After much speculation, Philly’s own Meek Mill debuted a new single, “Stay Woke,” at the 2018 BET Awards.
Meek was introduced by a group of Philly natives: Black Thought, Questlove and Lil Uzi Vert, along with the 76ers’ Markelle Fultz and comedian Kevin Hart. The group started by sharing damning statistics, which were also included in an Instagram video teased by Meek this week. But most important, the gentlemen welcomed Meek back into the public eye. Musically, that is.
Clad in a XXXTentacion hoodie, the 31-year-old Meek took the BET audience to the streets of Philadelphia. Like, literally, the stage was transformed into a Philadelphia street corner. It was as though Meek were narrating a story of his life, and the lives of many black and brown men who live in an American system that profits off of their imprisonment.
Joined by crooner Miguel, Meek rapped, “How can I pledge allegiance to the flag, when they killing all our sons, all our dads.”
As the scene onstage evolved, suddenly the bystanders (onstage) were being attacked by police. And you can guess what happened next: A black person was shot. Police placed an American flag over the dead body. The irony.
Although the 2018 BET Awards are over, Meek’s fight for justice continues. Welcome back, Meek.