By Morgan Evans, ,
Published May 18, 2018
Jay-Z reportedly advised friend and fellow rapper Meek Mill to cancel his visit to the White House, where he was to take part in President Trump's Prison Reform Summit on Friday.
According to TMZ, Jay-Z called Mill on Thursday night to let him know that a meeting with Trump would damage his image. In addition to Jay-Z, the outlet reported other high-profile African-Americans also called Mill to express the same message.
Evidently, the late-night phone calls had worked on Mill and he later released a statement to TMZ which read, "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. 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."
The president is hosting Friday a Prison Reform Summit that includes members of Congress, various activists and people who have experienced life under the current prison system.
"I decided not to attend so that the focus would be solely on fixing our prison system," Mill said. "Most importantly I remain fully committed to improving our criminal justice system."
Mill himself was released from prison on April 24, after he was sentenced in November to four years in prison for violating previous probations stemming back to 2008, when the rapper was convicted on gun and drug charges.
He served prison for a few months and then was given a five-year parole. But during those five years, Mill was convicted of several parole violations and was re-arrested in 2017 on two separate charges.
Upon his release, Mill issued a statement saying the past months had been "a nightmare," and thanked his many supporters and visitors, which included New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
"Although I'm blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don't have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues," he said.
Following a five-month campaign by his supporters to get him out, the state Supreme Court directed a Philadelphia judge who had jailed him to immediately issue an order releasing him on unsecured bail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.