Meek Mill misses the 'old' Kanye West

Rapper Meek Mill, right, raises the hammer after ringing the Liberty Bell replica before the playoff game between the Sixers and the Heat at the Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2018. Comedian Kevin Hart is right. Mill, who has been incarcerated since November, was released on bail.

Rapper Kanye West recently returned to Twitter and made headlines with public messages of support for President Donald Trump. This week, he visited TMZ, where he told the publication’s staff that 400 years of slavery in America “sounds like a choice.”

Through all of it, though, Philly’s Meek Mill just wants the old Yeezy back.

The recently released Mill weighed in on the situation Tuesday night on Instagram. In a post showing a mock memorial of the “old Kanye,” Mill wrote that West’s music “touched me in my cell” and quoted lines from the rapper’s 2007 single, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”

“To whom much is given much is tested…get arrested I guess until he get the message…I feel the pressure under more scrutiny and what I do ‘act more stupidly,’” Mill wrote, adding the hashtags #oldye and #wemissyoubro.

The image, meanwhile, showed a photo of Kanye with the dates “02-01-04” and “09-11-07” written on either side. The dates correspond to the releases of College Dropout, his debut album, and Graduation, his third release. Since then, West has released four full-length albums, including My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010 and 2016’s The Life of Pablo.

Which of West’s recent controversies sparked Mill’s message is unclear. However, on Tuesday, the rapper suffered a backlash online after making his comments about slavery to TMZ. He later clarified his statement on Twitter, writing that “for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers on our side means that were were mentally enslaved.”

“The reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years,” West wrote. “We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought. It was just an idea.”

Mill, who was released from Chester State Correctional Institution on bail last week, meanwhile, has his own ideas on freedom, as he recently told Lester Holt on Dateline NBC.

“I don’t feel free. I ain’t feel free since I caught this case at the age of 19. I’m 30 now. I just pray. I believe God is my first lawyer. I always believed that. And I’ve got a strong team behind me. I’ve got a lot of support,” Mill said. “Being as I’m in this position, I’ve got a lot of responsibility. I’ve got a lot of important people depending on me. And I’m not talking about public officials, I’m talking about men that’s depending on me, going through the same thing I’m going through.”

West has faced similar criticism from other music heavyweights including Philly’s own Questlove, who recently donned a shirt that read “Kanye West Doesn’t Care About Black People,” and University of Pennsylvania grad John Legend, who told West that fans are offended at the rapper’s support for Trump because “they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially for people of color.” Daz Dillinger, formerly of Snoop Dogg’s entourage, issued a “Crip alert” for the rapper, indicating the Crips street gang would be on the lookout for West.

“Me putting the hat on forces an evolution,” West told fellow rapper T.I. in a behind-the-scenes video recently posted to YouTube. “If I had not done what I felt, and I just thought, then it would have never happened. And when I wear that hat, it’s like a fight for equality. Like, ‘Oh, I can wear this hat too.’”