Meek Mill broke down on the stand ... pleading to the judge he's no gangsta, but it didn't sway her -- she found he had violated probation.
Meek testified in Philly for more than an hour, and during the testimony he got emotional a few times. Once, while describing how much it hurt not being able to go see his mom in NJ after she had surgery. All Meek's out-of-state travel has to be approved under terms of his probation.
He also apologized to the D.A. for calling her a "bitch" in his song, "The Ride."
But he really choked up when he addressed the judge directly, saying ... "I'm not a gangsta. I'm not a criminal." He added, "I have my queen, Nicki [Minaj] now. I'm trying to do better and feel like I can be the best rapper out there."
Judge Brinkley ruled he was in "technical violation" but didn't decide his punishment yet. She set sentencing for February and said Meek cannot leave a 5 county area around Philly before then.
One lighter moment in the courtroom came when Meek's attorney asked him to talk about his "nomination" for his song on the "Creed" soundtrack. The D.A. quickly interrupted and said, "He's in consideration! He's not nominated." Several people in the court reacted out loud, including one who yelled, "Hater!"