Since his April release from prison, Meek Mill has been on a quest to fight for criminal justice reform. Sunday night (June 24), the Philadelphia rapper took the battle one step further with the moving debut of his new song "Stay Woke" featuring Miguel at the 2018 BET Awards.
Mill began the performance rapping in a Philadelphia street as chaos unfolds around him. Over the course of the four-minute song, police officers arrest a group of black men in the street, a stray bullet kills a young girl, and Meek is surrounded by incarcerated men of color.
One of the most striking features of Mill's performance was his wardrobe. The "1942 Flows" rapper was clad in a hoodie that paid tribute to XXXTentacion and Jimmy Wopo, two rappers that were both killed on the same day (June 18) last week. The lyrics of the song also shed light on Mill's thoughts about hip-hop's current generation.
Meek starts the second verse off rapping, "Picture me 10 years younger with some tats on my face / Taking a bunch of Xannys with the strap on my waist / Pointing at the camera like mama ain't teach me manners." He goes on to state that he "can't judge" rappers like X and Wopo, but is merely trying to "understand them."
Ever since Meek's release, he's been vocal about the injustice and inequities that first put him in the system and the decade-plus fight to get him out. In an interview with Lester Holt of NBC's Dateline, Mill was direct about his current predicament.
“I don’t feel free, Mill said. "I ain’t feel free since I caught this case at the age of 19. I’m 30 now.”
Unfortunately, Judge Genece Brinkley did not immediately grant Meek and his attorneys a new trial after they presented evidence questioning the credibility of one of the officer's involved in his original arrest, reports Billboard. The judge stated that she would rule in "due time."
Listen to "Stay Woke" below.