Meek Mill appeared on Thursday’s episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to speak candidly about the injustices of the prison system in America and give a sneak preview of his new documentary Free Meek. Meek explained the cycle of probation many Americans face and said he didn’t fully understand the scope of the “Free Meek” movement while he was in prison.
In 2017, Meek Mill faced two to four years in prison for violating his probation. At that point, the rapper had been on probation for nearly a decade following a conviction for gun and drug charges at 21 years old. “For the average person trying to get a fair shot in America, that’s kind of extreme,” Meek said after explaining he had six years added onto his probation time after having contact with police.
In the days following his probation violation sentence, the #FreeMeek movement began both online and off. But Meek said he wasn’t aware of the extent of the movement while in prison because he was too depressed.
“I was incarcerated when it was going on and I heard a lot about it. I had people when I would call home, they would tell me the effects of it,” Meek said. “But I was so stressed out and depressed that I couldn’t really feel the full effects.”
He then began to understand the movement when he saw himself talked about on major news channels and heard the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate their Super Bowl win to his music. Jay-Z and Beyonce then released a song with DJ Khaled that gave him a shoutout. Meek became motivated to make a difference when he saw people marching on the streets of his city to support his release.
Once Meek was out of prison, he founded the REFORM Alliance with with Jay-Z and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin. The alliance works to eliminate outdated laws and advocate for justice for those caught in a cycle of probation. The REFORM Alliance recently had their first initiative introduced to the Pennsylvania House Representatives.
Along with the REFORM Alliance, Meek and Jay-Z made the Amazon original documentary Free Meek, which further highlights the injustices of the prison system in America. Watch Meek on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert above to see a sneak preview of the documentary.