Donald Trump’s presidency ended not with a bang but with an odious whimper of cronyism. Trump, 74, issued a long list of clemencies and pardons on Jan. 19, his last full day in office before Joe Biden’s term began, and two of those receiving Donald’s “generosity” were none other than Lil Wayne, 38, and Kodak Black, 23, who both publicly supported Trump amid his reelection campaign in Oct. 2020.
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) January 20, 2021
Wayne (real name Dwayne Carter) was facing up to a decade in prison on gun charges from a 2019 arrest. Meanwhile, Kodak (real name Bill Kapri) was already in prison after pleading guilty to “lying on background check forms while buying multiple firearms in two different incidents” in 2019 and was given a 46-month prison sentence that was set to end in Aug. 2022, per The New York Times. Now, Lil Wayne will be completely avoiding jail time while Kodak’s prison sentence will be commuted, which their shared attorney revealed.
“President Trump and his administration have been tireless advocates on behalf of the African-American community,” Lil Wayne and Kodak’s attorney, Bradford Cohen, told our sister publication Rolling Stone in a statement on late Tuesday night, Jan. 19. The attorney added, “These pardons are a perfect example of this administration following up on its reforms and commitments.”
In the past, Trump has used the power of his office to pardon or commute the sentences of his family (Charles Kushner, father of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner), allies (Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Gen. Michael Flynn, who were convicted of crimes committed regarding the 2016 election), supporters (Dinesh D’Souza, Joe Arpaio) and convicted killers (Clint Lorance, Matthew L. Golsteyn, and four Blackwater contractors involved in the Nisoor Square massacre.) As to how Lil Wayne got pardoned, it’s not that hard to find out.
Wayne (born Dwayne Carter Jr.) was arrested in Dec. 2019 as he arrived in Miami via private jet, after an anonymous tip prompted authorities to search his plane. The search uncovered a gold-played, pearl-gripped, .45-caliber Glock, ammunition, and drugs. Being that Wayne is a convicted felon, being in possession of the gun and ammunition was illegal. The rapper would plead guilty in Dec. 2020 to one count of possessing a firearm, and he faced up to ten years in prison. Wayne’s sentencing date was scheduled for Jan. 28, but now, that date is moot. Previously, Wayne served eight months of a year-long sentence after pleading guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in 2009.
Two months before pleading guilty to the 2019 charge, Wayne met with Trump. “Just had a great meeting with [Trump],” tweeted Wayne, along with a picture of him standing next to Trump. “[B]esides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured me he will and can get it done.” The meeting resulted in a huge public backlash from fans and peers alike.
“What have I …what have I….what have I done to deserve this?” tweeted Questlove. “oh no. WAYNE, I WOULD HAVE NEVER TOOK THIS PICTURE,” added 50 Cent. 50 Cent would also tease Wayne in Nov. 2020, tweeting, “Wait a minute, Trump still got 63 days left, call him Wayne. Get that fool on the phone.”
Wayne’s support of Trump seemingly cost him his relationship with Denise Bidot. Shortly after Wayne posed with Donald, the rapper and Denise unfollowed each other on Instagram, sparking rumors of a breakup. Denise shut down the first wave of split speculation by revealing she and Wayne spend Thanksgiving 2020 together. However, at the start of 2021, speculation started back up again after fans noticed that they both stopped following each other again.
What do you think of the platinum plan? @bradfordcohen sent it to me and I read it ,this is what the community needs…. more ownership. That plan is right! I want to help with justice reform when I am out as well. @realDonaldTrump #justicereform #prisonreform
— Kodak Black (@KodakBlack1k) October 26, 2020
Like Lil Wayne, Kodak also showed his support for the POTUS ahead of the Nov. 2020 election. The “Tunnel Vision” rapper revealed that he was a fan of Trump’s Platinum Plan, which was designed to help Black Americans over the next four years. “What do you think of the platinum plan? @bradfordcohen sent it to me and I read it ,this is what the community needs…. more ownership. That plan is right! I want to help with justice reform when I am out as well. @realDonaldTrump #justicereform #prisonreform.”
Kodak also made a promise to donate to charity if he received a pardon, according to a now-deleted tweet that Revolt shared: “If The President Them Free Me, I’m Gonna Spend 1 million on Charity within The First Year I’m Out. That’s on Everything.” During his time in prison, Kodak also organized a charity Christmas toy drive for children in Dec. 2020.