Robert "Meek Mill" Williams has been a prominent figure in the hip-hop community for more than 12 years. For most of that time, the rapper has been on probation for crimes he was convicted of at 19. He served six months of a 11-and-a-half to 23-month sentence in county prison for those crimes, related to guns and drugs, before Judge Genece Brinkley released him on parole, which turned into the enduring probation.
Mill was sentenced last November to two to four years in prison for violating his probation. The sentencing sparked outrage in the hip-hop community, but it didn’t take long for the Meek Mill to becomea cause celebre for criminal justice reform, as more people began to advocate for the jailed rapper.
On April 24, Mill was released from jail and placed back on probation. PRWeek caught up with two of his publicists, Ron Berkowitz and Didier Morais of Berk Communications. The two men, who helmed the #FreeMeek campaign, discussed how they leveraged celebrity influence, social media, and earned media to bring widespread awareness to Mill’s case, as well as what the future looks like for the rapper now that he’s the face of criminal justice reform.