Nearly a month after releasing A Beautiful Revolution (Pt 2), Common has channeled the inspirational approach to his recent full-length into a meaningful, real-life scenario. According to CBS Chicago, the renowned Hip-Hop artist has supplied Stateville Correctional Center — a prison near Chicago — with a brand new, state-of-the-art recording studio. With the help of young attorney Ari Williams, Common hopes to inspire inmates at the Illinois correctional facility and also help some of them slowly work away at their prison sentences.

“The gentlemen who are incarcerated deserve access to better things in life so that’s why I fight for my city,” Common said during his speech at Stateville. “Being from Chicago is one of the greatest gifts and assets to me in my career and my life.”

The brand new studio equipment reportedly consists of mixing boards, musical instruments, microphones, and sound panels, and as previously mentioned, Williams played a major role in making the prison studio possible. In fact, it was originally attorney Ari Williams’ idea, and thanks to a family connection, she was able to get Common involved in the project.

“I know music brings us all together. I want them to be OK. I want them to do something they’ve love to do,” Williams tells CBS Chicago. “And I know many of them are rappers. They love to rap, and they love to sing. This brings so much hope for them and inspiration for them. To know people actually care about them, that can change them as well.”

In addition to the state-of-the-art recording studio, Common’s nonprofit, Imagine Justice, will be facilitating a 12-week course that will even cut down on the sentences for eligible inmates. Alyssa Williams of the Department of Corrections explains how that process would work, saying, “Everyday they’re in this program they’ll earn a day credit off of their sentence, as long as the statute allows for that.”

Seet the footage of Common’s recent visit to Stateville Correctional Center below to check out the prison’s brand new studio equipment. 

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