The Humor Mill

Meek Mill Launches New Record Label With Jay-Z’s Roc Nation


NEW YORK (AP) — Meek Mill is in a Jay-Z state of mind: The Philadelphia rapper-turned-entrepreneur is launching a new record label in a joint venture with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

The two hip-hop players celebrated the launch of Dream Chasers Records on Tuesday at the Roc Nation headquarters in New York City, signing contracts at a small press conference and popping champagne to celebrate the partnership.

“Of course I had offers to do a lot of business with other people, but the relationship we’ve built from (Roc Nation) believing in me through my whole career, through my ups and downs and the morals they showed to me and my team when it wasn’t in their best interest to have showed it — I feel comfortable going through this right here at home,” Mill said. “We’re ready to work. We’re just starting the beginning of a new chapter, a new page.”

Mill, 32, will lead Dream Chasers as president, overseeing the label and its staff.

Mill built a strong fan base and buzz in Philadelphia with a string of mixtapes, and reached the mainstream when he topped the charts with his major-label debut in 2012. He’s released two platinum albums and two gold records and reached the Top 25 of the pop charts with songs like “Going Bad” and “All Eyes on You.” He even beat out Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre to win top rap album at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.

Jay-Z, hip-hop’s ultimate businessman, said he and Mill not only bonded musically, but in other areas.

“His integrity, his honesty, his sense of responsibility,” Jay-Z rattled on about Mill. “Everything that he’s done leading up to this point, it showed that he can carry that weight for the next generation of people. Everybody can sign some artists, make some money and brag about how hot they are for … (but) for us, we look at the big picture. For us, it’s way beyond signing hot artists and having a hot record.”

Jay-Z, Mill and others joined forces earlier this year to form a coalition that lobbies for changes to state probation and parole laws, called the Reform Alliance. Mill became a symbol for criminal justice reform activists after a judge in Pennsylvania sentenced him to two to four years in prison for minor violations of his probation conditions in a decade-old gun and drug possession case. He spent months in prison before a court ordered him released. On Wednesday, a Pennsylvania appeals court overturned Mill’s conviction and granted the rapper a new trial because of new evidence of alleged police corruption.

“We come from the same neighborhoods, been through the same things,” said Jay-Z, who grew up in the Marcy Projects complex in Brooklyn. “We’re some of the few that made it through … (and) that responsibility is not lost on us. We haven’t made it to this point just to be like, ‘Let’s just irresponsibly live our life.’ We had fun, don’t get me wrong. It’s fun too, but there’s a responsibility that we carry for the entire culture.”

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