No More Prisons

No More Prisons

Various Artists

Raptivism

This album was released in conjunction with Stress magazine, which is a really cool independently published hip hop magazine, and its twenty-three songs that all take a stand against the prison industrial complex. Most of the artists have done their research on prisons and their effects on our society, and the artists articulate their arguments pretty well. If nothing else, listening to this will make you think a little harder about what our war on crime and drugs is doing to the health of our country (especially when you consider one statistic that didn’t make it on to the album: only twice in history have countries had an incarceration rate as high as the US has now. Those two countries were South Africa and the Soviet Union. And look where it got them). The music is solid all the way through. It’s all high quality hip-hop. Some of the standouts, though, are dead prez, The Coup, Grandmaster Caz, and Prof. Cornel West. Albums like this are important, though, and it’s a hell of a lot better to hear people rapping about what they believe in instead of just bragging and trying to sound tough.

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