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Meek Mill speaks out on criminal justice reform at the National Constitution Center

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | still from video

It’s only been a matter of days since he was released from prison, but Philly rapper Meek Mill is already turning his hard-fought legal battle into a movement for criminal justice reform. Meek Mill was serving time in a Chester state correctional facility before his two- to four-year sentence for a probation violation was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on April 24. Meek was sentenced by Judge Genece Brinkley, the same judge who convicted him on questionable charges 10 years ago and also allegedly asked the rapper ad his then-girlfriend to record a personalized Boyz II Men cover for her to avoid further legal trouble.

Meek Mill’s imprisonment was widely protested in Philadelphia since his sentencing last November, with rallies outside City Hall, signs emblazoned with #FreeMeekMill and #Justice4Meek, and “Stand With Meek Mill” buses and billboards around town. A few weeks ago, Meek released a video for “1942 Flows,” which contains footage from local protests.

On Thursday, Meek Mill appeared at the National Constitution Center with state lawmakers and Governor Tom Wolf to push for criminal justice reform. Continue reading →

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Meek Mill will be released from prison today

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | still from video

After protests, hashtags, shout outs, and an ugly legal battle, Meek Mill is finally being released from prison, according to various news reports hitting the web this afternoon.

Meek was previously given a two to four year prison sentence for probation violations by Judge Genece Brinkley, who allegedly tried to get him and then girlfriend Nicki Minaj to record a Boyz II Men cover for her to avoid the trouble. His legal team appealed the sentence, and thanks to the Philadelphia Supreme Court, Meek is a free man once again. According to a statement made on his Facebook page, he plans to being using his platform to bring awareness to wrongfully imprisoned people of color. Continue reading →

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Listen to Meek Mill talk about justice reform and the importance of voting in a phone interview with CNN’s Don Lemon

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | still from video

This past Monday night, Philly rapper Meek Mill called in for an interview on “CNN Tonight” to speak with Don Lemon, who also recently visited Meek in prison. In the interview, the two discussed Meek’s ongoing legal battle, Judge Genece Brinkley, and the status of Meek’s hearing in relation to the credibility of arresting officer Reginald Graham, who is the sole witness in Meek’s original 2008 gun and drug case. Continue reading →

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Meek Mill seeks justice in “1942 Flows” music video

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | still from video

Among the ongoing legal battle currently imprisoning rapper Meek Mill, the music video to his Wins and Losses cut “1942 Flows” has been released. The video starts off with muffled clamor from the press in a believable alternate reality, where one reporter asks, “Meek, you’re just getting out of prison, how does it feel to be part of the system?” To which he replies, “I feel like a free slave… It’s time to level up, to stand up and be the person I be. Set an example for the young brothers coming up.” Continue reading →

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Kill, Jay-Z: HOVA reigns supreme at Made In America day two with Meek Mill, Japanese Breakfast, Kelela and more

Jay-Z and Meek Mill | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Two-plus decades into the game, hip-hop icon Jay-Z is still full of surprises. First there was the lowkey release earlier this summer of 4:44, a terrific back-to-basics collection that easily sits along his canonical records Reasonable DoubtThe Blueprint and The Black Album. Then there was yesterday’s closing set at the Made in America Festival.

After a wide ranging, 90-minute performance touching on everything from “Heart of the City” to “H.O.V.A. (Izzo)” to “Hard Knock Life,” Jay swiftly exited the Rocky Stage after dedicating “Numb / Encore” to the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. The lights around Logan Circle came up, the crowd looked around and, perplexed, shrugged to one another, figuring the show had just come to an abrupt conclusion. As the exodus began, stage lights flickered on over at the festival’s Liberty Stage a little ways down the Parkway. Continue reading →

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Meek Mill’s Wins and Losses and the sound of perseverance

Meek Mill’s Wins and Losses | via facebook.com/MeekMill

Nearly two years ago, to the day, Canadian pop-rap Superstar (can you imagine reading that sentence 15 or 20 years ago? LOL) Drake released “Back to Back,” a vicious and oddly anthemic diss track aimed at Philly Rap star Meek Mill. Seven days earlier, Meek had taken to social media to launch a seemingly unprovoked attack against Drake, questioning the pop star’s authenticity: “Stop comparing me to Drake too….he don’t even write his own raps! That’s why he ain’t Tweet my album because we found out!” Whatever latent feelings of hostility may have slept right below the surface of the two stars (and collaborators) relationship had now erupted into open warfare and VERY public rap beef.

