×

Meek Mill Drops New Song, ‘Stay Woke,’ After Fiery Performance at BET Awards (Watch)

Rapper Meek Mill dropped a new song, “Stay Woke” (featuring Miguel), late Sunday after premiering it on the BET Awards with a fiery performance that brutally depicted police violence against the black community.

The rapper, who spent several months in prison due on a controversially heavy sentence for parole violation, wore a hoodie bearing a drawing of rapper XXXTentacion, who was murdered in Florida last week. The setting for his BET performance was an elaborate inner-city scene themed around Meek’s hometown of Philadelphia. Happy scenes of kids playing football and jumping rope are disrupted as white police charge in, arresting teenagers; a gunshot rings out and one of the children falls dead as her mother wails. Later, a policeman drapes an American flag over the child’s body. At the song’s end, Mill accompanied by the arrested figures from earlier in the segment, this time wearing orange prison togs and carrying jail-cell doors.

The song opens with a quote from Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s 1982 anthem “The Message” and continues with a verse that sums up the entire song:

“We scream, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but we still toting ladders
Watching our own brothers trying to get at us
Dreams get shattered when a scene full of crackers
And they charge you with some shit you ain’t do
You like what happen
We go get lawyers to say shit, we don’t know how to talk
They told us to hate each other before we learn how to walk.”

Mill also alludes to his own incarceration later in the song, rapping:

“You gotta feel me, feel like the system trying to kill me
Got arrested and the charges F1 for popping wheelies, stay woke”

Last March, Mill was arrested in March at St. Louis International Airport and charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with two airport employees. In August, he was stopped for reckless endangerment while driving his motorcycle in New York City (hence the “wheelie” reference).

The rapper is free on bond while he appeals a two-year sentence for probation violation from an old conviction for drug and weapons charges. In November he was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating his probation in a controversially heavy decision that rallied multiple celebrities, with Rev. Al Sharpton, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and even Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney all visiting the rapper in prison. Jay-Z wrote an op-ed in the New York Times last November in which he said, ““What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day.”

Mill was released in May and was taken by helicopter directly to a Philadelphia 76ers playoff game by the team’s owner.

 

More TV

  • Democratic presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth

    The Messy NBC Democratic Debate Proves the Need for a Tier System (Column)

    The opening night of the first debates of the 2020 Democratic Party primaries brought — even by the standards of such way-far-out confrontations between candidates for whom the election remains a far-off dream — vastly more empty drama than new information. But then, that may have been by design. NBC News’s organization of the debates, [...]

  • Max Wright Dead

    'Alf' Actor Max Wright Dies at 75

    Max Wright, best known for playing patriarch Willie Tanner on the sitcom “Alf,” died Wednesday. He was 75. Wright’s family confirmed his death to TMZ. The actor died in his home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after years of battling cancer. Wright was diagnosed with Lymphona in 1995. Wright is most famous for his role as [...]

  • Greyson Chance -Gabby Barrett Alejandro Aranda

    Greyson Chance, 'Idol' Alums Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda Sign Major Label Deals

    Two “American Idol” alumni — Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda — as well as viral star Greyson Chance all announced new major label recording contracts this week. Barrett, who finished in third place of the first season of the rebooted ABC version of “Idol,” has joined the roster of Warner Music Nashville. The singer had [...]

  • amazon-studios

    YouTube Head of Scripted Jon Wax in Talks to Join Amazon Studios

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming, Jon Wax, is in talks to join Amazon Studios, according to an individual with knowledge of the matter. Wax is said to be in discussions for head of genre programming at Amazon, a position held by Sharon Tal Yguado until recently. Variety reported on her exit in early May. The [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA Takes Aim at Endeavor IPO, Tells Members It Has 'Sufficient Funds' for Legal Battle

    The Writers Guild of America has gone to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its battle with Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees and affiliated production. The guild sent a letter to William Hinman, director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, the guild accuses WME parent company Endeavor of misrepresenting the [...]

  • ARE YOU THE ONE SEASON 8

    MTV's 'Are You The One?' Shifts to Sexually Fluid Contestants for New Season

    MTV’s dating reality show “Are You The One?” is addressing changing attitudes regarding sexuality and gender identity by featuring sexually fluid contestants on the show’s eighth season, which bows June 27. The shift from the show’s past focus on heterosexual relationships is part of the larger effort at MTV to be relevant to younger viewers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content