Meek Mill has pulled out of a planned visit to the White House today, where he was scheduled take part in a talk about prison reform.
Mill, 31, was initially set to visit the White House for a “Prison Reform Summit” hosted by President Donald Trump today, according to TMZ. Despite Mill’s absence, the event is still on, and began at 10:45. Other guests reportedly include activists and members of Congress.
The Philly native explained his decision to back out of the summit via a statement, saying that the focus of the event was on him and President Trump, rather than prison reform itself.
“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,” Mill said in statement. “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 rapper added that he decided to skip the summit “so that the focus would be solely on fixing our prison system.” TMZ, meanwhile, reports that fellow rapper Jay-Z convinced him to drop the meting.
Mill became a significant figure in the prison reform movement after Judge Genice Brinkley sentenced him to two to four years in prison last year due to probation violations stemming from a 2008 drug and gun case. He was released from Chester State Correctional Institution on bail last month by order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Since his release, Mill has continued to be a voice for prison reform. Most recently, he partnered with Amazon Studios for a six-part docuseries that will highlight his experience with the criminal justice system. It is scheduled for release in 2019.
The rapper is also working to get his initial 2008 conviction overturned. An evidentiary hearing in his case is scheduled in June.