Trump Pardons Lil Wayne and Kodak Black
Lil Wayne and Kodak Black have been pardoned.
On Wednesday morning (Jan. 20), the rappers were officially granted clemency by Donald Trump as part of a last-minute wave of pardons and commutations during the president’s final hours in office.
Wayne was facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally possessing a firearm while traveling on a private plane in December 2019. The rapper met with Trump during a campaign stop in October and tweeted his support for the president’s criminal justice reform efforts.
“President Trump granted a full pardon to Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., also known as ‘Lil Wayne,’” read a statement from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. “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.’”
Kodak Black, whose legal name is Bill Kapri, had been serving a 46-month sentence in a Kentucky federal prison for falsifying paperwork to obtain a firearm. In November, the “Tunnel Vision” rapper publicly pleaded with the president to free him in advance of his August 2022 release date. In return, he promised to donate $1 million to charity. Lil Yachty, Yo Gotti, and Lil Pump had lobbied Trump for his clemency.
“Kodak Black is a prominent artist and community leader,” McEnany said in the statement, while praising Black’s philanthropic efforts. “He has committed to supporting a variety of charitable efforts, such as providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the underprivileged. In addition to these efforts, he has paid for the notebooks of school children, provided funding and supplies to daycare centers, provided food for the hungry, and annually provides for underprivileged children during Christmas.”
Earlier in the day, Trump commuted the prison sentence of Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry-O” Harris, who was serving a life sentence for attempted murder and cocaine trafficking. Snoop Dogg and Alice Marie Johnson had both lobbied for his release.
“I love what they did,” Snoop said of the president and his aides. “That’s great work for the president and his team on the way out.”
Trump also granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon in a controversial decision made only hours before he is scheduled to depart the White House on Wednesday.