Meek Mill apologises after filming music video in Ghanaian presidential palace

Meek Mill has apologised for filming a music video inside Ghana’s presidential palace, following backlash led by the country’s education minister.

Last Sunday (January 8), the rapper posted a snippet of a music video for a new, as-yet unnamed song on Instagram. Among other Ghanaian locales, the clip sees Mill traipse the conference halls and corridors of Jubilee House, which serves as the official home and office of Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo.

The clip – which has since been removed from Mill’s Instagram – sparked backlash shortly after it was posted, with Ghana’s education minister Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa leading the criticism in describing the video as a “despicable desecration of the Jubilee House”.

Ablakwa, who aired his frustrations in a tweet published yesterday (January 9), went on to declare that “All those responsible for [the video]… must be fired immediately.” He continued: “How do those explicit lyrics from the president’s lectern project Ghana positively? Is Ghana’s seat of government no longer a high security installation?”.

In response to the backlash – which was also levelled by Ghanaian citizens and news outlets – Mill took to Twitter today (January 10) to explain that he never “meant to disrespect the people of Ghana”. The rapper said his intentions in filming the video within the presidential estate were to “[display] art” and “make the connection between black people in America and Africa”.

He continued: “To the people of Ghana no video I drop is ever meant to disrespect the people of Ghana… The fastest way to make connection is thru music [sic] and I wanted to do that with displaying art… im in my 30’s from America [sic] and didn’t know much about the lifestyle here”.

In a follow-up tweet, Mill offered his “apologies to the people if any disrespect [was taken]”, before explicitly apologising to the Ghanaian presidential office. The rapper later defended Akufo-Addo, who had received backlash for supposedly permitting the video to be filmed, writing that the office might not have known “it was video footage when we asked to shoot”.

Meek Mill concluded the thread with a final apology and explanation, writing that “in America we didn’t know this existed and was excited to show because they don’t show Ghana on our media much! So I’ll take responsibility for my mistake! Not intentional”.

Mill’s since-deleted Instagram post promised that the song would soon be released, however it is yet to appear on the rapper’s streaming service pages. Mill’s last studio album, ‘Expensive Pain’, arrived in October, 2021, followed by the mixtape ‘Flamers 5’ late last year.

Around that same time, Mill was one of many musicians to attend the virtual signing of the Decriminalising Artistic Expression Act, which prevents the use of rap lyrics in criminal prosecutions and was enshrined into Californian law last October. Mill was joined at the signing by Killer MikeE-40 and Ty Dolla $ign, among others.

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