You may think you know Meek Mill's story — but a new docu-series will shine a light on the rapper's transformation from artist to activist fighting for criminal justice reform.
During the 2019 BET Awards, Amazon released the first official trailer for “Free Meek,” a five-part series set to premiere on August 9, which looks at the emergence of the #FREEMEEK movement and the alleged corruption that impacted his case.
The Philadelphia rapper was sentenced to serve several months in prison after being convicted on gun and drug charges in 2008. He was released early with five years parole. But throughout the five years, Mill had multiple parole violations, often related to not reporting his travel plans to his parole officer. He was sent back to prison for five months in 2014, and his parole was reinstated, according to CNN. Then, in 2017, he was he was sentenced to two to four years in prison after getting arrested twice that year, despite being on parole: for fighting at a St. Louis airport and for reckless driving.
Mill’s imprisonment for parole violations caused nationwide controversy, which led to #FreeMeek trending across social media platforms in 2017, calling for prison reform. People like Lebron James, Colin Kaepernick, and Jay-Z (who is also the executive producer of the upcoming series) all gave their support to Mill, with Jay-Z even writing an op-ed in his defense for the New York Times and stating that the sentence was "unjust and heavy handed" in a Facebook post.
“What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day,” Jay-Z wrote. “Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime. A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew.”
Both rappers were among many to pledge a combined $50 million to The Reform Alliance earlier this year, according to Rolling Stone. After being released from prison, Mill dropped his fourth studio album, “Championships,” where he raps about social justice and prison reform throughout.
“Let this be known today: Meek Mill has dedicated himself to justice reform and making sure that people that don’t belong in prison is not in m*********ing prison,” Mill says in the trailer.
Watch the trailer, below.
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