By Zach Backiewicz, ’19
On April 25, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill was released from jail following an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In November, Meek Mill had been sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating probation on a nearly decade-old gun and drug case.
Judge Genece Brinkley, who sentenced the rapper for the probation violation, said he wasted several chances to clean up his act after the 2009 case. The sentence came against the recommendation of the prosecutor who said Meek Mill had matured since his original crime. Brinkley said the prosecutor did not know the case as well as she did and that the rapper just “does what he wants.” Demonstrators took to the streets at the time of the protest. Mill was also arrested twice in 2017, once in St. Louis for an alleged altercation in the airport and another time for alleged reckless driving in New York City involving a dirt bike.
Later that night Philadelphia 76er’s co-owner Michael Rubin, a vocal supporter of Mill, shared an Instagram photo of Mill on the way to a 76ers game on Tuesday night. Mill, being from Philadelphia and huge fan for both the 76er’s and the Eagles—Philadelphia’s NFL team—attended the 76ers playoff game the night of his release where he rang the team’s ceremonial bell and met with several players in the locker room before tip-off. The team ended up winning the game that night against the Miami Heat to get past the first round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, the team ended up losing to the Boston Celtics in the second round, thus being eliminated from the playoffs.
Meek Mills release from jail was highly publicized as his situation received a lot of support from notable artists and athletes, including Colin Kaepernick, rappers Jay-Z, T.I. and Rick Ross, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, comedian Kevin Hart and the 76ers’ Rubin. Both the hip-hop and sports communities were happy to see Mill released from jail. However, Mill wants to utilize his platform to help other people in his situation.
“Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues,” Meek Mill said in a statement shortly before his release from jail. Mill also said that for now, he wants to focus on reuniting with his friends and family while also resuming his music career.
For junior Jake Cannon, Meek Mill’s release from jail hopefully means that new music from the profound hip-hop artist will be released soonly.
“I can’t wait for his next album to drop”, Cannon said. “My favorite song by his is ‘Dreams and Nightmares’ and that came out a couple of years ago.”
Meek Mills presence in society will continue to have an influence not only on the athletic and music communities but also politically as well.