“Charm City Kings” Director Explains How Will Smith Mentored Meek Mill 

Will Smith was very hands-on in guiding Meek Mill through his first big acting gig with “Charm City Kings.”

“Charm City Kings” is this generation’s “Boyz in The Hood.”

It is a coming of age tale that takes us through the lives of a group of young Baltimore boys and the men that they want to become, set against the backdrop of the city’s underground street biking culture. 

Based on the documentary, “12 O’Clock Boy,” the movie is produced by Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment and allowed Meek Mill to debut in the acting arena through the unlikely vehicle that once landed him in prison.

The story spotlights Baltimore teen Mouse, who is desperately living in the shadow of his deceased brother who was a leader of the dirt bike gang, Midnight Clique. Now at 14-year’s-old, his summer goal is to join the crew that gave his brother notoriety — a squad run by Meek Mill’s character Blax.

The director, Angel Manuel Soto, talked about the connection between the two Philly rappers associated with the movie, Will Smith and Meek Mill. 

“I guess what I know is that they had a lot of conversations,” Soto told Looper. “I know that Meek had just come out of prison and he was getting into the character after that whole process. I know him and Will [had] a lot of conversations, precisely because of that.” 

While Will Smith serves as the Executive Producer, the project was brought to him by Caleeb Pinkett, who also srves as a producer.

“Charm City Kings” is available to stream now on HBO Max.