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Meek Mill talks prison, new album and growth during CRWN interview

This past Sunday, Meek Mill returned to NYC for a highly anticipated sit-down interview with CRWN and Elliott Wilson. I had the chance to attend (shout out to Tidal) and got to see firsthand a man who’s truly trying to make positive changes in society.

Fresh off the release of his latest album Championships — the first project he’s released since being freed from prison — Meek spoke about everything from his ongoing legal battles, to his growth in the rap game, and of course his relationship with Drake.

In August 2017 Meek Mill was arrested for popping wheelies on a dirt bike as he drove down a New York City street. This incident would land Meek a misdemeanor, while still on probation, for reckless endangerment. Judge Genece Brinkley decided this another failed attempt for Meek to “clean up his act” and shockingly sentenced him to two to four years in prison.


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@meek talks PTSD and affects in the hood #CRWN #TIDAL

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During CRWN Meek spoke about what he was able to do for himself while in jail. He said,

“Being in jail, you ain’t got nothing but time, so I read books got my vocabulary stronger, talked to people, heard their stories… Every time I go to Jail I goto double or triple my worth. Jail makes me hustle harder.”

After about five months, on April, 24th 2017, Meek Mill was released early on bail.

Meek detailed how he began his last day in jail playing ping pong, then all of sudden saw Kevin Hart and Michael Rubin. Meek says he gave them a tour of his cell, and visited with them for about an hour and returned back to his cell. It was not until he was watching the news that evening that he learned he was going to be released on bail.


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Respect the game! 11/30

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Since his release from prison, the Philly native has become a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform. On Monday, he made his case for systemic change with an op-ed published in The New York Times.

Meek has become, as he calls himself, the voice of the voiceless. He often says that his quest to fix the system is not about his case, it’s about those who aren’t as fortunate as him and can’t fight their cases in the way he has.

During CRWN he spoke about meeting two people in jail who are both falsely imprisoned, one of which even has paperwork from legal officials acknowledging the miscarriage of justice. He told Wilson,

“This guy has been in jail for 27 years, and he has what is called PCRA, which is basically evidence that they received after his conviction that proves he didn’t do what they saying he did. And the judges got wind of this and wrote him a letter basically saying we know you’re innocent, but due to the laws in Pennsylvania, we can’t release you. So basically that an innocent man sitting in prison.”

We all know that prison is an unjust system, but Meek Mill’s experiences is a harsh reminder that it doesn’t matter who you are.

On November 30th, Meek released his fourth album Championships, featuring artist such as Jay Z, Rick Ross, & Cardi B. A big standout track on the album was “Going Bad” featuring Drake. Of course, Drake and Meek had a well-documented public spat back in the summer of 2015. This was the first time the two linked up on a track since.

As we all remember, Meek alleged that Drake has a ghostwriter, and cannot be compared to Meek for such a reason. Drake then responded with diss tracks “Charged Up” and “Back To Back.”


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Fast forward to the end of 2018 and Drake brought Meek out on stage during a performance in his hometown of Philadelphia. Then we found out later that he was even featured on Championships. Meek Mill said,

“People don’t know, but Drake and I have been contacting each other for about a year now… It takes time though.”

Meek also referenced how the diss track “Back to Back” came on while on a double date with his girlfriend at the time, Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, and Beyonce. He said,

“Hov got the playlist, going through the joints, and then Back to Back came on by accident and Nicki, Jay, and Bey all looking like they don’t know what’s going on. I gotta take a shit now.”

Meek went on to say it was not until one night in Miami that he really decided to take a thorough listen to “Back to Back” which then he would use as motivation.

Another notable from the album was the Hov feature on “What’s Free?” Earlier this year Meek shouted out Jigga on his single “Stay Woke,” and let him know needed a verse before he retires.

“I texted him that joint too. Exactly how I said it on the song, I texted him the same shit.”

Meek also spoke about working with Jay’s engineer Yung Guru on this album and how that played a part in getting the Hov feature.

“First time I heard the verse Guru was playing it for me in speakerphone it was just him going through it bar for bar, and I was like tell him to send that joint I gotta hear that shit correctly. Then finally it came through and I was in the bathroom looking in the mirror listening to it on my phone like YEA! ”

To age is inevitable, however, to evolve is a choice. In this particular instance, Meek has evolved from the young mentee to the older mentor. At CRWN, Meek discussed serving as a mentor for some young rappers and seeing some he wishes he could’ve spoken to.

“I saw Tekashi do crazy shit that I knew would get him locked up… I just wanted to say some shit like ‘Yo chill dog you’re beefing with 10 serious people at one time.”


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@meekmill on the system and @6ix9ine #CRWN #TIDAL

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Meek even went on to speak about NBA Young Boy and his good friend Lil Durk.

“NBA Young Boy he a little wild, but I met with him before he got on…I could tell him like ‘Yo take that shit down, that ain’t cool’… Same thing with Lil Durk, he from Chicago they come 100 guns in the camera. I told him that you should be the only rapper from Chicago who don’t post that.”

Meek, now 32, has evolved to one of the vets in the game and looks to hash out all of his legal troubles, make an impact on Criminal Justice reform and keep cooking up that fire.

He is living proof that you can make it from nothing — almost lose it all — and use that as motivation to become better than you ever were.