After his release from prison, Meek Mill dropped one of the best albums of 2018 and one of his best projects to date. Championship consisted of a well-developed theme with matching production and high-quality content. The album included everything from dancefloor-fillers with the Drake-assisted “Going Bad,” to smooth bedroom bangers like “24/7” featuring Ella Mai and hood anthems like “Oodles and Noodles”. One of the album’s standout tracks includes a collaboration with Rick Ross and Jay Z titled “What’s Free”. On the revealing track the trio tackles freedom and law in our country. While Meek reflects on his experiences with the judicial system, HOV addresses black enslavement while boasting black excellence. “Locked me in a cell for all them nights and I won’t snap / Two-fifty a show and they still think I’m sellin’ crack,” the Philadelphia native spits. “Inflating numbers like we ‘posed to be happy about this / We was praisin’ Billboard, but we were young / Now I look at Billboard like, “Is you dumb,” Hov continues speaking on industry antics.
Over the weekend Meek Mill continued to impact culture but this time around, further than music. Joined by Jay Z and many other leaders in the music, sports and business, Meek announced REFORM Alliance. The criminal justice reform organization chaired by himself and his friend, Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, will work to “drastically reduce the number of people who are under control of the criminal justice system by changing laws and public opinion.
“I got caught up in the system and every time I started to further my life with the music industry — from traveling the world, performing worldwide and actually making money to be able to provide for my family and take them out of their ruthless environment, every year or two was something that always brought me back to ground zero and it was probation and I always wondered what happened to people in situations worse than mine,” Mill explained in a statement Wednesday night.
Last November, the “Dangerous” rapper was sentenced to two to four years after a pair of arrests that violated his probation from a 2008 gun and drug case. The sentence for technical violations sparked outrage from criminal justice reform advocates and started a national conversation on probation laws and mass incarceration. According to statistics from The Sentencing Project Sentencing policies, implicit racial bias, and socioeconomic inequity contribute to racial inequalities at all levels. Today, people of color make up 37% of the U.S. population but an uncorrelated 67% of the prison population. Overall, African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face maximum sentences. Astoundingly, black men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men and Hispanic men are more than twice as likely to be incarcerated as non-Hispanic white men.
On his first day out, Meek Mill pledged to make a difference for others and since then, he’s been putting his best foot forward in the fight towards equality; a suit that fits Meek well! I’m looking forward to seeing the work that the REFORM Alliance does in our communities! If you’d like to learn more about the organization, visit REFORM Alliance.
Meek Mill – “What’s Free” ft. Jay Z & Rick Ross