Newly-released rapper Meek Mill spoke humbly during an interview that aired Wednesday on NBC Nightly News with Lestor Holt.
The-30-year-old was granted freedom from prison for an unusually harsh sentence that triggered protests debating racial biases in the United States criminal justice system.
Mill, who was ordered out on bail by the Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court yesterday afternoon, told Holt: ‘I don’t feel free… I didn’t feel free since I caught this case at the age of 19.’
Mill, who was seen happily hopping on a helicopter to the Philadelphia 76ers game after his release Tuesday afternoon, added that he hasn’t had an ounce of shut eye since.
‘It’s actually like a culture shock coming from a small cell, back into the real world. I think my body has to adjust at this point,’ he said in his anticipated initial interview.
Newly-released rapper Meek Mill told Lester Holt he still doesn’t ‘feel free’ after being released from prison on Tuesday
‘It’s actually like a culture shock coming from a small cell, back into the real world. I think my body has to adjust at this point,’ Mill told Lestor Holt in his anticipated initial interview
He further spoke proudly about his faith and how it has given him the strength to endure any battle.
‘Me, I just, I pray. I believe God is my first lawyer. I will always believe that, and I got a strong team behind me. I got alot of support. There’s alot of light shining on my situation.’
Numerous supporters of Mill began protesting outside the courthouse back in November when the artist was first sentenced to two to four years in prison over his 2008 arrest for drug and gun possession and then violating parole.
Mill had argued he was viciously beaten during the arrest. He allotted the photo of his bloodied face to the cover of his ‘DC4’ mixtape.
His Tuesday release by the state supreme court was an overruling of the judge in the case.
Mill, center, prepares to board a helicopter after being released from the State Correctional Institution in Chester, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Mill is seen boarding the helicopter after being released from prison Tuesday afternoon
Mill is seen flying on a helicopter with Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin (front left) and others
Mill took to Twitter after to express his gratitude toward all of his supporters along the trying journey.
‘I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues,’ Mill wrote on Twitter.
‘I’d like to thank God, my family, and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time. While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive.
‘In the meantime, I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career,’ he said.
The artist has been busy since, too – he was seen boarding the helicopter after with Philadelphia 76ers co-owner and close pal, Michael Rubin.
Mill arrives at the arena before the game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat in Game Five of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The rapper was all smiles after he won freedom from prison for an unusually harsh sentence
Rubin also made an appearance in the Wednesday evening interview with Holt.
The 76ers co-owner told Holt: ‘His story is so much bigger than his life… this is about how can he be the symbolic change agent that was needed for major criminal justice reform.’
Mill added that he feels a lot of responsibility and concern for others who have been and are now in his shoes.
‘I got a lot of responsibilities. I got a lot of important people depending on me. And I’m not talking about public officials, I’m talking about the men that are depending on me and are going through the same thing I’m going through.’
Mill’s semi-somber appearance followed his fun evening at the 76ers game against the Miami Heat – where he smiled, chatted with players and sported a Joel Embiid jersey.
The South Philly-born artist told players yesterday evening that he felt ‘great’ as he hugged them and engaged in conversation.
He later stepped on the court to ring the pre-game Liberty Bell replica during Game 5.
Mill is set to speak further in an upcoming appearance on Dateline NBC.
Mill laughs as Kevin Hart bows to him before ringing a replica Liberty Bell at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mill, left, looks on with actor Hart, center, and 76ers’ co-owner Michael Rubin, right, during the first half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers