The Brutal Details Of Meek Mill’s Arrest Are Revealed In His 1st Prison Interview
Months after his most recent incarceration and on the same day as news that his conviction could be overturned, Meek Mill broke his public silence this week in a candid, and surprisingly vulnerable interview with Rolling Stone. With reporting from inside the walls of a Chester, Pennsylvania prison, “#FreeMeekMill” looks at the makings and current situation of Robert Rihmeek Williams, and 30 years of “wins and losses.” “I won’t let [most people] come [visit]. If they see me like this – f*cked-up beard, hair all ganked – then it’s like I’m really in here. Which I’m not,” says the MC.
Journalist Paul Solotaroff’s feature provides a dauntingly comprehensive timeline of Mill’s legal issues. Extensive research and commentary from family members and friends revisit Meek’s life and career dating back to his days battle-rapping on corners in North Philadelphia. The illuminating article attributes the MC’s style of rapping as a vent from a childhood where his father was murdered. Two things seemingly provided the adolescent solace and released his pent up anger: Rap and dirt-bikes. Those who know the intro to “Dreams & Nightmares” can probably hear it.
Meek’s latest stint in prison (a two-to-four year-sentence) is considered a probation violation, but the police and even the DA didn’t want him to send him there. What has become all the more clear in this report, is that all of his legal troubles seemingly stem from one incident, and relate to one judge.
In 2007, a few years after he started mixtape-rapping (with his group Bloodhoundz), Meek’s residence (a cousin’s house in South Philly) was raided on a statement by an officer Reginald Graham, who at the time was part of the Philadelphia’s Narcotics Field Unit. “According to Meek, [Graham and other officers] charged up the steps and bashed the inner door in, using Meek’s head as a truncheon. Once inside the house, they swung him around and his skull smacked the base of a coffee table. Meek was going in and out of consciousness, bleeding from the mouth and eyes.” Rolling Stone includes Meek’s mug shot from the arrest, including the wounds. Graham’s word alone also helped send Meek to prison. The same word, which is being brought into question via recent inquiries from the District Attorney’s office.
It was in 2008 that he was officially tried and found guilty. Judge Genece Brinkley, another major player in Meek’s judicial trajectory, handed down a sentence of two years in county jail, also attaching eight years of probation that limited his touring and career. Since they first met, Solotaroff charges that Brinkley, “convicted him 10 years ago on drug and gun counts brought by a disgraced cop. Since then, she’s sent him back to prison twice; tacked on 14 years of stifling parole; and repeatedly torched his Rap career each time he was poised for mega-stardom. Her latest decree, jailing him two to four years for a sheaf of minor infractions, triggered broad outrage and a suite of investigations, including one by this reporter.” Just as she did to the current inmate, the article examines Brinkley’s character, with testimony from tenants of hers and a probing look at the judge.
The article examines the relationship between Judge Brinkley, Philadelphia record executive Charlie Mack, and Meek Mill. The rapper was previously managed by the onetime DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince affiliate. The RS piece looks at how the management contract was used as a bargaining chip to free Meek during a past house arrest, the revenues from that subsequent period, as well as a reported $25,000 buyout Meek had to make to the former representative to break their agreement. “An odd theme emerged in the hearings that followed,” writes Solotaroff. “Brinkley bashed Roc Nation, Meek’s management firm, and raved about Charlie Mack.”
Meek has retained his current management, who do not mince words in speaking about the judge, or characterizing Mack. Nor does Meek, in one of the handful of quotes he provides. “There’s brothers locked down [here] that did nothing to be here but piss off people like Brinkley,” Meek says, in one of his quotes from the Chester, Pennsylvania state prison. “I want to speak on this system and what it does to Black people – on both f*cking sides of the fence…Straight self-hate, man, it makes these people crazy.” As for Meek, after a dozen years of losses that—based on this article—outnumber his wins, he’s done with Philly. “Trust me, I’m gonna say something about [this injustice]. And then, I’m gonna move to Atlanta.”
Rolling Stone‘s full “#FreeMeekMill” feature by Paul Solotaroff.
#BonusBeat: A TBD mid-2017 examination of Meek Mill’s last album, Wins & Losses: