Since kicking off his “4 Your Eyez Only” tour, J. Cole has been using his platform to address a pertinent issue: mass incarceration. Stepping out to perform before packed arenas, Cole has been sporting prison garb to make a powerful statement, one that he has followed up with inspiring action.
Taking a page straight out of Barack Obama's presidential handbook, J. Cole recently visited a high-security prison to meet with inmates facing the grim reality of wearing orange jumpsuits for the rest of their lives. On Tuesday (Aug. 1), Cole took time off from his world tour to visit San Quentin State Prison, one of California's most infamous facilities, to discuss the trivial justice system as told by prisoners who are facing life behind bars.
Joined by his Dreamville cohorts Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad and Felton Brown, the "Neighbors" rapper toured the prison grounds and took several photos with inmates. The experience was shared on social media, garnering messages of praise for Cole's efforts.
“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 I wish I had the ability to put that in a caption but that wouldn’t be doing it justice,” wrote Hamad in the caption.
Throughout his fourth studio album, the Fayetteville hometown hero addresses incarceration and injustices within the legal system on cuts like “Immortal,” “Neighbors,” and the 4 Your Eyez Only title track, which includes these lines: “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.”
Shout-out to Cole. Salute.
(Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)