Gayle King strikes again! This time the CBS This Morning lead anchor landed another coveted interview with music icon Jay-Z. The sit down was to discuss the music icon’s partnership with a fellow artist to launch a new record label.
Obstacles and advocacy
Hip-hop artist Meek Mill has been in the public eye for more than his music over the past few years. According to CBS News, Mill was serving up to a four-year sentence in 2017 for an alleged probation violation on drugs and weapons charges. He received a highly publicized amount of support saying that Mill’s punishment was unnecessarily harsh, creating the hashtag #FreeMeekMill and protesting outside the Pennsylvania prison where he was detained. At the time, the rapper was thinking more broadly, telling King, “I was really thinking more of, like, free everybody that’s caught in these type of situations.”
Mill’s supporters included many very high-profile names, including actor Kevin Hart, Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, as reported by CBS News. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ordered Mill to be released in April 2018, and last week the court overturned his 2008 conviction and he was granted a new trial. “I’m just lucky to have people of power and much influence to stand behind me and speak up,” he said.
The rapper, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, has become an advocate for criminal justice reform. “This happens to minorities on a daily basis where they don’t have a voice, and I just came from – it’s almost like cities…inside prisons where people have no contact with the world,” Meek told CBS News last year. He continues to be vocal on fighting for change in the criminal justice system.
A ‘dream’ partnership
Another one of Mill’s supporters was none other than music legend Jay-Z. Now the two are business partners, signing a deal this past week to launch the new record label Dream Chasers. The joint venture, named after Mill’s mixtape series of the same name, with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation will focus on mentoring new artists.
In Mill’s interview with King, he talked about the importance of Jay-Z in his life. “I think Jay, like, a really smart guy. I think he one of the best to ever do it, and not just say rappin’. Like, comin’ from the worst part of America to becoming a billionaire, you know what I mean? That’s the thing is that we idolize the things we dream of,” Mill told King. “And things that we always thought – I always thought that was not obtainable to become a billionaire from a guy who didn’t even step a foot in college, you know what I’m sayin’? And I think he’s breakin’ barriers for the ones that come even after me to shoot high.”
When King asked the two if they see a bit of themselves in each other, legendary recording artist replied, “Of course. We come from the same neighborhoods, been through the same things – with not the exact same story obviously – but we’ve been through some of the same things, some of the same struggles,” Jay-Z told King. “And, again, like I said, that responsibility is not lost on us.”
A label with purpose
The Dream Chasers name has a special meaning for Mill, who considered it a personal mantra for himself and wants to encourage others to dream. “I know there’s kids across the world that, they think the same way … I wanted to send a message to like people across the world,” Mill told King. “If you have a dream, you can really achieve your dream. I actually really did it and everybody desires somethin’, they have a dream. And I always thought that could touch everybody in the world.”
The business partners discussed why they want to make their mark as entrepreneurs for the next generation of artists who have similar backgrounds.
“The music and culture we create, you know we’ve been giving it away for so long. Which is understandable, you’ve got to start somewhere. You’ve got to clean the floors up before you own the building but we don’t shine shoes anymore,” Jay-Z told King.
Mill sees overcoming adversity as part of the story of greatness. “I look at it as, 15 years from now, this’ll be a part of my documentary. I hope it’s a documentary on– on a great person, an icon, a person who achieved a lot. A person who made it through a lot of trials and tribulations. ‘Cause you know to be an icon, to be great, you have to go through some things for people to actually view you in that way,” he told King.
Music fans are sure to be watching what new talent Dream Chasers discovers.