Meek Mill has announced the launch of his new record label, and he’s partnered with Jay-Z and Roc Nation to develop the next generation of artists.
According to the Associated Press, the Philadelphia rapper will make a transition to the business side of the industry and serve as the president of “Dream Chasers Records.”
Despite having other offers on the table, Meek Mill says that Jay-Z’s unwavering support over the years influenced his decision to join forces for the record label. The two celebrated the joint venture, bottles of champagne and signed contracts during a press conference at the Roc Nation headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
“Of course I had offers to do a lot of business with other people, but the relationship we’ve built from (Roc Nation) believing in me through my whole career, through my ups and downs and the morals they showed to me and my team when it wasn’t in their best interest to have showed it — I feel comfortable going through this right here at home,” Mill said. “We’re ready to work. We’re just starting the beginning of a new chapter, a new page.”
Outside of music, Meek Mill and Jay-Z teamed up earlier this year to launch Reform Alliance, a nonprofit organization created to overhaul the probation and parole system, a system that Meek has experienced first hand. The rapper has spent the majority of his adult life on probation, since his conviction on gun and drug charges in 2008 and now he is a symbol for criminal justice reform.
“Me coming out of prison this time, I signed up for a bigger responsibility. I always felt like I had a responsibility to lead the culture as much as I can. I always say Jay-Z and others that came before me was like a snowplow for people like myself. They made it easier to walk through the snowstorm. I want to continue to be a snowplow for the next generation coming behind me.”
Through the new label, Meek Mill wants to create opportunities for artists who value longevity in the industry over social media success. Jay-Z explained that he and Meek Mill plan to use their influence to impact the culture and he’s optimistic to work with someone like the Championship rapper.
“I know he can make music. We’ve seen that. We’ve heard the music. I think he cannot only make music, he can make stars. Not only can he make stars, he can make film. He can do anything he wants,” he said.
“What we lacked for so long was opportunity,” Jay-Z continued. “We’ve never had this sort of power. We never had someone come before us and then come back and show us, ‘Yo, this is how it’s done. These are the mistakes that I made.’ We’ve never had it. It just hadn’t existed. Hip-hop is 40 years old (and) we’ve just now gotten to the point where we can really affect change and the music and the culture that we create. We’ve been giving it away for so long, which is understandable, we got to start somewhere. Got to clean the floors up before you own the building — but we don’t shine shoes anymore.”