American rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black have been pardoned by US President Donald Trump.
Late on Tuesday in his last full day in office, the president pardoned over 100 people, including his former campaign manager Steve Bannon.
Lil Wayne, a multi-platinum artist and record label founder who has won five Grammys, pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession on December 11, 2020, after a December 2019 arrest, and was facing up to 10 years in federal prison as he awaited his sentencing later this month.
The guilty plea came weeks after he met with Trump in Miami, Florida, to discuss the President’s “platinum plan” aimed at courting Black voters days before the election.
“President Trump granted a full pardon to Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., also known as ‘Lil Wayne,’” a statement from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany read.
“Mr. Carter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago. Brett Berish of Sovereign Brands, who supports a pardon for Mr. Carter, describes him as ‘trustworthy, kind-hearted and generous.’”
“Mr. Carter has exhibited this generosity through commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks. Deion Sanders, who also wrote in support of this pardon, calls Mr. Wayne ‘a provider for his family, a friend to many, a man of faith, a natural giver to the less fortunate, a waymaker, [and]a game changer.’”
Meanwhile, rapper Kodak Black, born Bill Kahan Kapri, is in federal prison after pleading guilty to a firearms possession charge after being detained at the Canadian-American border in March 2020.
“Kodak Black is a prominent artist and community leader,” McEnany said in the statement.
“He has served nearly half of his sentence. Before his conviction and after reaching success as a recording artist, Kodak Black became deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts. Most recently while still incarcerated, Kodak Black donated $50,000 to David Portnoy’s Barstool Fund, which provides funds to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kodak Black’s only request was that his donation go toward restaurants in his hometown.”
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are set to be inaugurated on Wednesday during a star-studded day of festivities.