"You can't be hard all the time, man," rapper Meek Mill says of critics -- such as rapper Joe Budden and, now, Drake -- who suggest his romance is at odds with his hard-edged music. "There's both sides to everything. What's wrong with it? Jay Z was a street rapper and he had a girlfriend."
Police brutality and the criminal justice system have dominated recent news cycles, but Meek, who has a 4-year-old son with an ex-girlfriend, rarely uses his elevated platform as a soapbox. "I'm scared to be political," he says. "You get too powerful and more people try to take you out. My son ain't trying to hear that his dad got put away because he was fighting for the country."