Photo: Screen grab of Common | By Ashantai Hathaway, Black Enterprise | Multi-talented rapper and actor Common has created a new space in a local Chicago prison that allows inmates to get away from the prison cell and into a music studio. The Oscar-, Emmy-, and Grammy award-winning Chicago native used his resources and star power to create a built-in music studio in the Stateville Correctional Facility. Inmates there now get a rare opportunity to learn about music production and put their freestyle skills to use.

“The gentlemen who are incarcerated deserve access to better things in life so that’s why I fight for my city,” Common said. “And that’s why my heart is always with Chicago.”

The prison program is a part of several charitable projects by Common and his non-profit—Imagine Justice. The organization’s mission is to provide community, civic engagement, and mental wellness to disadvantaged communities with the hope to inspire change.

Imagine Justice is launching a 12-week course for the Stateville inmates to learn about the landscape of music production. They will have a fully equipped studio with access to mixing boards, microphones, sound panels, and musical instruments. Inmates who take part in the course can also receive a shorter sentence.
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The story originally appeared as…
A Rebirth of Sound – Common’s new recording studio in a maximum security prison outside Chicago – CBS News Mornings – 11/19/21 – Jerica Duncan

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