Since his 2014 stint in jail for violating parole, Meek Mill has been on a serious comeback tour. Musically he’s kept fairly quiet since his release, but his very public relationship with (and possible engagement to?) fellow rap titan Nicki Minaj has his name on everyone’s lips. In his cover story for the spring 2015 issue of XXL, Meek opens up about his legal struggles, his next album, and (of course) life with the queen of hip-hop.
The rapper was extremely candid about his time behind bars, admitting that the (somewhat harsh) sentence was “the best thing that happened to me at that time…I was being a little wild…it slowed me down, gave me enough time to think,” Mill said. Because of his celebrity status, he was kept in solitary: “[Nobody] could come around me for like a month and a half. Nobody could talk to me. In a room 23 hours a day, stuff like that.”
The rapper was also quick to dispel any notions that all his free time was fruitful creatively, saying “I probably wrote like one rap. I was stressed out.” The isolation affected Meek, who said that upon his release he “wasn’t like really, all the way together ’cause not being around people that long, in a room by yourself.”
While he used to want “to be somebody in the street, make people in the streets look at me in a certain way,” his focus is now much closer to home. “I know all I really wanna do is get money and take care of my family,” Mill told the magazine. His new attitude also translates to his music. “I want to focus on my [own] body of work before I have 10 songs out with 10 other dudes,” Mill said. “I rap way better. I’ve experienced way more. I just came from jail. I made sure I read a whole lot, smartened up and learned more. You know, I’m just next level Meek Mill.”
Of course, Meek wasn’t going to get out of the interview without talking about Nicki. XXL asked what it was like to be with the girl “all the dudes wanted,” to which the rapper replied (adorably), “I got the girl that I wanted, not what they wanted, you know what I’m saying? What I wanted.” She’s got him rapped around her little finger, he knows it, and doesn’t mind at all. “I don’t really hold hands, but like, I’ll hold hands with you,” he said, adding “They can catch me in the pictures doing anything nowadays, holding an umbrella for Nicki, you know what I’m saying?” The couple’s chemistry is creative as well as romantic — “We be having conversations sometimes like, ‘That flow? Yeah, I got that flow from you,’ or, ‘You got that flow from me.’ We argue and shit like that all the time.”
No word from the couple yet on the possible engagement, though E! News says a source confirmed the report.