Rapper Meek Mill was recently sentenced to prison for two to four years for violating probation. Variety reported, “Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley cited a failed drug test and unapproved travel, stemming from a 2008 drug and gun case.” Brinkley was Mill’s judge in 2009.
“I’ve been trying to help you since 2009,” said Brinkley during the sentencing. “You basically thumbed your nose at me.”
Mills, whose given name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, responded by admitting to his violation in court, saying in a statement at his hearing, “I may have made a mistake, but I never had the intention of disrespecting you.”
But the case quickly became bizarre as the news leaked that Brinkley tried to coerce the rapper into leaving his current label, Roc Nation, and signing with a smaller Philadelphia label. Billboard wrote, “Brinkley’s alleged ‘extortionate demands’ and ‘potential relationships’ within the Philly music circuit are purportedly being investigated. According to the report, Brinkley may have a connection to Meek’s former manager, Charlie Mack, who denies knowing her.”
Mill sits in a Camp Hill, Pa., prison as the FBI begins to probe into Brinkley’s motives toward Mill’s career interests. The 30-year-old rapper’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, believes the sentence was outlandish. “It’s some sort of an obsession,” Tacopina said. “And when a judge says to someone, ‘Can you re-record a song, mention my name and do a shoutout to me about how I [saved] your life?’ and he says no—Great, now what kind of position is he in?”
Many have come out to support the incarcerated rapper and hundreds rallied to protest the imprisonment. Former 76er Julius Erving, Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins and rapper Rick Ross attended the rally. Erving called Mill’s sentence “excessive” and “cruel.”