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US President Barack Obama (R) speaks during the Wounded Warrior Ride event while Vice President Joe Biden (L) listens at the White House, in Washington, DC, USA on April 14, 2016. The event helps raise awareness to the public about severely injured veterans and provides rehabilitation opportunities. Photo by Aude Guerrucci/Pool/Sipa USA
President Barack Obama speaks during the Wounded Warrior Ride event while Vice President Joe Biden listens at the White House in Washington on April 14, 2016 Aude Guerrucci—Pool/Sipa USA/AP

All Your Favorite Rappers Met With President Obama About Criminal Justice Reform

Apr 15, 2016

President Obama hosted some of hip-hop's biggest stars for a meeting at the White House on Friday.

According to a White House official Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper, Alicia Keys, Wale, J. Cole, and Ludacris were among the stars who sat down with Obama and some of his top advisers to talk about criminal justice reform and the My Brother's Keeper Initiative. An official says the stars were singled out due to their work within communities to confront issues facing young people.

"Through their own nonprofit work or artistic commitment, many of these artists have found ways to engage on the issues of criminal justice reform and empowering disadvantaged young people across the country," an official says.

A source close to the White House says DJ Khaled is also attending the meeting.

The President and his team have focussed on the issue of criminal justice throughout his second term. Most recently, the president commuted the sentences of dozens of drug offenders, many of whom will be released from federal custody this summer. Obama has also made a point of championing programs that address disadvantages faced by young men and boys of color, chiefly through his My Brother's Keeper Initiative.

According to the White House, the celebrities Obama has convened have also been active on the subject of criminal justice. Singer Alicia Keys has lobbied Congress to pass criminal justice reform legislation while Chance the Rapper leads an anti-violence campaign in the president's hometown of Chicago. Many of the other guests including Common, J.Cole, and Wale encourage and support youth through programming.

The meeting is said to have started earlier in the afternoon.

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