After spending five months in prison for a controversial probation violation, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill has spent the past two weeks getting his head together and speaking out about the injustices in the criminal justice system. So far he’s been on a media blitz, sitting down with NBC’s Lester Holt, veteran broadcaster, Angie Martinez, CNN, CBS This Morning, and now New York’s popular morning show, The Breakfast Club.
During his Breakfast Club interview, Meek said that he feels a responsibility to speak out about the inequalities in the justice system because of the support he received throughout his ordeal.
“I’m just reaching back the same way people supported me,” he said. “I know a lot of people were supporters of my music, but when it came to real life...people standing outside in the rain, protesting and actually being a part of helping me get back on these streets, I felt like I’m entitled to give back.”
Throughout his imprisonment, one of Meek Mill’s biggest supporters was rapper Jay-Z. While Meek is signed to Jay-Z’s artist management company, Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s support extended beyond exclaiming, “Free Meek!” in the media. Jay not only wrote a passionate op-ed for The New York Times about Mill’s unjust imprisonment but, according to the Philly rapper, Jigga also spent millions of dollars helping him get free.
“JAY-Z is actually responsible for some of my legal fees, which I thought was the dopest in the world because it was some millions of dollars. I don’t even think I could have afforded it,” Mill admitted, though he said he was still able to take care of his family while he was locked up.
Jay wasn’t the only one in the Carter household supporting Meek’s cause, Beyonce was also on board. On DJ Khaled’s song, “Top Off,” she shouted out the rapper.
“I played that joint back. I was like ‘I know Beyoncé ain’t say no sh-t like this out of her mouth.’ I had to play it back again,” he said. “Then I heard her say ‘I’m in the hood screaming Free Meek’ ... That’s mega support—from Beyoncé and Jay-Z—because they don’t have to say it. You know Beyoncé ain’t shoutin’ no n----s out in jail.”
As Meek readjusts to life on the outside and eases back into music, he also said he won’t forget about the people who are incarcerated who do not have the means to get out. Instead, he’s going to partner with some of his powerful new friends to advocate for those behind the wall.
“I’m trying to use my platform and my voice,” he explained. “We’re in the process of starting an organization now. It’s going to be big.”