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Photo: Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

#FreeMeekMill is a Movement for a Reason

This evening (November 13), thousands will join together at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia to show their support for Meek Mill. The rapper was found guilty of violating his parle last week and now faces a 2-4 year prison sentence.

Meek’s trouble began nearly ten years ago, when he was arrested for gun possession and booked on weapon and drug charges. It was 2008; he was only 18-years-old. In the nine years since, Meek has gone from teenage troublemaker to international rap star, all while fighting to stay on the right side of the law, with varying degrees of success.

With the legal system cutting Meek Mill’s career short at the knees, a groundswell of support has grown around the Philly-bred MC. Jay-Z, Kevin Hart, and even the Philadelphia 76’s co-owner Michael Rubin, among others, have stepped up to vouch for him — they say that probation terms are set up to turn ex-convicts into repeat offenders, leading to violations and more jail time.

The bizarre details of Meek’s most recent run in with the courts, as well as the disproportionate sentences handed down in other recent high profile cases — including student-athlete Brock Turner who was infamously only sentenced to six months after being convicted of sexually assaulting a woman who was passed out behind a dumpster — have only further galvanized those opposed to Meek’s current legal status.

As people take to the streets to protest the treatment of Meek and so many others like him who aren’t as visible in the public eye but who are equally caught up, we take a look back at how Meek went from troubled teen to professional MC who can’t seem to shake free from the long arm of the law.

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