|Birth name||Robert Rihmeek Williams|
May 6, 1987 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Robert Rihmeek Williams (born May 6, 1987), better known by his stage name Meek Mill, is an American hip hop recording artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was briefly signed to Atlanta-based record label Grand Hustle, owned by record executive and fellow American rapper T.I.. In February 2011, after leaving Grand Hustle, Mill signed a record deal with fellow American rapper Rick Ross' Miami-based Maybach Music Group (MMG) imprint.
Mill's debut studio album, Dreams and Nightmares, was released in 2012, under MMG and Warner Bros. Records. The album, preceded by the single "Young & Gettin' It", debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200. He has also appeared on MMG's Self Made compilation series, with his debut single "Tupac Back" and second single "Ima Boss", being included on volume one.
In October 2012, Meek Mill announced the launching of his own imprint, Dream Chasers Records, named after his popular mixtape series. He also revealed having already signed several fellow Philadelphia-based rappers in 2012.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Music career
- 3 Dream Chasers Records
- 4 Legal issues
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Discography
- 7 References
Meek was born as Robert Rihmeek Williams on May 6, 1987 to Kathy Williams in South Philadelphia. He has an older sister Nasheema Williams. Kathy grew up in poverty and her mother died when she was young. His father was shot apparently during an attempted robbery when Meek was 5 years old. His uncle Robert described Meek's father as a "black sheep of the family". After her husband's death, Kathy along with Meek and his sister moved to North Philadelphia where they lived in a three-bedroom apartment on Berks Street. Their financial condition was poor and she started cutting hair and did other jobs to support her family. She sometimes stole products from supermarkets and later sold them. At home, Meek was shy and rarely spoke. As a kid, he became acquainted with another of his dad’s brothers, a pioneering local DJ known as Grandmaster Nell who was a notable figure in the Philadelphia hip-hop scene of the late-1980s and influenced the hip-hop artists Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff. His uncle influenced him and his interest in hip-hop grew. He was also influenced by the independent hip-hop artists Chic Raw and Vodka whom he used to emulate by watching their DVDs.
During his early teenage years, he would often take part in rap battles and like many others often used to carry a loaded firearm with him to rap battles. He’d often stay up well past midnight filling notebooks with phrases and verses that he’d later draw on. Later he formed a group called Bloodhoundz. They would buy blank CDs and jewel cases at Kinkos, encouraging friends to burn them with the songs of the group and distribute them to people. When he was 18, while walking to a corner store armed, he was arrested for illegally possessing a firearm and was beaten up by the police. Because of the beating, his lips and both eyes became swollen and one of his braids was ripped out. He was charged with assaulting the police after two black cops gave a statement against him in the case saying he chased them down with a gun and tried to kill them. He was then put on probation.
2003–08: Career beginnings with The Bloodhoundz
2008–10: Solo mixtapes and Grand Hustle deal
In 2008, Mill released his fourth mixtape Flamers 2: Hottest in tha City, which spawned promotional singles "I'm So Fly," "Prolli," and "Hottest in the City." Upon the release of Flamerz 2, it caught the attention of Charlie Mack, founder and President of 215 Aphillyated Records. Mack was so impressed with Mill, that he immediately signed him to his management company. During that same year, Meek Mill also met the founder and owner of Grand Hustle Records, fellow American rapper T.I.. The Atlanta-based rapper was also so impressed by Mill, that he offered him an opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, to meet with him and Warner Bros. Records; within one week both record companies offered him a deal. Although he was offered other record deals, Mill felt collaborating with T.I. was an opportunity of a lifetime and thus chose his label. However just when things were starting to look up for Mill, a record deal and the chance to work with T.I., a set back occurred. He was arrested, charged with gun and drug possession, and ordered to serve seven months in jail. Mill was released early 2009.
Under Grand Hustle, Mill formed a work relationship with the label's resident disc jockey, DJ Drama. Mill and Drama teamed up to release the third edition of Mill's Flamers series. The mixtape, titled Flamers 3: The Wait Is Over, was released on March 12, 2010 and is a "Gangsta Grillz mixtape". The mixtape features his promotional single "Rosé Red", which was later remixed with additional verses from fellow American rappers T.I., Rick Ross and Vado. Rick Ross contributed his verse after he was visiting Philadelphia and asked his Twitter followers who he should collaborate with; Meek Mill was the overwhelming response. The remix was included on Mill's following mixtape, Mr. Philadelphia. Due to Mill's and label-boss T.I.'s respective legal troubles, Mill was never able to release an album under Grand Hustle and they parted ways in 2010.
2011–12: MMG, Dreamchasers series and Dreams & Nightmares
In February 2011, Rick Ross announced the signing of Mill along with fellow American rapper Wale to his Maybach Music Group (MMG) label. In March 2011, Mill was included in XXL's "Freshman Class of 2011". Later that year, he released his debut single, "Tupac Back", featuring Rick Ross, from his label's compilation album Self Made Vol. 1 (2011). That same year he released his second single, "Ima Boss", also take from the compilation and featuring Ross. The song was later remixed, featuring T.I., Birdman, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz and Rick Ross. The remix charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #51, becoming Mill's most successful single at that time. In August 2011, Mill released Dreamchasers, a well received mixtape featuring his urban hit "House Party" and guest appearances from Rick Ross, Yo Gotti and Beanie Siegel among others.
