Rapper Meek Mill takes Vogue inside his headlining appearance at a Tidal concert in support of criminal justice reform, describes a decade of being on probation, and why he’s fighting back.
Vogue editors casually sit with Meek Mill, who is still out on bail, in his NYC studio to talk about his dedication to writing the wrongs to the criminal justice reform.
Robert Rihmeek Williams, caught the beginning struggles of the system when he was arrested in his Philadelphia home in 2007 for a non-violent crime. He was 19. Upon releasing his highly anticipated album on November 30th, he felt the stress of being on probation: “It’s a dark shadow over the top of your head on a daily basis.”
In the video, he talks about his sentencing back in November 2017 by Judge Genece E. Brinkley. The case caught mainstream attention when the rapper “popped a wheelie” on a motorcycle while filming a music video. The judge, coarse and literally “judgmental”, sentenced him to two to four years.
He was released after serving more than four months, in April 2018, due to credibility issues with his arresting officer, Reginald Graham, who was discovered to be one of several names on an internal list of corrupt police officers identified by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
According to Vogue, Meek Mill might be suited more than any other public figure to accomplish what he has planned next: a criminal justice reform organization tasked with liberating “1 million people unjustly caught in the criminal justice system.” Meek Mill and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin are cochairmen; Jay-Z and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, make up the executive board.
“We’re taking a superhero approach, where we’re trying to do amazing things . . . things that have never been seen before,” Meek Mill says of the group’s mission.
What’s next for Meek Mill: Meek Mill headlined a Tidal benefit concert at the Barclays Center, in support of criminal justice reform organizations; a few weeks later, he gave a talk at Georgetown University. He is starring in a Jada Pinkett Smith–produced film about a Baltimore bike crew.