When Meek Mill was released from prison after spending nearly five months incarcerated for a controversial sentence related to a probation violation, he had the support of the world behind him. Many were curious to see what he would do with his newfound power.
Mill said he was committed to criminal justice reform and using his platform to help influence necessary changes in the system as it relates to black males in particular. It’s well documented that Black males are often the victims of police corruption and brutality and overly aggressive prosecution by the courts.
On Sunday nights BET Awards, Mill delivered a moving, forceful and captivating criticism of the criminal justice system through the eyes of Black America during a time when racial tensions and intolerance is thriving under the current Presidential regime.
SpotlightFirst on Twitter
What an Amazing way to make a comeback Meek Mill https://t.co/4bFsvANfRQ
Son was seriously out here sounding like the 2018 version of KRS-1. The teacher would be proud.
Charlamagne Tha God on Twitter
And best use of his platform tonight goes to Meek Mill. #BetAwards
The song, titled “Stay Woke,” which features Miguel, is the rapper’s first new music since his release and it was a winner — from the powerful lyrics to the pain you can hear in Meeks voice.
At the start of the performance, Meek stood on a stage set up as a street corner, with neighbors interacting and children playing. As the performance and the action on stage began to build, a gang of performers dressed as police ran out and started aggressively arresting people.
Chaos ensued and at one point a young black princess enacted being shot in the scuffle as her grieving mother wailed on stage. It sent chills up the spines of so many people of color who can relate to the frustration and depiction of violence inflicted upon an innocent member of the Black community.
The actors on the stage helped the viewer visualize the music and engaged those who may not understand what Meek was spitting on their first listen. I personally had to rewind the performance a couple of times to grasp everything that was going on. The mood was engaging, a bit sullen, but you could feel the strength and hopelessness of the Black community simultaneously in his song.
Meek has certainly established himself as Hip-Hops voice of the people with this groundbreaking performance.
“Stay Woke”! Meek Mill & Miguel In An Emotional Police Brutality Performance | BET Awards 2018
Wake up and get into this Meek Mill performance featuring Miguel. Stay Woke! Still haven’t subscribed to BET on Youtube? http://bit.ly/1U0v9xG Download the BET NOW app for full episodes of your favorite BET shows and exclusive content!
If it was hope you were looking for in Mills song, it was lacking. I think Mill has songs of hope in him, but right now he still has some frustration and anger to release and some more self reflection to do before he can offer solutions to the problems and the pain. Phase 1 is expressing his journey which reflects the lives of millions of Black men and women in America.
Mill rocked a hoodie that honored late rappers XXXTentacion and Jimmy Wopo on stage and he delivered vivid, no-holds-barred commentary on how Black neighborhoods are turned into war zones by drugs and police, and Black families are not protected with the same vigor as other races by law enforcement and the government.
He made some slick Philadelphia Eagles references and touched on how Black NFL players are detested for kneeling, while the players’ plight of social injustice and police brutality are ignored by White America. In the process, future generations are struck down with bullets from oppressed communities rotting from the inside out.
“How can I pledge allegiance to the flag, when they killing all our sons, all our dads? I come from a place where you kill your own brother, you can brag,” Mills said.
At the end of the performance, Meek was joined on stage by men wearing prison uniforms behind bars. Some of the audience was inspired to give him a standing ovation and social media raved about it.
Meek has chosen a lane and embarked on a path that he cant turn back from now.
Kevin Hart on Twitter
So happy & proud of my brother @MeekMill …..Great performance…Great message…STAND UP PHILADELPHIA!!!!!
On a night of flash, fame, ego and instagram embellishment, Mill brought the consciousness to the party. He brought reality to the moment and reminded everyone fortunate enough to be in attendance that in the words of Prodigy from Mobb Deep, theres a war going on outside no man is safe from. You can hide but you can’t run forever…