J. Cole is doing to make a powerful statement when it comes to mass incarceration. He addresses the topic repeatedly on his platinum album 4 Your Eyez Only. It was obvious that this subject is near and dear to his heart by the way he kicked off the arena leg of his tour.
The Hip Hop rapper stepped up on the Phoenix stage wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. Escorting him onto the stage were a bunch of rappers sporting police officer uniforms. Critics called his statement powerful, yet obvious.
Dreamville & J. Cole Speak with Lifers During Prison Visit
Tuesday, Fayetteville-born star took a little time from his busy tour. J. Cole went to San Quentin State Prison to speak with men serving life in prison, along with Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad, president of Dreamville Records.
Harnad took to Instagram with his experience visiting lifers in San Quentin:
“We got the opportunity to spend the day at San Quentin State Prison talking and meeting inmates who will never see the outside again.
That experience was a life changing experience and wish I had the ability to put that in a caption but that wouldn’t be doing it justice.”
Education Beats Mass Incarceration
J. Cole addresses issues related to injustices and mass incarceration in the legal system on his album. Cuts like “Neighbors,” “Immortal” and his title track “4 Your Eyez Only” include lines that address such matters. One of my favorite group of lines from the title track:
“I dedicate these words to you and all the other children affected by the mass incarceration in this nation that sent your pops to prison when he needed education.”
Felton Brown of Dreamville.com also accompanied the men on the prison visit to San Quentin. He posted about his moving experience on Instagram as well:
As prison loved ones, we can all relate to that last line. I most definitely can, as a prison daughter who grew up with a father in prison. During the 1970s, mass incarceration was heavily practiced in the ghettos of Compton, and anywhere else where people were “miseducated.”
It’s a well-known fact that education is the key to stopping the revolving doors of the prison system:
- We need to educate our children to avoid them becoming prisoners someday.
- We need to educate prisoners with release dates so they can become positive parts of society
- We need to educate lifers to they can pass on their experiences to others to help stop the prison revolving doors cycle
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