Meek Mill performed his single “Dangerous” on Tuesday’s Tonight Show. The rapper, who recently released his Legends of Summer EP, took the stage alongside Jeremih and PnB Rock, along with house band the Roots.
Mill also discussed justice reform on the show. The 31-year-old emcee, who was released from prison in April and has been on probation since he was 19 for a weapons charge and still has eight more years to go. Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin joined the emcee on The Tonight Show, helping highlight how the U.S. judicial system discriminates against people of color.
“We go straight to jail,” Mill told Fallon. “People like myself, we actually get the bad end of the stick. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be punished for criminal activity, or you should not go to jail if you commit a crime, but probation was designed for one to help better themselves.”
The rapper last appeared on The Tonight Show in August 2017 and was arrested shortly after the taping for a parole violation. He spent five months in prison as a result. “I come from a neighborhood where you know young black males lose their life on a daily basis,” Mill said on Tuesday. “Families lose their lives or are broken up because of the system. I’ve been going to jail for a traffic ticket. I left this show, popped a wheelie and I was in jail since.”
Mill paired with Rubin earlier this summer in hopes of dramatically decreasing the number of incarcerated people and release those who are jailed due to unfair sentences, as Mill was.
“We have about 6.7 million people in the criminal justice system today, in the U.S.” the rapper told Fallon. “That’s five times the rate of the rest of the world. I’m fortunate to have everyone helping me, but how do we help others? We’ve got to change the country and help these other millions of people that are stuck in the system unfairly.”
These issues and Mill’s own legal battles will be explored further in an upcoming documentary series produced by Jay-Z. The six-part project, created for Amazon Studios, is set to premiere next year.
Jay-Z wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times last fall discussing Mill’s incarnation and sentencing. “For about a decade, he’s been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside,” the rapper wrote. “What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day.”