While many have criticized Jay Z for not using the benefits of his platform to speak out against the social injustices of today, the Brooklyn-bred rapper is proving that some of his most influential work outside of the rap game is done behind closed doors.
On Wednesday, the hip-hop mogul met with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to discuss changes that need to be brought to the state’s criminal justice system following recent incidents of police brutality that have sparked nationwide reactions.
On Dec. 3, a New York grand jury decided not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of 43-year-old Eric Garner. The jury’s decision fueled protests and outrage across the country, with several community leaders, college students and a few celebrities and athletes using their platform to speak out and urge a special investigation on police brutality.
Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s spokesperson tweeted out a picture of the two discussing potential changes to the law in Cuomo’s Manhattan office and said that the two had a productive conversation about conducting a “top-to-bottom review of the criminal justice system and how we can all work together to pass a reform package.”
According to reports from the Daily Kos, the 45-year-old rapper’s meeting with Governor Cuomo comes as no surprise as Mr. Carter has always kept his philanthropic work under the radar. Earlier this week, Jay Z posed with a few Brooklyn Nets players who sported “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts that the mogul reportedly got hand delivered to the team. Additionally, while touring the world and continuing to release music to the public, the Empire State of Mind rapper has quietly started an educational trust fund for the children of NYPD shooting victim Sean Bell, given monetary donations to the people working on the ground in Ferguson, and has paid to send hundred of underserved high school students to college through his Shawn Carter Foundation.