Meek Mill has had a turbulent and trying past few years. The rapper's 2017 prison sentencing and the conversation surrounding it thrust the rapper into the spotlight; helping to mold him into the outspoken prison reform activist that he is today. Meek recently opened up about his experiences in a candid letter addressed to his younger, 18-year-old self. Among other things,Meek writes about earning honor, respect, and insight despite the considerable odds stacked against him in a feature premiered on XXL.

He opens the letter by writing, "Life is about to get very real for you. Like, beyond your dreams and nightmares. I’m writing you from 2018 because I need you to be very present in 2006," he continues. "I need you to focus on the weight of your talent and how it aligns with your purpose. I know, right now, life is tough, but you have to believe me when I say it’s only temporary. You will not be a victim of your circumstance. Your struggles are just building you a greater tomorrow. You were gifted the skill to communicate to the masses. You are here to inspire, awaken and motivate the generations to come."

Later in the letter, Meek discuses racial injustice writing, "I’ll be honest—same as African-Americans in this country—things are about to get both easier and more difficult for you. Over the next decade, you and your people will make major moves—you, professionally and Black people, politically... Unfortunately, on the streets, not much will change. In 2018, Black lives won’t matter much more than they do in 2006." He goes on to address the unfair treatment that he has already suffered at a young age and encourages himself to remain resilient. "I need you to look deeper into that pendant, past the karats and ice," he writes. "Don’t just wear the face. Understand that King, that pain, that sacrifice. Know that a clear mission and perseverance is how you attain the honor of representing both Black excellence and inequality."

Read the full letter here