In February 2012, MTV listed Meek Mill as the "#7 hottest MC" in their annual "Hottest MCs in the Game" list. On May 7, 2012 Mill released the second installment to his Dreamchasers series. The mixtape features guest appearances from Drake, Jeremih, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz and more. Mill has stated his favorite tracks off the tape are "Amen," "A1 Everything" and "Racked Up Shawty" with French Montana and Fabolous. Within six hours of its release on mixtape website DatPiff.com, Dreamchasers 2 was downloaded 1.5 million times. On May 10, it was announced Meek Mill signed with Roc Nation management.
On June 19, 2012, "Amen" - originally included on Dreamchasers 2, was released as the lead single from Mill's debut studio album. Before releasing his debut studio album Dreams & Nightmares, Mill received co-signs from both Mariah Carey and Nas, with him appearing on Carey's 2012 single "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" and the latter stating, "I got my eyes on him. He's the next one to take this shit over." The album was released on October 30, 2012. Following an album release party in Philadelphia, Mill was detained by Philadelphia police after a car in which he was riding in was pulled over. No charges were filed, and Mill was released from custody. The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 165,000 copies. In its second week the album sold 41,000 more copies dropping 6 spots on the chart to number 8.
2013–present: Dreamchasers 3 and Dreams Worth More Than Money
Mill released the third installment of the Dreamchasers series, Dreamchasers 3. The mixtape featured guest appearances from Rick Ross, Akon, Future, Waka Flocka Flame, Wale, Trina and Jadakiss among others. The mixtape was scheduled to be released on May 6, 2013. However, he had announced that it would be pushed back, eventually to be released on September 29, 2013. He was produced by the famous French producer DIZPMUSIC for Dreamchasers 3 . In November 2013, Mill announced that he was half-way finished with his second studio album, which was released in June 2015. On March 8, 2014, Mill announced that the album would be titled Dreams Worth More Than Money. Mill began dating rapper and singer Nicki Minaj in early 2015. Mill's album topped the Billboard 200 as of the issue dated July 18, 2015.
Dream Chasers Records
|Dream Chasers Records|
|Founder||Meek Mill (CEO)|
|Distributor(s)||Maybach Music Group|
|Country of origin||United States|
On October 26, 2012, Meek Mill announced the creation of his own record label, Dream Chasers Records with the flagship artists Louie V. Gutta, Lee Mazin and Goldie. In early 2013, he also signed 17-year-old Louisiana rapper Lil Snupe moments after hearing his demo. The label has since released mixtapes by Louie V. Gutta and Lil Snupe.
On June 20, 2013, Dream Chasers artist Lil Snupe was murdered at an apartment building in Winnfield, Louisiana by two gunshots to the chest. A warrant was issued for 36-year-old Tony Holden in connection with the shooting. Holden was on the run from police for four days before turning himself in to authorities.
Mill was arrested for illegally possessing a firearm when he was 18 years old and was beaten up the police. He was then charged for assaulting the police. Two black cops gave statements against him saying he chased them with a gun and tried to kill them which he calls a lie. He was then put on probation. Since then has been taken away four times for parole violation and another violation will result in him being imprisoned.
In 2008, Mill was convicted of drug dealing and gun possession stemming from the arrest and was sentenced to 11 to 23 months in prison. Mill was released during the early portion of 2009 under a five-year parole agreement. In December 2012, Mill was found to have violated his probation in failing to stop scheduling performances to allow for a reinstatement of his travel permit. The judge revoked Mill's travel permit.
In May 2013, Mill was found to have violated his probation and was ordered to take etiquette classes. The violation was a failure to report travel plans as required and included notes that his social media postings had resulted in death threats to the judge, Assistant District Attorney (ADA) and probation officer on the case. In requiring the classes and stressing the requirement to report travel, the judge noted, "You need to try to get this right next time." In June 2013, the court noted that Mill continually failed to report his travel plans. The judge established an August deadline for the classes, noting that Mill has "a lot of issues" and that the classes would provide him with a "big-picture perspective" as to his personal and professional actions. The judge stated the classes were "more important than any concerts he might have." Of the requirement to provide travel plans to his probation officer, Mill complained, "You just gonna miss money all day." The ADA explained that it was a consequence of being on probation. On July 11, 2014, Mill had his probation revoked due to the Philadelphia District Attorney feeling his behavior while on parole was questionable. He was sentenced to three to six months in jail. He was released from prison on December 2, 2014.
During his (still) on-going feud with Drake, Meek Mill made a diss track to answer Drake's song "Back to Back" called "Wanna Know" which received mostly negative critical reception. WWE wrestler The Undertaker has decided to sue Meek for sampling a part of the "graveyard symphony", used in his signature entrance theme without permission in the diss track. A WWE spokesperson commented that they take their intellectual rights very seriously and were looking into the matter.
