San Francisco, CA – Whether it’s making it rain in tuition money or delivering lyrical parables that mold a young audience’s mind, J. Cole has undoubtedly positioned himself to be a generational figure of civility in the current Hip Hop climate.
That semblance of character was recently enforced when Cole and several other Dreamville residents visited San Quentin State Prison in San Francisco to offer up a bit of humanity to the inmates.
Dreamville President Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad took to Instagram to further explain the scenario, writing “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.”
Dreamville’s Art Direction and Graphic Design Felton Brown echoed Hamad’s sentiments, captioning his Instagram slideshow: “One of the most moving moments since this new journey,” Brown captioned the photos. “Spent a day with some brothers who stories go unheard behind the wall. Learned a lot, so much work to be done. This system will try to not give you a voice but we’re listening.”
The multi-class California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation state prison has housed notable figures such as serial killer Charles Manson and Black Guerrilla Family co-founder George Jackson all the way back to wife killer Scott Peterson and Crips co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams III. It was also famously name-dropped on Nas’ iconic debut, Illmatic, by AZ, the album’s lone guest star.
Cole World has definitely been sympathizing with the plight of a prisoner as of late; having kicked off his 4 Your Eyez Only Tour rocking an orange prison jumpsuit. And maybe, there is a tad bit of empathy to go along with it, especially when comes to the falsely accused.
His 2016 single “Neighbors” famously outlined the time federal agents raided his North Carolina communal studio because of racial profiling.
That video can be found below.