Philadelphia native Meek Mill has pleased the hip-hop community as he released his new album “Championships” on Nov. 30. In the first week upon release, his album landed at the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart, passing other recent releases from rappers such as Lil Baby and Ski Mask the Slump God.
‘Championships’ includes features from rappers such as Drake, Roddy Rich, Future, Young Thug, Ella Mai, and Kodak Black.
“My favorite song from the album is ‘24/7’,” senior Ruth Seyoum said. “It’s my favorite because Ella Mai is in it and I love her voice.”
Robert Rihmeek Williams, known professionally as Meek Mill, was born in South Philadelphia. As a young child, he lost his dad in an attempted robbery, leaving him scarred throughout his childhood. In songs such as “Cold Hearted” and “Flamers 3”, he refers back to his dad saying he had no role model and had to learn everything on his own.
Meek grew up as a shy and quiet kid and experienced many hardships with his mother, as she broke the law frequently by abusing drugs and shoplifting. Meek felt he was obligated to make it out on his own, but he didn’t know how to do so in such a bad community.
Meek knew he had a talent when it came to making music, so over the years he continued to improve and ended up forming his own underground rap group called ‘The Bloodhoundz’.
They became well known and reached public exposure. His first big break came in 2008, when he signed his first label with rapper T.I., leading him to sign with Rick Ross later on.
Since then, Meek Mill has become one of the world’s most talented and successful rappers, with hit Albums including ‘Wins and Losses’, ‘Dreams and Nightmares’, ‘DC4’, and many others. He is currently signed with top record labels such as Atlantic Records, Maybach Music Group, and Roc Nation LLC.
Meek’s life didn’t turn out to be perfect though. Last year in 2017, he was arrested for violating his probation which was set from a gun and drug case from 2008. He violated his probation by popping wheelies on his dirt bike and getting into a fight earlier that year. He was sentenced to two to four years in prison.
The case moved beyond the courtroom, as other rappers such as Jay-Z, T.I. and Rick Ross rallied behind him. His sentence sparked controversy about criminal justice reform.
“Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues,” Mill said.
“If his name was something like John Smith, he wouldn’t have gotten a second in jail,” senior Chadwick Gore said. “It’s not fair how African Americans get treated sometimes.”
Meek was released from prison on bail on April 24. The hip-hop community celebrated for days and teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Eagles welcomed their hometown artist.
‘Championships’ is available on websites and apps for free such as Spotify, Youtube, Apple Music, Soundcloud, and Spinrilla.