Lil Wayne

Trump Pardons Rappers Lil Wayne, Kodak Black in His Final Hours in Office

Lil Wayne and Kodak Black were among those granted clemency by Donald Trump hours before Joe Biden's presidential inauguration

In this Aug. 21, 2013, file photo, rapper Lil Wayne performs during the America's Most Wanted Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Just prior to the end of his White House tenure, President Donald Trump granted last-minute clemency to a lengthy list of individuals, including rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.

Hours before Joe Biden was set to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, Trump provided relief for a number of his political allies early Wednesday by issuing pardons to 73 people and commuting the sentences of 70 others.

Among those receiving a pardon was Lil Wayne, née Dwayne Carter Jr., who faced up to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to a federal gun charge on Dec. 12. The star had tweeted his support for Trump less than a week prior to the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, rapper Kodak Black, whose real name is Bill Kapri, received a commutation after pleading guilty to a firearm charge in March 2020. The 23-year-old performer was awaiting sentencing but had already been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for making a false statement to buy the weapon. He has served nearly half of that time.

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"President Trump and his administration have been tireless advocates on behalf of the African-American community," Bradford Cohen, the attorney for both rappers, told Rolling Stone. "These pardons are a perfect example of this administration following up on its reforms and commitments."

Other individuals granted clemency were Trump's onetime aide Steve Bannon, who had pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges related to the "We Build the Wall" fundraising campaign; former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, convicted on 24 federal felony counts including extortion and racketeering; and real estate developer Bob Zangrillo, charged in the 2019 college admissions scandal.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are set to be inaugurated at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday during a star-studded day of festivities.

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