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“Free Meek Mill” resurrected after Super Bowl victory

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Photo: Rolling Stone

Photo: Rolling Stone

Photo: Rolling Stone

Blake Hanen, Hip-Hop/Rap & Sports Colomunist

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February 4 the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 and were crowned champions of Super Bowl LII. All Eagles fans rejoiced and the whole city was flooded with cheers after the play clock wound down to zero. Not only were people chanting happily about the Eagles and their first ever Super Bowl title, but many were also crying out a familiar phrase to everyone in Philly… “Free Meek Mill.”

Meek Mill is the pride and joy of the city of Philadelphia as far as music goes. The 30-year-old rapper has made a great impact on the world of hip-hop/rap and is a proud native, often shouting out his birth place in his raps.

The young rapper has been behind bars since November 2017. Meek has had a number on run-ins with the law. His first big case came in 2007 when he was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison with a number of parole years to follow. Meek was released eight months for good behavior.

Since his first sentence when he was 19, Genece Brinkley has been the judge for all of his incidents. Meek returned to music after being released, but found himself in and out of Brinkley’s courtroom for violating his parole by traveling without court approval and not checking-in with his parole officer.

Still on parole, Meek would be sent away again in 2014 for travelling again without court permission. He would spend nine months locked away before being released with parole.

In 2016, Judge Brinkley barred the Philly rapper from traveling and had him on electronic monitoring for 90 days along with community service work.

This past year, Meek found himself handcuffed twice. The first incident came in the spring when he was involved in a fight at an airport in St. Louis. All charges were dropped soon after he was arrested.

The second incident would be the one that Meek would have to suffer for. After video footage was found of Meek showing off his dirt-bike skills in Manhattan streets, he was arrested for a violation of his parole. Meek then found himself back in court in November to face Brinkley for the charge. Meek was denied any type of bail by Brinkley and was called “a danger to the community” by the judge herself.

It was there on November 7 that Meek would be sentenced to two-four years behind bars as a “last straw” result for Judge Brinkley.

The sentence was highly opposed by Meek’s parole officer and even an assistant district attorney. Many people advised Judge Brinkley to not incarcerate Meek again, but did not listen listen.

Since his first sentence in 2007, Meek’s original five-year probation period has been extended several times.

When the Eagles took the field to begin the very important game in Minneapolis, Minnesota on that Sunday, the team ran out to screaming voices, vigorous applauses, and a very unique song blaring through the high-quality speaker system at U.S. Bank Stadium. “Dreams and Nightmares” is credited by many as Meek Mill’s breakout song from his first studio album Dreams and Nightmares (2012). The Philadelphia Eagles organization chose the walk-out song a few days prior to gameday.

It’s no shock that the Eagles would support their incarcerated fellow native, as they have played Meek’s music in their locker room after every playoff win before getting to the Super Bowl.

Many players have shared their thoughts on the issue, showing nothing but love to the rapper. Eagle’s Safety Malcolm Jenkins was even seen at a rally in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall after Meek’s sentence was announced.

It wasn’t very long at all until Twitter blew up with “Free Meek Mill” tweets after the Eagle’s took the dub. Big names like LeBron James were quick to back the rapper, and so were the Eagle’s players. In the locker room after the game, “Dreams and Nightmares” was present yet again as bottles sprayed and people danced.

Tee Grizzley, a well-known rapper from Detroit, even dropped a remix to his most famous song “First Day Out” that featured vocals from Meek Mill himself. On Instagram, Grizzley gave credit to Meek’s “Dreams and Nightmares” for being his motivation to make “First Day Out.” Just like Meek, Grizzley was also locked up. The 23-year-old was sent away for robbing a jewelry store, and released his debut album My Moment after his release. He followed right after Meek’s footsteps, as both songs express their jail and court experiences.

Lots of love was shown to Meek through his legal battles and continues to be shown.The rapper is not eligible for parole until he’s served two years, but a number of appeals and letters have been made to get him out as soon as possible. Until then, Philly will still treasure the artist like they have been doing.

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“Free Meek Mill” resurrected after Super Bowl victory