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During the time of this song (2018), Meek Mill had paired up with Jay-Z and others in an attempt to fight for criminal justice reform. When meek was 19 years old, he got into run ins with the law that have continued to make his life as a rapper and regular human being difficult. Meek was sentenced to prison and did time, for a very dumb probation violation. There was no real reason for this to be happening. It was also around the time that the Bill Cosby stories were brought to the attention of the world. 2 African-American, north Philly natives, were being heavily persecuted by the criminal justice system and it didn’t look good to the public eye. It even ended up being one of the main reasons Meek was released from Prison. It was a fight that was fought for meek until he was able to get out and continue to push it forward – because the people saw how unjust and unfairly he was being treated. 

In “Trauma,” you can see the situation unfold clearly. Meek talks about the lives of those growing up in the hood and what to expect and how things usually go, using his past experiences. He even goes on to directly mention the African-American judge who sentenced him to prison. The social imagination there is seen in the fact that these judges and other higher up officials, having the power to destroy the lives of those. within the criminal justice system. It’s the power that the government has in prisons, where instead of a place for a person to make corrections and try and better themselves, it is a place of enslavement where people are punished and mistreated in horrendous corrections.

This is  even more so the case if you are African-American and are living within this racially institutionalized. country. Statistics have shown that although there are many Caucasian Americans in the US, that African-Americans count for the majority of the prison masses. African-Americans are also likely to get harsher sentences as opposed to their counterparts.

This place and everything that comes with it – after having to go through the criminal justice system, will leave someone broken and unable to move on in life afterward. It holds and constricts a person, essentially blocking every opportunity he or could have in the future, like a job for instance.

“Trauma,” a song that encompasses his life and the reality of an African-American person growing up in the hood, but particularly focuses around Meek Mill’s story, which is one of the many similar stories told from the slums of Philadelphia.