Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill was reportedly convinced by fellow rap star Jay-Z to back out of a scheduled meeting at the White House on prison reform with President Donald Trump.
On Friday, TMZ reported that Mill would visit the White House on Friday to discuss prison and criminal justice reform at a meeting chaired by President Trump, but added that “some celebrities have contacted Meek urging him not to go.”
According to TMZ sources, “Jay called Meek Thursday night and made it clear … meeting with Trump would be problematic for his image and for the cause,” while “other high-profile African-Americans also called Meek and voiced serious concern.”
Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, has become an active campaigner on prison and criminal justice reform since his imprisonment last November over probation violations from a drug and gun possession case back in 2008.
However, the Philadelphia-based crooner was released from prison in April on an unsecured bail following a public campaign for his release that was supported by the likes of Jay-Z and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“I was originally scheduled to be part of a panel on Prison Reform at the White House to help shed light on the issues within the system,” he told TMZ. “Unfortunately, the focus turned to the President and Myself which concerned me that it might take away from creating a positive result from today’s discussions.”
“As a result, I decided not to attend so that the focus would be solely on fixing our prison system,” he continued. “Most importantly I remain fully committed to improving our criminal justice system.”
A recent poll of likely voters found that prison reform remains one of their least important legislative priorities in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.