Meek Mill continues his advocacy for criminal justice reform since his release from prison in April. The Philadelphia native was sentenced to two to four years for a probation violation – he’s been on probation since 2009. To tell his story, the “Amen” rapper sat down with former music industry executive Jason Flom on his “Wrongful Conviction podcast to share the next steps in combating the prison complex.
On growing up in North Philadelphia, Mill shared that his neighborhood was riddled with violence, drugs, and officers that directed situations to go their way. “At 18 years old I was caught up in that system,” Mill said. “Even though I’ve been on the path ever since of doing spectacular in my life and where I come from, that same system is still haunting me and hawking me down even at the age of 31, and having a record deal and being able to handle business and work. It’s still haunting me, to pull me back to the same system where I just left 11 years ago.”
The MMG cohort also touched on the paranoia that sets in once you get arrested, that feeling of always looking over your shoulder to make sure you don’t end up in jail or prison again.
“When we’re growing up from age 13 to 20 years old, we probably invest 95 percent of our thinking time into how to survive in these types of conditions because it’s almost impossible to survive,” he said. “Even my mind frame now, even though I travel the world it’s still installed in my mind. It’s still something that’s like I might come into a certain situation or a certain area and I go into survival mode and I have to double back like this is not even that type of environment, I don’t live this type of life anymore, but it’s still always installed inside my head.” Mill also said his prison conditions were terrible, stating the same water coming out of his sink was connected to the toilet.
Within the 53-minute podcast, Mill and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin also discuss various crime bills that have hidden technical violations that can keep one on probation, wrongful convictions, and other statistics that directly affects the country’s black population.
Tune into the full podcast here.