Fan or Foe?
When Meek Mill was sentenced to two-to-four years in prison after violating his probation, the hip-hop community was appalled and saddened. Banding together to keep the Philly rapper in good spirits, several stars have offered support to Meek Mill following the news.
“Praying for my brother meekmill right now. God sometimes puts the toughest battles on his strongest soldiers,” Kevin Hart wrote alongside a picture of himself and Meek. “I’m here for you man!!!! My brother for life…Always here for you man!!! This storm will pass…Stay strong & keep your head up.”
Rick Ross, who signed Meek to Maybach Music Group in 2011, also spoke up about the sentencing, saying, “I’ve watched him 1st hand fight this unjust system for close to a decade. But my dawg is a warrior! You know the family is already holding you down during this time of test.”
Most notably, hip-hop mogul Jay Z spoke out against the sentencing. The rapper wrote on his Facebook:
“The sentence handed down by the Judge — against the recommendation of the Assistant District Attorney and Probation Officer — is unjust and heavy handed. We will always stand by and support Meek Mill, both as he attempts to right this wrongful sentence and then in returning to his musical career.”
According to Meek Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina, facts and justice had nothing to do with Meek Mill’s lengthy sentence. Tacopina strongly believes the decision stemmed from a personal issue Judge Genece Brinkley has with Meek.
Restless in Philadelphia
Brinkley handled Mill’s original case over a drug and gun charge back in 2008, where she sentenced him to eights months in prison and five years of probation. After he failed to get proper approval to travel while on probation, Meek was sentenced to another few months in prison and a nearly 10-year extension on his probation.
The “Whatever You Need” rapper didn’t slip up again until earlier this year which landed him back in Brinkley’s court room. In August, Meek was arrested for reckless driving (i.e. showing off on his motorcycle in New York) only five months after he was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges in March.
Though both recent charges were dropped and his DA and probation officer recommended no jail time, Brinkley felt Meek’s “constant disrespect” for the courts warranted years in prison.
“It’s an infatuation”
Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina cited several examples of Brinkley being too personally interested in Meek, namely them being from the same part of Philly.
“It’s an infatuation,” Tacopina told Billboard. “When a judge says to someone can you re-record a song, mention my name and do a shout-out to me about how I [saved] up your life and he says no? Great, now what kind of position is he in?” The lawyer was referencing Brinkley asking Meek Mill to recreate Boyz II Men’s 1994 hit “On Bended Knee” (which is a well-known love song, by the way).
Besides the fact that Judge Brinkley showed up to Meek Mill’s community service sites — which Tacopina says is unheard of for a judge to do — Tacopina also raged against Brinkley for trying to discuss Meek’s management with him:
“When she requests he leaves his current management Roc Nation — which is one of the most important management companies in the world — and goes back to a local Philadelphia guy who has a spotted past because she had a personal relationship with him as manager. She’s doing something that a judge would never be doing, having a personal interest.”
Tacopina also shared that they would appeal the sentencing “until this gets rectified.”
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