Meek Mill has gone from gritty, underground battle rapper to icon of resistance against injustice since his entrance to the rap game almost a decade ago, especially since his most recent incarceration left him even more outspoken about the ills of the criminal justice system. So it’s only right for him to take on the story of another social justice hero, Colin Kaepernick, on his upcoming album. Meek told the New York Post that his next album will feature a song about Kaepernick’s struggle, in which the Philadelphia draws parallels between lynching and the modern-day blackballing of the outspoken athlete.
The song will include lines like, “They told Kap to stand up if you want to play for a team, and most of his teammates said the same thing,” and “Back in the ’30s you would be killed if you kneeled / They won’t kill you now, they just take you out of the deal.” By way of explanation, he told the Post‘s Nikki Schwab, “They won’t lynch [Kaepernick] by hanging from a tree. They lynch his bank account.”
Kaepernick drew national attention when he began protesting police violence against minorities during the National Anthem ahead of several NFL games in 2016 when he still played for the San Francisco 49ers, first by sitting out the anthem, then by kneeling after consulting with veterans. The attention soon turned to criticism as some felt that his actions disrespected the National Anthem and veterans, a sentiment that was later stoked by Donald Trump. Kaepernick currently has a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that its teams colluded to keep him from starting on a roster due to what they perceived as bad publicity, and recently became the face of a highly successful ad campaign by athletic apparel company Nike.
Meek, meanwhile, became the face of the criminal justice reform movement after fighting for his freedom after spending a decade on probation, stemming from a questionable arrest made when he was 18 years old, thanks to the actions of a judge he says is more interesting in proving a point than seeing justice done.
Meek’s album — his first since his release — does not have a release date, as he is planning a surprise release.