DaBaby gathered the community of Charlotte, North Carolina together on Juneteenth for a long overdue conversation about racism in his hometown. The rapper announced on Thursday (June 18th) that he had invited city officials and community leaders to an event titled "Black Lives BEEN Mattered" to take place on the historic holiday in order to discuss systemic racism, police reform, and more.

 "[This is] an opportunity to give people whose voices aren’t heard, whose voices don’t reach a million people, the opportunity to be heard," DaBaby explained at the beginning of the event. “Getting those voices heard, those statements heard, those opinions heard, in a room full of respected individuals, I just feel like it was important."

Among those in attendance was Mayor Vi Lyles, Charlotte City Council member Braxton Winston, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden, former Carolina Black Panther Thomas Davis, and community organizer Kristie Puckett-Williams. During the panel, the Grammy-nominated rapper touched on his own negative experiences with the Charlotte police. In a widely publicized incident last year, DaBaby was detained on a marijuana charge, which he maintains was unlawful. He accused the CMPD of racially profiling him by making the arrest.

dababy black lives matter black lives been mattered panel discussion charlotte north carolinaCarmen Mandato/Getty Images

"I have had my own experiences with the police," he noted during the discussion. "It’s time to have a serious conversation about police reform and systemic racism in our city. Black lives been mattered and always will matter...Why have 20 cops tried to find someone who is trying to do their job when you have real bad things going on?"

The event concluded with some closing words from DaBaby: “I want to end this by extending an offer to try to put something together routinely like this. Where we can bring blank notebook paper and pens and clipboards and try to move forward.”

Watch the full "Black Lives BEEN Mattered" stream below:

[Via]