[artist id="3021931"]Meek Mill[/artist] is just trying to live up to his name. After receiving the rap moniker "Meek Millionaire" from a deceased friend as a teen, the Philadelphia MC decided to tweak his handle — at least until his dreams become reality.
"I was using that rap name when I was like 14, 15. But then, as I got older, 18, I started being in the streets. I ain't calling myself no millionaire running around the streets and I'm hurting, so I just ended up cutting it short to 'Meek Mill,' and I left it at that," he told MTV News.
Now, Meek is part of [article id="1659745"]Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group[/article] and MTV Jams' 2011 Fab 5 lineup, and well on his way to the money.
Conceived on MTV Jams in 2005, the Fab 5 is a collection of the year's most outstanding new hip-hop artists who have made a visual impact on the road to releasing their debut albums. Fab 5 alumni include Juelz Santana, Tony Yayo, Paul Wall, Young Jeezy, Kid Cudi, Drake and 2011 [article id="1667377"]inductees Big Sean[/article] and [article id="1667854"]Future[/article]. This year, MTV Jams, MTV News and Sucker Free will bring you 2011's hottest new hip-hop upstarts, and Meek Mill is at the top of the list.
Locally, Mill made a name for himself in Philly thanks to his fiery freestyles and street mixtapes, particularly his Flamerz series. His early efforts caught the attention of T.I. and Rick Ross, who collaborated with Meek on his "Rosé Red (Remix)" and eventually signed the young rapper to MMG.
"Before this, I ain't have nothing I was actually chasing. I was just in the street living the life," Meek said. Now, the rap rookie has a starring role on MMG's Self Made Vol.1 compilation. Mill's performances on standout tracks like "Tupac Back" and "I'm a Boss" have made the rap world take notice and, in the process, have made MM a ton of fans.
"My fans love me, they love what I do. If I don't put out music for a long time, they anticipate all my mixtapes, they support me," he said. "That's why when I'm in the streets with my fans, if I can, I try to do everything that I can as far as how many pictures I take."
Still, Meek insists he is a normal person and wants to live a normal life. He better soak it up while he can because things are changing quickly.
"Now, Ross be calling me 'Meek Millionaire,' actually; he always be saying it on new songs we be doing," the MC said. "I ain't there yet; I should be real soon: I'm gonna get my millionaire's club membership real soon."
Check back next Monday to find out who will join Meek Mill, Big Sean and Future in the Fab 5. And tune into "RapFix Live," where each artist will be highlighted.