Late last week, Meek Mill announced his decision to cancel a visit to a prison reform panel at the White House because any possible interaction between him and Donald Trump was only distracting from the important matter at hand: criminal justice reform.
Over the weekend, TMZ caught up with Anderson .Paak, who said prison reform is an important issue that could have benefited by Meek's visit to the White House. "If Meek Mill had his mind set to go and do what he had to do, I think maybe he should have done that," .Paak explained. "My mom was in prison for seven and a half years and I know that's a big issue. That's a major issue, prison reform. That shit needs to be rectified ASAP."
.Paak said Meek is the right person for a meeting like this and if something productive came out of a visit to the White House, no one should be able to hate on it.
"There's so much cheap labor that goes into it," he told TMZ. "It really needs to be magnified and looked at and taken care of. And Meek is the man for that. I mean, he's just really the truth." He added, "If they would have went in, worked together, and came out with something that actually helped the situation, that's what you want. Who gives a damn, you know what I'm saying? If that's what it is, we've got how many more years with this dude? Like, okay, this is what it is. Let me show you, this is what needs to happen. If they come together and make something happen, then how can you hate on that?"
There were rumors going around that the cancelation was prompted by a phone call from Jay Z advising against the White House visit, although Mill's representatives later denied those reports and confirmed that Mill made the decision himself.
When TMZ brought up the Jay Z phone call rumors, .Paak responded, "It's Hov, too, so it's like, shit. That's like the big homie Drake. So it really comes down to the artist or the person. Sometimes it's like, even with the bigger homies, if you've got your mind set and you know you're going to go in an make this happen, sometimes it's up to you. Maybe they don't understand. [You've] got to do this."
Comparing the situation to Kanye West's infamous meeting at the Trump Tower, .Paak finished by saying, "Kanye, you know, he did that, and he got a lot of backlash from it. You're going to get backlash whatever you do."
In a statement to Complex, Meek Mill explained his decision by saying, "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. As a result, I decided not to attend, so that the focus would be solely on fixing our prison system. Most importantly, I remain fully committed to improving our criminal justice system."