An executive from Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and a founder of Death Row Records also received pardons or commutations that formed a long, strange relationship between the former president and the rap world

In late October, just days before the presidential election and almost a year after federal authorities confiscated a pistol from his private plane, rapper Lil Wayne spent nearly an hour with Donald J. Trump at the President’s Doral Golf Club in Miami

The two men discussed Lil Wayne’s upbringing in New Orleans and his burgeoning interest in criminal justice reform, according to Bradford Cohen, a South Florida attorney who attended and arranged the meeting

“I think they had a very strong connection,” said Mr Cohen, who is on Mr. Trump’s 2004 TV show “The Apprentice” said

The encounter culminated in a smiley photo op with a thumbs up, which the rapper then published on Twitter – a confirmation that as Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign worked to improve his standing with black voters, despite the fact that he had often slandered blacks and tried frequently to divide the country on racist lines. The support of a largely apolitical artist met with backlash from some fans

Less than a month later, Lil Wayne was charged with gun possession and soon pleaded guilty to a conviction originally scheduled for later that month, facing up to 10 years in prison

That Condemnation Will Never Come Early Wednesday, Lil Wayne was among the 143 pardons and commutations former President Trump announced during his last tenure, joining three other figures from the hip-hop universe, including the one Florida rapper Kodak Black, another of Mr. Cohens; Desiree Perez, the executive director of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation; and Michael Harris, known as Harry-O, a founder of Death Row Records who has been in prison for 30 years

The grace decisions entered into a complex, symbiotic, and often controversial relationship between Mr. Trump and rap date back to the 1990s when the businessman was a frequent club goer and a lyrical motif synonymous with wealth and lightning

“He’s in the entertainment world,” said Mr Cohen said of the former president in an interview on Wednesday, “He has a style that is similar in terms of the way he wears himself and a lot of rappers and people in the industry refer to it”

Mr Cohen said Lil Wayne’s impending gun charge, which has been investigated for almost a year, is not the reason for his pre-election summit or support for Mr. Trump, however, conceded that this could ultimately have been a factor in the pardon decision, as thousands advocated last-minute grace

“It never hurts that someone gets a full understanding of a person just by looking at a piece of paper,” he said. “In retrospect, I think it worked out”

Lil Wayne, 38 and born Dwayne Michael Carter JrWidely considered to be one of the most successful and influential hip-hop artists of his generation. But apart from one song that criticized George W Bush had generally avoided politics altogether for his handling of Hurricane Katrina and abandoned partisanship and the black lives Matter movement distant When asked about Mr. Trump before the 2016 election, Lil Wayne laughed and replied, “Who is that?”


The charges arose from a search of his private plane while landing in the Miami area on December 23, 2019 when authorities found a gold-plated Glock pistol and 45 caliber ammunition, along with a cache of drugs (for the no one was charged) and almost 26$ 000 in cash Lil Wayne was unable to legally carry a firearm after pleading guilty to possession of guns in New York in 2009 He had served on Rikers Island for eight months

Howard Srebnick, an attorney who represented Lil Wayne in the criminal case last year, said in a statement Wednesday: “An apology for Mr. Carter agrees with the views of many lawyers – including Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett – that prosecuting a nonviolent citizen for mere possession of a gun is against the Second Amendment to the US Constitution ”

He added, “The gold-plated firearm that Mr. Carter never operated, is a collector’s item given to him as a Father’s Day present ”

Lil Wayne’s request for a pardon was received in letters from Deion Sanders, the N, supports F.L. Hall of Famer and Brett Berish, the manager of a sparkling wine brand, according to the White House, which also highlighted the rapper’s charitable donation

Mr Cohen said he began filing for a pardon immediately following the indictment against Lil Wayne in November, and the rapper was “thrilled” with the president’s decision through agents, Lil Wayne declined to comment

Mr Cohen – whose connection to Trump orbit included representing former President’s Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski – also led advocacy for Kodak Black Black, whose legal name is Bill Kapri (b Dieuson Octave) was granted a commutation pardoning the remainder of his 46-month prison sentence for lying on background papers while trying to buy guns. He served almost half that time and could be out of federal prison outside of as early as Wednesday Chicago to be fired Cohen said

While many have paid thousands of dollars to stand up for mercy, Mr. Cohen said he instead relied on a month-long social media and letter-writing campaign, recruiting notable figures like Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens and former New York City Police Department commissioner Bernie Kerik to vouch for Black’s character and philanthropy

“Our route was less conventional. We had supporters like Gucci Mane and Lil Yachty and Vanilla Ice,” Cohen said. “We did everything we could to have a look”

President Trump has discussed possible pardons that could test the limits of his constitutional powers to waive criminal liability. Here’s some clarity on his pardon

Kodak Black continues to face criminal sexual behavior charges in South Carolina as of 2016, despite trial being repeatedly postponed If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison

Names in bold may have helped with other commutations in the hip-hop world as well. Snoop Dogg is said to have made himself out on behalf of Mr. Harris or Harry-O, an early funder of his former label Death Row Records who helped bring gangster rap into the mainstream, Mr Harris, 59, has been commuted by the President for conspiracy to commit first degree murder after serving three decades had served a 25-year sentence

Snoop Dogg worked with reform attorney Alice Johnson, who was pardoned by Trump last year after a campaign by Kim Kardashian West and others, “They did a great job while they were there and they did great things on their way out Job done, “Snoop Dogg, once a vocal critic of Trump, said of the administration on hearing the news, according to the New York Post

Desiree Perez, 52, a longtime Jay-Z employee, woke up at 5 a.m. this morning to a text messaging phone letting her know that her pardon had been granted. Now she’s the executive director of Roc Nation, the Management company and the label with a component for social justice In 1994 she was convicted of conspiracy with intent to distribute drugs.Mrs Perez said she had applied for pardon only two days earlier after hearing news from Mr. Trump’s plans for his final hours in office

“I feel fine but a little numb,” Ms. Perez said in a phone interview, “I haven’t forgiven myself and I’m not sure I’ll ever”

Ms. Perez works closely with the N.L. In his partnership with Jay-Z and the White House, she called her “an advocate for criminal justice reform in her community”

“There is so much judgment that comes with a belief without the time and thought of others about how someone ended up in this place”There is a reason for my story,” said Dr Said Perez, “Every story has a reason I’m just a Bronx girl thinking about all the things I had to overcome and how I persevered to get to where I am Well, now you make me cry ”

But asked about her personal feelings towards Mr. Trump, Ms. Perez turned it down “I would prefer not to answer that question today,” she said, “It’s not the best etiquette”

Lil Wayne

World news – FI – Lil Wayne and Kodak Black among 4 hip-hop figures Trump Pardoned

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/arts/music/trump-pardons-lil-wayne-kodak-black.html