Jay-Z has come out in support of Meek Mill after the rapper was sentenced to a minimum of two years in a state prison for violating his probation.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley ruled on Monday (November 6) that the hip-hop star − real name Robert Rihmeek Williams − would be put back behind bars after violating the conditions of his release following a gun and drug case from 2008.
The Save Me hitmaker found himself on the wrong side of the law twice this year. In March he was arrested for misdemeanour assault charges and in August he was back in police custody for reckless driving and reckless endangerment.
Although the charges have since been dropped, the incidents led to this latest court date to review his probation.
Brinkley previously sentenced Meek Mill to 90 days of house arrest following a February 2016 probation violation.
Delivering the ruling, he cited a failed drug test and a failure to comply with a court order restricting his travel. He also accused Meek Mill of "just thumbing your nose at me" with his repeated violations. Meek's lawyers plan to appeal the decision.
Taking to Facebook, Jay-Z decried the sentence and vowed to stand by his friend and frequent collaborator.
"The sentence handed down by the Judge −against the recommendation of the Assistant District Attorney and Probation Officer − is unjust and heavy-handed," he said. "We will always stand by and support Meek Mill, both as he attempts to right this wrongful sentence and then in returning to his musical career."
Other stars from the entertainment industry rallied in support of Meek Mill while simultaneously criticising the legal system which is seeing him return behind bars. Comedian Kevin Hart shared a snap of the pair on his Instagram page along with the caption: "Praying for my brother @meekmill right now. God sometimes puts the toughest battles on his strongest soldiers. I'm here for you man!!!! My brother for life... Always here for you man!!! This storm will pass... Stay strong & keep your head up."
New York Radio personality Angie Martinez tweeted: "The system is rigged man. the fact he was on probation for 10yrs over sum paper wk is a set up! shit makes me so sad. prayin 4 u @MeekMill"