Why Jay-Z And More Are Speaking Out Against Meek Mill’s ‘Unjust’ Prison Sentence

The rapper was recently sentenced to up to four years in prison for a probation violation

The news that Meek Mill was headed back to prison seemed to come out of nowhere, as it was announced on Monday (November 6) that the rapper was sentenced to two to four years for violating his parole. In the hours since, many people have spoken up about the stiffness of the sentence, including Jay-Z, who issued a rare social media statement on Facebook decrying the “unjust and heavy handed” ruling.

Jay’s not alone in thinking the sentence is especially harsh, considering Meek’s violation came as a result of two arrests for charges that were eventually dropped, and that his parole was for a crime that occurred almost 10 years ago.

The sentence comes after a roughly decade-long back and forth between Meek and Judge Genece Brinkley. The 30-year-old rapper’s Philadelphia case originated in 2008, when he was convicted on a drug and gun matter, earning him eight months in prison and five years of probation. His failure to follow probation rules led to another five months in prison in 2013 and a nearly 10-year extension of his probation, which has become something of an albatross hanging from him.

Meek was arrested in March for misdemeanor assault charges and again in August for reckless driving and reckless endangerment. However, both charges were dropped, and prosecutors recommended this week that he not receive a prison sentence, saying he’s been clean since January and has complied with most of the probationary requirements. Brinkley, however, cited a failed drug test and failure to comply with a court order restricting the rapper's travel when she handed down her sentence on Monday, according to CBS Philly.

So why is Meek being incarcerated yet again on a ludicrous sentence given the nature of his violations? Why must he serve more time than, say, convicted rapist Brock Turner, to name just one? Many have implied that a racist justice system is to blame, but the rapper’s lawyers believe there could be something more personal at work. Speaking with TMZ, Meek’s attorney Joe Tacopina claimed that Brinkley, who's dealt with Meek's cases dating back to 2008, has a personal vendetta against the MC. Tacopina says Meek and the judge are from the same part of Philadelphia and they have mutual acquaintances.

Tacopina and Brian McMonagle, another one of Meek's attorneys, said that they plan on appealing the rapper's sentence. Until then, the justice system — which is supposedly meant to rehabilitate — seems to be working firmly against Meek, in turn keeping him away from his family and hindering his promising career.

Below, see more impassioned reactions to Meek’s sentence from T.I., Rick Ross, and more celebs.