In a recent edition of MSNBC’s LockUp Raw, prison officials casually mentioned the building of a new prison facility currently underway – expected to be the biggest to date – to accommodate the overflowing population of their “clients.” To be a “client” is to be a customer, or one who is under the patronage of another; why are convicted criminals being referred to as clients?
Freeway Rick Ross sat down with radio host, Alex Jones (also regarded as a conspiracy theorist), to discuss Hip Hop. During the interview the former convicted ringleader of a $900 million drug enterprise, claimed that some rappers are being used to promote illegal activities to the public.
Globalresearch.ca had this to say about the widespread incarceration of African Americans and Latinos:
Human rights organizations, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.
According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S.. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000.
According to AllHipHop, Freeway Rick called out rappers Rick Ross and Jay Z: “When I sold drugs I hid. But now they got these guys that never sold drugs like this one guy who was a correctional officer who goes by the name of Rick Ross. He took my whole identity and the courts said he could do it,” said Freeway. “The message it tells our kids is that if you go out and sell drugs, you can become a great rock star like myself, and never go to prison.” Freeway Rick further questioned why Jay Z’s music was allowed to be played in school settings.
Freeway asserts that rap music pedaling the drug kingpin lifestyle is aiding in the growth of the prison industrial complex, and that today’s young people are being programmed to embrace drug dealing, gang banging, and prison.
“I had come up with a mentality about myself – that I was dumb, stupid, that all I should be was a thug. And that thugging was cool. When I looked around from my prison cell and started to look at all my friends, they all thought the same way, and it was this programming that put us in this position that dealing drugs and gang banging was easy for us to accept. I believe that Hip Hop is doing that right now, but on a more massive scale.”
Ross released his book Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography earlier this year. His involvement with the CIA program of importing narcotics into the United States as part of the Iran-Contra scandal was featured in the recent film, The Messenger. The alleged drug smuggling operation has been credited for helping to spark the crack cocaine epidemic.
In short, some music – not all music – is incarcerating the minds of the youth. Music that glorifies the criminal lifestyle can ultimately lead people down a dangerous path of modern day slavery, in the prison industrial system.