What Martin Luther King Could Teach Meek Mill
And Student Leaders
Trill or Not Trill?
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is is one of the Trillest to ever do it. He was a freedom fighting revolutionary like no other. While living in a world filled with hate, he continued to love. He was a master orator and communicator, who led others to a better place and higher level of thinking. He was and remains the embodiment of leadership. There is so much we can learn as a people and as leaders from this man and his legacy. We aren’t the only ones, though. As MLK weekend is being celebrated, it was revealed that Meek Mill is involved in yet another, lets call it, “rap disagreement.” This time it’s with 50 Cent. As stated before we could all learn from Dr. King and here are a few ways Meek could too.
“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” –Paul’s Letter to American Christians. 1956
MEEK: Publicly, it was Meek who started his beefs with both Drake and 50. As they retorted he continued to spew back venom. Memes were created to embarrass him and Meek’s social media responses proved that he was upset. He was immediately pulled into a space of continual discontent and hate (from a hip hop perspective). Meek has threatened to shoot Drake and he’s going down the same path with this 50 Cent. In this 50 situation, fine you made the record but once there was a response, you should leave it alone. We saw this with the Drake battle. Both rappers made songs and it was seemingly over. Think again. Meek has been pulled into that space mentioned earlier, and went on to take shots at Drake again on this newest project. He’s certainly in the zone.
STUDENT LEADER: If you have a problem with others, so be it. One of the toughest yet most honorable things to do, is overcoming hate and moving forward. When that wave of detestation comes crashing in, one can easily get washed into it. Focus on how you can better yourself and enhance your team or organization. When met with hate, rise above with love and excellence. Don’t get dragged into spaces by people who aren’t trying to make you better.
“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” Multiple speeches, 1956
MEEK: Sometimes I wonder who’s running Meek’s social media. I could perhaps see why he might’ve had an issue with Drake’s behavior. Maybe 50 Cent acted egregiously at a function or at some point. If I was on Meek Mills’ team, I would have suggested that he never send that tweet referencing Drake and never would I make mention of 50 Cent. (Mainly because of how petty 50 can get on social media) Meek comes off sounding bitter and the loser in this case. Such a mentality will get you nowhere fast.
STUDENT LEADER: Bitterness always wants to find its way into your leadership zone or simply your day to day. It’s a paralyzing sentiment. You’ll find reasons to resent or disagree certain outcomes or decisions. That’s fine. Not succumbing to the pressures of being bitter while seeking solutions is what will take it succeed.Don’t get bitter, get better.
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”-March in Washington 1964
MEEK: The battle is one of the truest essences of Hip Hop. When kept on wax, it’s really a beautiful thing to watch, even within its brutality. When it goes beyond the lyrics, trouble ensues. We’ve seen how the media and fans trumped up Biggie and Tupac’s issues, which ultimately led to their deaths. Meek’s situation went from the record to the social media and the flood ensued. There’s been no holding backs with barrage of jokes and at times degrading images and words. Fans have taken full creative control. At the end of the day there may be a winner and loser in the eyes of some, but ultimately neither party is triumphant. Ego’s are running rampant and the behavior is not good for all. It might seem funny at first, but will it all be worth it.
STUDENT LEADER: You will always be able to move more effectively as a unit than as a singular entity. Leave the solo act behind and watch the beauty of working together. We are able to fully capitalize on each others strengths, as well as better understand our weaknesses. Collaboration will drive you to the whatever the destination. Speak openly and candidly with your fellow leaders. When everyone steps up and works as a united from there is no limit to the achievement that could be reached.
MEEK: In hip hop the term hate is used a bit differently. In the eyes of many fans Meek Mill won’t grow as an artist if he continues to pick these fights. Fighting whatever darkness 50 Cent may have brought upon with more dark diss bars was counterproductive. The machismo found within rap suggests otherwise but this is as The Chappelle Show once stated, is a case of when keeping it real goes wrong. Meek should continue to do the things that made him successful in the first place. His light is found in hard hitting turn up songs. The focus is on his beefs instead of his music. Maybe this is all for publicity but it’s not making me stream, download or purchase anything of Meek’s. So, fail.
STUDENT LEADER: You must not hold on to grudges that will never help you grow. That former roommate or rival’s disdain for you will not go away with more hate permeating from your end. Love the work and love the people to truly achieve leadership.
The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. -Beyond Vietnam, 1967
MEEK: Maybe some rappers and some beefs don’t lend themselves to being mature. Maybe it’s supposed to be immature and all in fun. I listened to the most recent Meek Mill mixtape and on one track, he yells over and over again, Fuck being humble. Well sir, looks like as King thought we would never see maturity with America, maybe we won’t see it with Meek Mill either.
STUDENT LEADER: Even when the vision seems blurry, you’ve got to believe and see it through. As a leader, one must continue to demand the best from the opposition. Don’t hate but challenge. Disparaging remarks aren’t the answer when seeking humanity. When things seem hopeless, don’t hide the truth; but also don’t be discouraged. Find an alternative route towards success and separate yourself from the hate.
Stay trill, folks.
MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 4 books of poetry, including his latest, Deconstructing Ratchet. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at email@example.com