Meek Mill talks nightmare prison sentence in first Dateline interview: 'I haven't slept one minute'

The Philadelphia rapper is working to bring visibility to inmates who aren't as fortunate, regarding strong connections to wealthy businesspeople and high-powered attorneys.

Kahron Spearman

Rightfully so, Meek Mill has become the new poster boy justice reform, working to bring visibility those inmates who aren't as fortunate, regarding strong connections to wealthy businessmen and high-powered attorneys. 


NBC anchor Lester Holt sat down Mill for a new Dateline special, that dipped into the new use of his platform as a social justice warrior. 

It felt like a dream. When I got in my bed that night... I closed my eyes and thought like, 'Don't let me open my eyes back up and this is just a good dream.' In jail, you dream a lot about being on the streets but you wake up and you're back in prison.

"I ain't feel free since I caught this case at 19, I'm 30 now... I don't feel free at all," he told Holt. He was initially sentenced to 11-23 months at the age of 19, but had eight years of probation added on incurred by technical violations. "I thought the definition of probation was to help better you, keep you on track, and not destroy you." 

One interesting note was Mill admitting to opioid addiction, which directly contributed to the lengthening of his jail time and probation extension.


"I was addicted to opioids, popping Percocets on and off because it always been a battle with me, I never just been a guy to get high my whole life and think drugs was the solution," said the rapper. "It was a violation every time I got caught taking the pills. They set up a rehabilitation for me and they cleansed my body. I had therapy and I never touched a Percocet again."