Robert Rihmeek Williams (born May 6, 1987), better known by his stage name Meek Mill, is an American hip hop recording artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was briefly signed to Atlanta-based record label Grand Hustle, owned by record executive and fellow American rapper T.I.. In February 2011, after leaving Grand Hustle, Mill signed a record deal with fellow American rapper Rick Ross’ Miami-based Maybach Music Group (MMG) imprint.
Mill’s debut studio album, Dreams and Nightmares, was released in 2012, under MMG and Warner Bros. Records. The album, preceded by the single “Young & Gettin’ It”, debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200. He has also appeared on MMG’s Self Made compilation series, with his debut single “Tupac Back” and second single “Ima Boss”, being included on volume one.
In October 2012, Meek Mill announced the launching of his own imprint, Dream Chasers Records, named after his popular mixtape series. He also revealed having already signed several fellow Philadelphia-based rappers in 2012.
Meek was born as Robert Rihmeek Williams on May 6, 1987 to Kathy Williams in South Philadelphia. He has an older sister Nasheema Williams. Kathy grew up in poverty and her mother died when she was young. His father was shot apparently during an attempted robbery when Meek was 5 years old. His uncle Robert described Meek’s father as a “black sheep of the family”. After her husband’s death, Kathy along with Meek and his sister moved to North Philadelphia, where they lived in a three-bedroom apartment on Berks Street. Their financial condition was poor and she started cutting hair and did other jobs to support her family. She sometimes stole products from supermarkets and later sold them. At home, Meek was shy and rarely spoke. As a kid, he became acquainted with another of his dad’s brothers, a pioneering local DJ known as Grandmaster Nell who was a notable figure in the Philadelphia hip-hop scene of the late-1980s and influenced the hip-hop artists Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff. His uncle influenced him and his interest in hip-hop grew. He was also influenced by the independent hip-hop artists Chic Raw and Vodka whom he used to emulate by watching their DVDs.
During his early teenage years, he would often take part in rap battles and like many others often used to carry a loaded firearm with him to rap battles. He’d often stay up well past midnight filling notebooks with phrases and verses that he’d later draw on. Later he formed a group called Bloodhoundz. They would buy blank CDs and jewel cases at Kinkos, encouraging friends to burn them with the songs of the group and distribute them to people. When he was 18, while walking to a corner store armed, he was arrested for illegally possessing a firearm and was beaten up by the police. Because of the beating, his lips and both eyes became swollen and one of his braids was ripped out. He was charged with assaulting the police after two black cops gave a statement against him in the case saying he chased them down with a gun and tried to kill them. He was then put on probation.
- Dreams and Nightmares (2012)
- Dreams Worth More Than Money (2015)