'Free Meek' Was a Crash Course in America's Legal Troubles

Submitted by notoriousclassics on Fri, 06/18/2021 - 22:19
Meek Mill in 2020

If you've been a hip-hop fan or a somewhat conscious American in the last few centuries, you might know that the country's legal system - particularly its treatment of nonwhite offenders - has some fundamental flaws. In 2019, a five-part documentary featuring one of hip-hop's best-known alleged outlaws shone a light on that system.

Free Meek, which premiered on Amazon Prime in the summer of 2019, highlights the trials (literal and figurative) of Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. A rising star at the turn of the 2010s, Meek was convicted in 2008 on disputed drug and gun charges and served nearly a year in prison. As his profile rose, Mill was dogged by accusations of parole violations, with the judge from the initial case presiding over the affairs. But in 2018, an investigation into the trials and the conduct of the judge were made public.

READ MORE: All Eyes on You: Our Favorite Meek Mill Tracks

Meek, fellow executive producer Jay-Z, CNN correspondent Van Jones, Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael G. Rubin and others appear in the series to show their support for Meek's talent and help show that the criminal justice system may not be all it's cracked up to be. (Indeed, a month before the series' first episode premiered, Mill's trial and conviction were overturned.)

If you know Meek through his music, you'll want to check out Free Meek, and understand his message.