Over the past month-and-a-half a lot has been written about Meek Mill, which is almost entirely due to the controversial two-to-four year prison sentence he received in early November for a parole violation. While there have been many, many high-profile people (including Jay Z and Drake) who have publicly backed Meek in his prolonged ordeal, one of the people who has worked with him behind the scenes is Philadelphia 76ers co-owner and businessman Michael Rubin, who recently spoke to Billboard about just that.
"His spirits are about as good as they could be in jail," said Rubin, who lasted visited the rapper on Thursday, December 14. "He's smiling, he's positive and he's really very appreciative of all the support he's gotten... from Al Sharpton, Colin Kaepernick, Kevin Hart, all these people supporting him on social media."
Rubin also talked to the publication about the chance encounter that ignited their admittedly unlikely friendship, saying "We met four or five years ago at an NBA game when my daughter and I sat next to him and his ex, Nicki [Minaj], and once he figured out I was one of the owners of the Sixers and some other pretty big, internet companies he started asking me 1,000 business questions, 'How do you do this?' 'Why'd you do this?' 'Did that work out?
"I liked him. I would have had the stereotypical view, this guy is a hardcore rapper... I didn't know who he was or what he did. But once he started telling me about his career I thought he would have an interesting business."
The Billboard write-up goes on to detail their friendship (greatly detail, I should say) and also says that Meek relayed to the billionaire businessman anecdotes about the local judge who handed down the oft-debated sentence.
"He explained the judge wouldn't let him travel and I didn't understand how he was doing that with all these people that depend on him," Rubin said. "That's when I started paying attention to his legal situation and started trying to help." He also says that one of Meek's attorneys told him that sentences like the one Meek caught "never" happen, and that he subsequently vowed to try to help his friend gain his release in any way he can.
From there, Rubin went on to describe the scene he witnessed in court the day Meek was sentenced. "I come from a world of honesty and integrity and I witnessed what I consider to be as bad an abuse of power as I've ever seen. And at that point I said to Meek that myself and others will do everything we can to support him... Hopefully he'll be home for Christmas."
Finally, Rubin went on to report how the 30-year-old rapper is handling his time inside "He's not mad at the world, he knows he's just been dealt a rotten hand," Rubin said. "He's very positive, I just can't believe Meek is in jail for popping a wheelie on a closed street where he was filming a music video and for breaking up a fight he didn't start and all the charges were dropped against him," Rubin said.
Rubin believes that the case is a good example of why the justice system needs fixing, while saying that he's also confident Meek will get out soon "This is a great example of how broken the criminal justice system is."
Rubin continued, "He's been on probation his entire adult life... he will have been on probation for 16 years. I couldn't be on probation for 6 years. If you're 5 minutes late for a meeting with your probation officer they can put you in jail. I feel confident he's going to be home soon and this is a great injustice that's going to be fixed."
You can read the entire write-up over at Billboard.