Philadelphia-bred rapper and social activist Meek Mill has bossed up in a major way. According to Business Insider Meek—whose real name is Robert Williams—is now co-owner of the athletic apparel brand Lids.
Many hip-hop artists like Jay-Z, T.I., Killer Mike, and the late Nipsey Hussle have advocated for the importance of ownership amongst the Black community and Williams has stepped up to make corporate ownership a reality for himself. The 32-year-old says it was Jay-Z who inspired him to go beyond music, learn the ins and outs of business and start investing. With the help of Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, he was able to move forward with being at the helm of the sports apparel brand.
In his new role, he will oversee the creative direction of Lids and launch a limited edition line of hats through the company. “I’m trying to get ownership in a lot of things,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “I’ve been shopping at Lids my whole life, wearing hats, fitteds, of course, fitted hats and caps, all types of hats. In our culture, it’s been a big thing. So, it was something I ain’t have to think twice about and always believed in, that it’ll work.” He also added that under his leadership he would like to intertwine the brand with hip-hop culture.
The leadership team is excited to have the “Dreams and Nightmares” rapper on board. “The Lids design team is thrilled to collaborate with Meek Mill,” Lids Chief Executive Officer Tom Ripley told ABC 13 in a statement. “He is a true original artist with an incredible sense of fashion.”
Williams is carving out his influence and impact beyond hip-hop. In April, he joined forces with lawmakers to propose a probation and parole reform bill.