice Center.
The case became a widespread cause célèbre in 2017, after Meek Mill was sentenced to four years in prison for technical violations of his probation, including two arrests that did not result in convictions. The rapper served five months before he was granted bail, setting off this latest round of appeals.
He is now free of the close scrutiny of Judge Genece Brinkley, who convicted him after a short nonjury trial in 2008 and called him back to court repeatedly during a decade of court supervision. Brinkley frequently complained that Williams was “thumbing his nose” at her, and once visited a homeless shelter to check up on his community service efforts. She later reprimanded him for sorting clothes rather than serving meals as she had ordered. He said he was directed to the job.
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.
Before becoming a member of Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group, Meek Mill (born Robert Rahmeek Williams) was a star MC in his hometown of Philadelphia. Releasing a notable Flamerz series of mixtapes and singles like “Hottest in America,” Mill garnered the notice of T.I., who many speculated would sign the rapper to his Grand Hustle label. Signing to Maybach instead in early 2011, Mill appeared on the label’s compilation LP Self Made Vol. 1. His debut album, Dreams and Nightmares, was released in 2012.
Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates in the nation when it comes to keeping people under court supervision after their release. According to a 2018 analysis by the Columbia University Justice Lab , the Keystone State has the highest incarceration rate in the Northeast and has experienced significant increases even as the rates in states like New York and New Jersey have declined. As U.S. community supervision rates are five to ten times the rate of European countries, Pennsylvania supervises its citizens at one of the highest rates in the Western world,” the analysis noted.
A number of high-profile activists, entertainers, and allies appear in Free Meek, including executive producer Shawn Jay-Z ” Carter, organizer Tamika Mallory , investigative reporter Paul Solotaroff. While advocating to vindicate Mill, they also call for a legal overhaul to free the millions of other people currently trapped in the probation system.
His conviction was overturned last month after an appeals court found that new evidence undermined the credibility of the officer who testified against the rapper at his trial, making it likely he would be acquitted if the case were retried.
After a four-and-a-half-hour hearing that included several passionate testimonials in Meek’s favor, Brinkley required the rapper to wear an ankle bracelet and barred him from recording and performing over a supposed probation violation. Meek told the court he planned to get more life coaching,” according to , and that he felt bad for embarrassing” his probation officer and the court. I believe I can be the bright star you expect me to be,” he told the judge. Nevertheless, Billboard reports she sentenced him to six more years of probation. His house arrest ends in June.
Though clearly pleased and smiling, Mill and his lawyers did not speak on the way out of the Center City courthouse. Instead, Van Jones, the CEO of REFORM Alliance, spoke for Mill and on behalf of REFORM, stating confidently that Mill’s conviction would be overturned completely within two months.