Meek Mill is currently serving a two-to-four-year prison sentence for probation violation surrounding a fight at a St. Louis airport and a reckless driving arrest in New York City. While fans and peers alike remain outraged, Meek himself is trying to stay positive during his incarceration, keeping his family from seeing him down, and looking ahead to the future.

In a new exclusive interview from prison, the Philly rapper lets Rolling Stone in on his frequent run-ins with the law, a justice system that continues to set him back, and what he’ll do once free. In addition, Meek details his eventful rise to fame, as below we’ve highlighted the standout excerpts from the piece.

After reading the best quotes from the conversation, be sure to follow on over to Rolling Stone for the entire story on Meek Mill.

On his love of dirt bikes:

“It’s the only time I ever feel peace, kicking wheelies on the freeway, doing 60. You’re out there 20 deep, just a brotherhood of dudes. No gang shit. There’s like this . . . freedom you can’t get from nothing else.”

On not letting his family visit him:

“I won’t let them come. If they see me like this – fucked-up beard, hair all ganked – then it’s like I’m really in here. Which I’m not.”

On thinking he wouldn’t live to see 20:

“I had 10 friends die when I lived in North Philly, and probably another six or seven on the South side. I would literally open the door and smell the air outside. Yup, smells like murder today.”

On his first rap battle:

“I lost my first battle and walked away crying, saying, ‘I’ll be back strong, motherfuckers.'”

On living part-time with his cousin when he was 18:

“Yeah, I did weed, sold some too. But sell crack? Fuck, no. I had an aunt on that shit – she wound up dying behind it.”

On carrying a gun for protection:

“First day I ever felt safe outside was when I got me that Sig Sauer.”

On when a judge asked him to do a remix of Boys II Men’s “On Bended Knee.”:

“I tried to tell the judge, ‘All respect, but that ain’t me. I’m a Philly street rapper, not a bubblegum dude.’ She says, ‘Fine, then,’ in a real sarcastic way. ‘Suit yourself.'”

On wrongs he intends to address when free:

“I want to speak on this system and what it does to black people – on both fucking sides of the fence. Trust me, I’m gonna say something about that. And then, I’m gonna move to Atlanta.”

Just last month Meek Mill shared his thoughts on the recent Super Bowl win for his Philadelphia Eagles.

Not NYC, not LA.

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