Meek Mill Uses Celebrity Status To Speak For Those Who Can’t In ‘Dateline’ Interview
Before his 31st birthday, Robert Rihmeek Williams, known as Meek Mill, put his next mission into perspective. He says the #MeToo movement has shown him what support and advocacy can really do and he’s focusing on justice reform now. He made it known on “Dreams and Nightmares: The Meek Mill Story,” which aired at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday (May 6) on Dateline.
Since his release, for a sentence that many thought irrational, there has been a slew of celebrations in honor of his freedom. The rapper, while he’s been happy and in attendance at every gathering, has been working toward something else, too, NBC News reports.
On Nov. 6, 2017, Mill was sentenced to two to four years for a parole violation. This incited protests and celebrity support on all platforms, with fans citing wrongful parole extensions and extreme sentences as a clear injustice. The rapper was released prematurely on April 24 and only 18 hours later, he sat down with NBC News’ Lester Holt. The journalist focused on Mill’s plan for reform as it relates to the U.S. prison system’s unusually high rate of incarceration for people of color.
“I haven’t slept one minute since I’ve been out of prison,” the rapper said. The Philadelphia native thanked the city’s District Attorney’s office on the day of his release, before announcing that he would be “[using his] platform to shine a light on those issues.”
To the Philly District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice. 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 (@MeekMill) April 24, 2018
Mill admitted the constant feeling of restriction, although it appears as if he enjoys common liberties. “I ain’t feel free since I caught this case at the age of 19. [I’m] 30 now.” The “Amen” artist was initially on probation for eight years in 2008, for drug and firearm charges. Then, that was extended to 16. While they only make up 12.3 percent of the U.S. population, black people account for 37.9 percent of the U.S. prison population, the BOP declared. “Something is not working,” Mill added.
Michael Rubin, Mill’s friend and co-owner of the NBA’s 76ers, voiced his support on the 40-minute special, too. “I think he’s gonna shine giant light on this incredible problem that we have,” he said.
The rapper is returning to court with his legal team in a month, and they plan to contest the probationary period. Right now, it looks like even prosecutors are on his side.
Watch the full interview here.