Philadelphia rapper and criminal-justice-reform advocate, Meek Mill, has become a co-owner in Lids after investing in North America’s largest retail seller of hats and licensed sports products. As part of his venture into corporate ownership, he will also lead the retailer’s creative strategy by releasing a limited-edition line of hats in August.
The opportunity was presented to Meek by his friend Michael Rubin, the co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, who is also the co-founder of Meek’s REFORM Alliance for criminal justice reform.
“This is my boss year. A lot of what I’m doing, I’m trying to get ownership in a lot of things to where I can still live comfortable the way I was living in my prime years as a rapper,” the 32-year-old MC told Business Insider. “I’m just trying to build a foundation of some good businesses that’ll keep me living good.”
He decided to invest in Lids because it hit close to home. “I’ve been shopping at Lids my whole life, wearing hats, fitteds, of course, fitted hats and caps, all types of hats,” explained Meek. “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.”
Meek credits JAY-Z for inspiring his business acumen. “Basically, I’ve seen JAY-Z, and then I’ve watched other artists who came up around his time. He actually built something,” he said. “He built businesses, and he built things that made him become the man who he is, that we could call a billionaire guy. He built that, and I watched that, and I studied that. That’s why I’m working the way I’m working now to build a foundation for myself too.”