Jay-Z pens an impassioned editorial on how the criminal justice system failed Meek Mill.
There’s no doubt that Jay-Z is one of the most prolific songwriters of generation, though if legend if believed, he doesn’t actually write down any of his lyrics. Instead, he opts to build songs off the dome, further proving that the Jigga Man’s mind transcends that of a normal human being. As a rapper, Jay has given us countless classic tracks, a few classic albums, and continues to release quality music well into his forties. Now, however, Jay-Z has decided to focus on a greater societal issue: that of the criminal justice system.
In the wake of Meek Mill’s arrest and subsequent sentence, Jay took some time out of his show to bring attention to the ways in which the system failed Meek Mill as much as Meek supposedly failed the system. Clearly, what happened to Meek has had a profound effect on him, as he recently lent his prolific pen to the New York Times for an editorial on the flawed Criminal Justice System. Check out the opening section here for an idea of where Hov’s mentality on the topic:
“On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn’t smarten up and is back where he started. But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he’s 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life. For about a decade, he’s been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside.”
He emphasizes the fact that Meek was doomed the minute he was arrested, and explains that one mistake can lead to an undeserved, and often harsh sentence. “Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime,” writes Jay. “A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew.”
Jay wraps up the piece with a sobering thought, writing “In Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of people are on probation or parole. About half of the people in city jails in Philadelphia are there for probation or parole violations. We could literally shut down jails if we treated people on parole or probation more fairly.”