Donald Trump granted pardons to rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black on Tuesday night as part of a last-minute spree that saw Trump issue clemency to many political allies on his final full day in office.
Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, pleaded guilty on a federal weapons charge last year and received a full pardon. Kodak Black, whose real name is Bill Kapri, received a commutation after being charged in 2019 with falsifying information on federal forms to buy firearms.
Bradford Cohen, the attorney for both rappers, confirmed to Rolling Stone that both rappers were granted clemency. “President Trump and his administration have been tireless advocates on behalf of the African-American community,” Cohen tells Rolling Stone. “These pardons are a perfect example of this administration following up on its reforms and commitments.”
Last November, Carter was charged with one count of possessing a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. He had previously pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge in New York in 2009 and was eventually sentenced to a year in prison. The new charge stemmed from an incident that took place December 23rd, 2019 in Miami-Dade County in Florida.
In December, Carter pleaded guilty to the federal charge and his sentencing hearing was scheduled to take place January 28th. While the charge could’ve landed the rapper in prison for up to 10 years, many expected the plea deal to come with a much lighter sentence that might not include any jail time.
Throughout all of this, there was speculation that Carter was angling for a pardon after he unexpectedly shared a photo on Twitter of himself and Trump in the final days of the 2020 presidential campaign. Though the photo didn’t include a formal endorsement, he praised Trump’s work on “criminal reform” as well as his so-called “Platinum Plan” to help black communities.