Belfast Telegraph

J. Cole visits prison inmates in California

The hip-hop star has incorporated the incarceration theme into his stage shows.

Rapper J. Cole has taken some time out of his busy tour schedule to visit inmates at a prison in California.

The Nobody's Perfect star recently headed to San Quentin State Prison with Ibrahim 'Ib' Hamad and Felton Brown, the respective president and head of art direction of Cole's Dreamville Records label, to tour the facility and sit down for a chat with the male inmates, many of whom are serving life sentences.

Hamad took to Instagram on Tuesday (01Aug17) to share a series of photos from the trip, including a group snap, in which Cole is seen with his arms around the shoulders of two of the prisoners.

"We got the opportunity to spend the day at San Quentin State Prison talking and meeting inmates who will never see the outside again," he captioned the images. "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."

Brown also posted a few shots on his Instagram page, and suggested the visit was for research purposes as Cole has been an outspoken opponent of America's mass incarceration problem.

"Spent a day with some brothers whose stories go unheard behind the wall," he wrote. "Learned a lot, so much work to be done. This system will try to not give you a voice but we're listening."

It's not clear when Cole and his team stopped by San Quentin State Prison, but he performed a series of dates in the area last month (Jul17) as part of his ongoing 4 Your Eyez Only World Tour.

Cole expresses his views on mass incarceration on his 2016 album 4 Your Eyez Only, and has also incorporated the prison theme in his accompanying stage show, kicking off his gigs dressed in an orange jumpsuit as he is brought out onstage by men posing as police officers.

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