Meek Mill's violent 'Stay Woke' performance pays tribute to XXXTentacion

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Since his release from prison in April, Meek Mill has used his platform to fight for criminal justice reform. At the BET Awards on Sunday night, Mill debuted his song “Stay Woke,” featuring Miguel, with a performance that shined a light on police brutality.

The powerful performance, which started with Mill roaming the stage as everyday scenes played out around him, took a dark turn when actors portraying police officers rushed the stage. Mill rapped, “In a world where black is wrong and white right. It’s like a combat, we go to war for our freedom, they say we equal.” The violent clash ended with a devastating shooting of a black child. As the mother wailed over the death of her daughter on the street, Miguel came back onto the stage, reciting, “Though it’s designed for us to fail. Still prevail through the hell. Though it’s designed for us to lose. Nothing’s impossible. Believe it, we’re still undefeated.”

Mill wore a sweatshirt with the faces of rappers XXXTentacion and Jimmy Wopo — both of them shot to death on June 18. That wasn’t lost on viewers, who took to Twitter to express their admiration for Mill’s performance.

“Stay Woke” is Mill’s first new music since his release from prison and, based on this stunning performance, we can’t wait to see what’s next from him.

The 2018 BET Awards aired June 24 at 8 p.m. on BET.

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