Robert 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 rapper T.I.’s record label Grand Hustle and in February 2011 signed to Miami-based rapper Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group imprint.
After releasing several mixtapes early in his career, Mill released his debut album Dreams and Nightmares in 2012, under Maybach Music Group and Warner Bros. The album debuted at # 2 on the Billboard 200, preceded by the singles “Amen”, “Burn” and “Young & Gettin’ It”.
Career beginnings with The Bloodhoundz
Meek Mill, along with three of his friends, formed a rap group and called themselves The Bloodhoundz. The group lasted long enough to release four mixtapes.
2008-2010: Mixtapes and Grand Hustle
In 2008, Meek Mill released his fourth mixtape, Flamers 2: Hottest in tha City, which spawned promotional singles, “I’m So Fly,” “Prolli,” and “Hottest in the City.” Upon release of Flamerz 2, it caught the attention of Charlie Mack, founder and President of 215Aphillyated Records. Mack was so impressed with Mill, that he immediately signed him to his management company. During that same year, Meek Mill also met the founder and owner of Grand Hustle Records, fellow rapper T.I. The Atlanta-based rapper was also so impressed by Mill that he offered him an opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, to meet with him along with Warner Bros. Records; within one week both record companies offered him a deal. Although he was offered other record deals, Mill felt collaborating with T.I. was an opportunity of a lifetime and chose his label. Just when things were starting to look up for Mill, a record deal and the chance to work with T.I., a set back occurred. He was arrested, charged with a crime and order to serve seven months in jail. Mill was released early 2009. Due to Mill’s and label-boss T.I.’s respective legal troubles, Mill was never able to release an album under Grand Hustle and they parted ways in 2010.
2011-present: MMG, Dreamchasers series and Dreams & Nightmares
In February 2011, Rick Ross announced the signing of Mill along with fellow American rapper Wale to his Maybach Music Group (MMG) label. In March 2011, Mill was included in XXL’s “Freshman Class of 2011. 4 Later that year, he released his debut single, “Tupac Back”, featuring Rick Ross, from his label’s compilation album Self Made Vol. 1 (2011). That same year he released his second single, “Ima Boss”, also take from the compilation and featuring Ross. The song was later remixed, featuring T.I., Birdman, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz and Rick Ross. The remix charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at # 51, becoming Mill’s most successful single at that time. In August 2011, Mill released Dreamchasers, a well received mixtape featuring his urban hit “House Party” and guest appearances from Rick Ross, Yo Gotti and Beanie Siegel among others.
In February 2012, MTV listed Meek Mill as the “# 7 hottest MC” in their annual “Hottest MCs in the Game” list. On May 7, 2012 Mill released the second installment to his Dreamchasers series. The mixtape features guest appearances from Drake, Jeremih, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz and more. Mill has stated his favorite tracks off the tape are “Amen,” “A1 Everything” and “Racked Up Shawty” with French Montana and Fabolous. Within six hours of its release on mixtape website DatPiff.com, Dreamchasers 2 was downloaded 1.5 million times. On May 10, it was announced Meek Mill signed with Roc Nation management.
On June 19, 2012, “Amen”– originally included on Dreamchasers 2, was released as the lead single from Mill’s debut studio album. Before releasing his debut studio album Dreams & Nightmares, Mill received co-signs from both Mariah Carey and Nas, with him appearing on Carey’s 2012 single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” and the latter stating, “I got my eyes on him. He’s the next one to take this shit over.” The album was released on October 30, 2012. Following an album release party in Philadelphia, Mill was detained by Philadelphia police after a car in which he was riding in was pulled over. No charges were filed, and Mill was released from custody. The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 165,000 copies. In its second week the album sold 41,000 more copies dropping 6 spots on the chart to number 8.
Mill is planning to release a third installment of the Dreamchasers series, Dreamchasers 3. The mixtape will feature guest appearances from Rick Ross, Akon, Future, Waka Flocka Flame, Wale, Trina and Jadakiss among others. The mixtape was scheduled to be released on May 6, 2013. However he would announce that it would be pushed back.