Although, he launched the first bomb (an act which seems to have been provoked when Meek learned that Drake had employed a ghostwriter to pen his guest verse on Meek’s song “R.I.C.O.”), Meek was clearly not ready for an all-out battle. On the day that “Back to Back” dropped, Meek was about 9 weeks deep into the North American leg of his then-romantic partner Nicki Minaj’s Pink Print tour. Far removed from the days of Nas and Jay-Z battling it out with diss records released months apart from one another, rap battles today, are settled on the internet and victory usually goes to the combatant who can respond swiftly and control the narrative. Once Drake started releasing songs dissing him, Meek should have quickly responded with an equally vicious attack himself, but he did not. As the days went on and the chatter grew louder, we all witnessed the stock of one of mainstream rap’s brightest stars plummet lower than ENRON. By seriously underestimating his opponent and putting himself at a strategic disadvantage by initiating a war while away on tour, it became clear that Meek was in serious trouble. By the time “Back to Back” had finished reverberating out into riding on a wave of instant quotables and countless fan-generated internet memes, it seemed as though Meek Mill’s rap career was over, dead in the water. His name had become synonymous with failure and he became the closest thing to a laughingstock in mainstream hip-hop since rapping popsters like MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice were exorcised from the culture in the early 90s. Continue reading →

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Listen to Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers 4 mixtape

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Okay, back to the music.

Sure, the Meek Mill headlines about beefs and smack talk can be entertaining, but the dude makes records too, and let’s keep that in the forefront. The latest installment in Meek’s ongoing series of Dreamchasers mixtapes showed up on Spotify today, and it’s below for your listening pleasure. Continue reading →

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Watch a Noisey Raps doc on Philly’s Meek Mill

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Philly MC Meek Mill takes a lot of shit and talks a lot of shit, whether he’s beefing with his hip-hop peers over ghostwriting and freestyling, getting ridiculed by certain segments of the music press or vowing to never get into digital rumbles ever again. Something that’s important to keep into perspective, though. Dude can rap, dude has a vision and a message, and he is driven to bring those things to his fans. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Restorations and DRGN King at Spruce Street Harbor, Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill at SBC, Sing Bird of Prey at The Fire, and more

Restorations | Photo via artist's Facebook
Restorations | Photo via artist’s Facebook

Philly rockers Restorations join DRGN King at Spruce Street Harbor tonight — a great chance to enjoy music by two bands that exude Philly pride and musicianship. Restorations most recently completed a tour throughout Europe, and DRGN King spent this past spring touring throughout the U.S. See them together in their home city at tonight’s free performance, and listen to each of their latest releases below. Continue reading →

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“Everybody raps in Philly”: Chill Moody weighs in on Meek Mill vs. Drake, discusses new album

Chill Moody
Chill Moody | Photo courtesy of the artist

The internet has been aflutter over rapper Meek Mill‘s very public feud with Drake, especially in the wake of Drake’s ruthless diss track “Back to Back.” For those who are unfamiliar, the gist of the feud is that Meek accused Drake of not writing all his own raps. It only makes sense that those in Philly’s hip-hop scene have their own two cents about the conflict when considering Meek’s roots in the city.

During a recent radio interview with Hot 97‘s Peter Rosenberg, West Philly rapper Chill Moody explained what he believes is the reason Meek is so vehemently against Drake’s supposed use of ghostwriting. Continue reading →