Hip-hop takes over the White House. On Friday (Apr. 15), President Barack Obama met with a slew of high-profile rappers including Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Common, Pusha T, Rick Ross, Chance the Rapper, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, and Wale to discuss My Brother’s Keeper.
Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, and Timbaland were also on hand, joining the POTUS in a discussion around the initiative, but also surrounding criminal justice reform. The event wasn’t announced publicly, but was later confirmed to The Associated Press.
“Met with President Obama today to discuss a few things that happen to be very dear to my [heart emoji]. I am #MyBrothersKeeper,” wrote Nicki, who also shared a personalized note from Obama.
DJ Khaled was on hand to document the event on Snapchat. “I can’t even explain to ya’ll what just happened. History has been made,” said Ludacris in one of Khaled’s Snaps.
My Brother’s Keeper was launched by Obama in 2014. “That’s what My Brother’s Keeper is all about. Helping more of our young people stay on track,” he said at the time. “Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works—when it works, in those critical life-changing moments.”
Last year, the President had a one-on-one White House meeting with Kendrick Lamar to discuss the initiative as well. Their partnership led to “Pay It Forward,” a video focusing on the importance of mentorship.