Donald Trump has issued a pardon and sentence commutation to rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.
President Trump issued 73 pardons and 70 sentence commutations early Wednesday as he prepared to leave office.
Among the people pardoned or commuted were Wayne and Black, whose real names are Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. and Bill Kapri respectively. Both were convicted of weapons charges.
Wayne pleaded guilty in December in federal district court to illegally possessing a loaded, gold-plated .45-caliber handgun while traveling to Florida on a private jet in 2019. The contents of Carter’s bag also included small amounts of cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone, according to the U.S. attorney.
Because of a previous felony gun conviction in New York in 2009, Carter was prohibited from owning a firearm. He has been given a pardon by the president.
LIL WAYNE CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF FIREARM AND AMMUNITION BY A CONVICTED FELON STEMMING FROM 2019 INCIDENT
“Mr. Carter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago,” the White House said. “Deion Sanders, who…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.'”
The pardon comes months after the five-time Grammy-winning emcee outraged some of his fans by making nice with Trump ahead of the November election. On Oct. 29, Wayne shared a picture of himself smiling next to Trump after meeting with him about his administration’s “Platinum Plan,” designed to create jobs and opportunities in the Black community.
“Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership,” Wayne’s tweet read at the time. “He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
LIL WAYNE REVEALS ‘GREAT MEETING’ WITH TRUMP, PROMPTING TWITTER USERS TO RESPOND
Meanwhile, Kapri, who the White House called a “prominent artist and community leader,” had his 46-month sentence commuted. He was found guilty of making false statements on a federal document when trying to buy a firearm.
He was sentenced in 2019 to more than three years in prison for falsifying documents in order to obtain firearms from a gun shop in Miami, Fla. He obtained a 9 mm handgun, a .380-caliber handgun and a semi-automatic Mini Draco weapon. Authorities said one of the guns was found at the scene of a March shooting in Pompano Beach, although he has not been charged in that case.
It didn’t take long before people took to social media to share their reactions to the duo’s big news.
“I’m happy for @KodakBlack1k! #ItsRight #TrumpPardon #AnotherBrotherWithAStory #BigTings,” one user wrote.
“Trump had nothing to gain but he still pardoned Lil’ Wayne and Kodak Black,” someone else wrote.
“trump pardoning weezy and kodak black is good,” a third user noted.
“Trump pardoned 140 people in his last day in office. Including Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. This man si gangster,” added another.
Others, however, were not thrilled to hear that the rappers were able to avoid their sentences.
“I’m mad cause I wanted Kodak black to rot in jail. I hate all of you cheering for his release you’re all parasites and you make me SICK!” one particularly upset user wrote.
“Welp I guess Lil’ Wayne’s endorsement paid off after all,” someone else wrote.
“So that’s why Dwayne Carter shilled for Trump,” another added.
Fox News previously reported that Wayne and Black were on a list of 50 to 100 pardons that the president planned to issue in the final days of his administration. They join other noteworthy figures given a pardon by the president on Wednesday such as Steve Bannon and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
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Presidential pardons being a final act of an outgoing president is somewhat of a tradition in the United States. Barack Obama, for example, either pardoned or granted clemency to nearly 2,000 people throughout his two terms, many of which came in the final week of his presidency in 2017.
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George Bush, meanwhile, did the same for almost 200 people across his two terms.