Following the release of the lead single for Dreams & Nightmares, entitled "Amen", Philadelphia area pastor Rev. Jomo K. Johnson called for a boycott of Mill due to the lyrical content of "Amen". In a statement, he said that, "As a hip-hop fan, I want to encourage every rap fan in Philadelphia who is a believer in Jesus Christ, to boycott Meek Mill until he acknowledges this blatant disrespect. And being resident of North Philadelphia and pastor, I revoke Meek's 'hood pass' until this happens." On July 17, in an interview on the BET show 106 & Park, Mill stated, "I don't think no preacher or no church approves of any type of rap music—because rap music, period, is a lot of bad stuff said. But at the end of the day, it's real life. And me, I wasn't trying to disrespect no religion or anything like that."
Feud with Cassidy
A feud started between Meek Mill and fellow Philadelphia-based rapper Cassidy, when Mill offered to battle several underground rappers including Cassidy. Cassidy would later accept the challenge, adding "if the money was right". They participated in a short "twitter beef", after which Cassidy released "The Diary of a Hustla", which was originally thought to be a diss track towards Mill. This was later refuted by Cassidy. They both asked $100,000 each for the battle to take place. However, after Meek Mill dissed Cassidy's song "Condom Style" (a remake of Psy's "Gangnam Style") Cassidy released a formal diss track towards Mill with "Me, Myself & iPhone". Afterwards, Meek Mill responded with the diss track "Repo", which Mill later said would be the final diss record he would release against Cassidy. Cassidy later said the feud was not personal, saying it was all in the spirit of hip hop. On January 6, 2013 Cassidy released a 10 minute long diss response titled "Raid". Eight months later, on September 5, 2013 Meek Mill released another diss record towards Cassidy, titled "Kendrick You Next", where he raps over the speculated diss by The Notorious B.I.G. "Who Shot Ya". This is despite the fact he said "Repo" would be his final diss record. Three days later, Cassidy released a diss record titled "Catch A Body", as a response.
Feud with Drake
In July 2015, Meek Mill publicly criticized Drake on Twitter, calling him out for not writing his own lyrics. In a series of tweets, the rapper claimed his counterpart used a ghostwriter for the song "R.I.C.O.," off Meek's Dreams Worth More Than Money album. He also admitted that he was upset that Drake didn't promote the album on Twitter, upon its release. "Stop comparing drake to me too.... He don't write his own raps! That's why he ain't tweet my album because we found out," Meek Mill commented. Meek Mill had identified the ghostwriter as Quentin Miller, a local rapper from Atlanta.
Meek Mill's claims received support from Funkmaster Flex, an American hip hop DJ, rapper, musician and producer on New York City's Hot 97 radio station. Flex released an audio recording that he claims was a reference track featuring Quentin Miller for Drake's song, "10 Bands."
Drake was supported by 40, Drake's longtime producer, friend and collaborator, who claimed that not only does Drake write his own songs, he has also written #1 records for other artists. "No one is as talented as Drake … [there are] countless number ones and songs drake has written for others never mind himself", 40 said on Twitter.
On July 25, 2015, Drake premiered a track, titled "Charged Up" on the Beats 1 OVO Radio Show that is widely seen as a response to Meek Mill's allegations. Drake highlighted Meek Mill's relatively low sales volume and further claimed that the rapper was fading into obscurity. Drake also dissed Funkmaster Flex by promoting his rival DJ Clue.
Around 5 a.m. EST on July 29, Drake released an aggressive diss track named "Back to Back (Freestyle)" that further attacked Meek Mill. The track, streamed over 500,000 times in 4 hours, heavily suggested that Mill's relationship with Nicki Minaj is lopsided in Minaj's favor and also further criticized Meek Mill for not responding to "Charged Up" and for relying on Twitter to attack Drake. The track was released for streaming on the OVO SoundCloud account and on Apple Music.
On July 30, Meek Mill released a track attacking Drake titled "Wanna Know" through Funkmaster Flex on HOT 97. On "Wanna Know" Meek Mill sampled "reference" tracks that aimed to prove Quentin Miller as Drake's ghostwriter while reasserting his ghostwriting allegations and criticizing Drake for being soft. Meek Mill also dissed AR-AB and Daylyt on the track In the Drake diss track, Meek Mill claimed that Drake was urinated on inside a movie theatre. The track also sampled WWE wrestler The Undertaker's ring entrance song, with a WWE spokesperson stating that "WWE takes its intellectual property rights very seriously, and we're looking into the matter", with WWE concerned that Meek Mill did not respect such property rights.
On the night of August 3, Drake attacked Meek Mill at his OVO Fest in his hometown of Toronto by performing his diss tracks "Charged Up" and "Back to Back Freestyle", while having a slideshow of internet memes mocking Meek Mill projected behind him. He also gave hint to the audience that he is making another diss track titled "3 Peat", but it is not yet confirmed if it is in the works.
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