Ahead of the release of Meek Mill’s Amazon docuseries Free Meek, the rapper stopped by Thursday’s Late Show to discuss his experience with the criminal justice system, which he’s been wrapped up in for the majority of his adult life.
He detailed how a conviction on a gun charge from when he was 19—and subsequent probation—has sent him to prison multiple times over the last 12 years, though he was never charged with another crime. He also explained how any contact with the police—what’s called a “technical violation"—means that he could go back to prison and be placed under house arrest easily, which also happened.
“I’ve been on probation my whole adult life,” the 32-year-old rapper explained. He told Colbert that while he was “raised in violence” in North Philadelphia and though he was “no angel” when he was younger, he still has always denied the initial charge that he pointed a gun at a police officer in 2007.
However, now, Meek is no longer a convicted felon. On Wednesday, July 24, a Pennsylvania Superior Court overturned the 2008 drug and gun conviction that ultimately led to his decade-long probation and 2017 prison sentence. Meek was granted the opportunity to retry his original case with a new judge and jury.
Prior to the overturned conviction, Meek had also taken on an activist role as co-chair of Reform Alliance. There, he plans to work on probation reform alongside JAY-Z, former Obama advisor Van Jones, Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Brooklyn Nets partner Clara Wu Tsai.
Meek learned that his case was overturned on the same day he got a label deal from Hov. Meek is set to launch a Dream Chasers label with Roc Nation, furthering the vision for the brand that's served as a Meek-operated imprint for mixtapes since 2012.
Free Meek debuts Aug. 9 on Amazon.