Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter made a special appearance at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to discuss his timely documentary Time: The Kalief Browder Story.

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The six part series delves into Browder’s life, his time behind bars as well as his untimely death. The 16 year old, who was arrested for stealing backpack, spent almost three years on NYC’s Riker’s Island and was never charged with a crime. Two years following his release, Browder committed suicide due to depression from his time on “the Island”.

“So he comes to the office and I just wanted to give him some encouragement,” Hov told the crowd at the Sundance Film Festival yesterday.


“He told me he was going to community college and I was very encouraged by his story. He was, at the time, what I viewed to be okay. I looked at this young kid, and I was in awe of his strength. That he was standing there, he was proud, he was sitting up straight, he was talking, he was laughing.”

Jay said that after the meeting Kalief Browder, he received the tragic news while he was on tour that Kalief Browder had taken his own life.

“Everything started happening in a way where I was like, oh, he’s a prophet. His life was meant to make sure other kids don’t have to go through this same thing,” Jay-Z said during the Q&A.


Time: The Kalief Browder Story is set to air later this year on Spike TV.