The severe 2-to-4 year prison sentencing of MMG’s top-tank rap artist Meek Mill brought hip-hop together in a way like never before when his industry peers such as Jay-Z, Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg showed support in his defense.
On the contrary, Joe Budden is counting himself out of the crowd yelling “Free Meek.” In fact, the New Jersey rapper and Everday Struggle co-host is arguing that the sentencing may do him some good instead.
Leading into the discussion on Complex’s web series, Budden began by encouraging everyone to go vote because, according to him, the local elections are the most important. Election Day for local politicians coincidentally fell on the same day as Meek’s sentencing as well, an irony that Budden suggests is especially significant because local politicians control what judges we have in court.
“We can’t continue to say that we have a problem with harsh judges and harsh sentencing if we as a people will do nothing about it,” he asserted.
While there was much talk about the Dreamchasers boss heading behind bars, Budden explained his discontent with the lack of attention surrounding the elections. To him, he suggests, that means people aren’t focused on the much larger issues at hand.
“But everybody’s talking about Meek,” he said. “So let’s talk about Meek: I don’t feel bad for Meek at all.”
Budden insists that he’s a fan of Meek’s, and is just as sad to see him go as everyone else. However, because Black men know about the biases of the legal system and that they are constantly being surveilled, Meek should know better, he suggests. The verdict took Joey by surprise, too, he said, but he believes that there’s a noticeable difference in the judge’s decision this time compared to the last sentencing hearing Meek stood up against.
Nicki Minaj, Young Money’s raptress mega-icon and Meek’s former girlfriend, wasn’t there this time around, Joe reminds, so he believes the low presence of support Meek had in the recent sentencing was a considerable factor. He also dug up the Wins & Losses rap star’s probation violations, asserting that he should have been more keen on abiding by their travel restrictions and using his “notoriety for good and [doing] all this charitable f**king community service.”
Despite several philanthropic efforts of Meek’s, like his gracious water donation to Flint, Michigan, and showing up for Houston Rockets basketball star James Harden’s charity basketball event, Budden doesn’t believe he worked hard enough in the court’s eye. That includes, the “Pump It Up” rapper added, working to keep a team of positively influential people around him.
Joey wants Meek’s sentence to be a transformation of sorts, and help him balance out his life with some “soul-searching” so that when he returns, it'll be a lesson learned. And as for Hov’s shout-out to Meek amid the sentencing, he suggests it’s a simple preach to the choir.
“Jay-Z ... has been involved in all types of politically conscious f**king sh** as of late,” he said. “Great! The system is the system — thank you, Jay, for telling us what we already know.”
Check out all he had to say on Meek’s sentencing and his support in the video below.
(Photo from left: Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Clear Channel, Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)