Rapper Prakazrel Michel, better known as Pras, became a founding member of Organizing for Action after donating $20,000 to President Barack Obama’s dark money group.
Pras, along with Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill, is a member of the rap trio the Fugees. Pras, the cousin of Jean, actually got the group started when he introduced the failed charity entrepreneur to Lauryn Hill in his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Since the breakup of the Fugees, Pras has stayed busy.
He traveled to Somalia in 2009 to film a documentary on the topic of piracy off the African coast. Pirates invaded the ship he was on, the Maersk Alabama, during filming and took the ship’s captain hostage.
The captain was rescued by Navy SEAL snipers, who shot three pirates in the process.
Pras explained in an interview with CNN, that the Navy SEAL rescue actually foiled his plans to meet with the pirates, because it created anti-American sentiment amongst the pirates.
“We were supposed to actually meet with a couple of the pirates, but the capture happened so we had to retreat,” Pras said. “It has gotten worse because, you know, they rescued the captain, but then they shot three pirates, so now it’s a whole anti-American sentiment going on right now.”
It is unclear how strong the pro-American sentiment was before the rescue. Pras also explained in the interview that the pirates in Somalia were just protecting their own waters.
“They feel compelled to protect what they feel like is their waters,” Pras said. “They feel like the ships that are coming through are polluting the water and affecting their fishing industry. They feel like this has been going on for centuries, and they feel like they are taking matters into their own hands.”
“They have a compelling argument,” he concluded.
Unfortunately, the documentary remains unfinished.
Pras was forced to sue the director of the film last year. He claimed that director Marshall Tyler is holding the footage of his trip to Somalia hostage.
Pras has been a vocal supporter of Obama, and has even been a guest at the White House.
Prakazrel Michel is listed on the White House Visitor’s Log three times. He visited once in 2010 and twice in 2012, most recently Dec. 18, 2012.