Hip-Hop and Prison Reform: Beyond the Rhythm and Beat


“The prison system has shaped life in Black America, so rap has had no choice but to engage in the ongoing battle for criminal-justice reform.” –Sheldon Pearce, Pitchfork

Remy Ma. Source: Getty Images

In the midst of Meek Mill’s controversial sentencing to 2-4 years in prison, the rap and hip-hop world has now gained more momentum for prison reform advocacy. Meek Mill was thrown in the limelight earlier this month when the court decided he had violated his probation, and though many public figures have recently spoken out against the court’s ruling, there are plenty of artists who have been part of the ongoing fight for prison reform in America for decades.

Common. Source: Daily Democrat

From police brutality to the death penalty, the unrelenting discrimination towards minorities in our country’s justice system has rested at the core of rap and hip-hop since its genesis, but rappers and hip-hop artists are also known for leaving their pens and papers in the studios to fight for criminal justice reform beyond the lyric.

Sheldon Pearce from the world-class music-critiquing site, Pitchfork, sheds light on hip-hop artists that break out of the stanzas and meters to produce a new cadence for criminal justice in America.

Check out Pearce’s story to see what your favorite rappers’ are doing to give a voice to the voiceless.


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