Talib Kweli Talks Prison Industrial Complex & Slavery

Few rappers are bold enough to defy the norm and speak out about the social issues of our times. However, there are exceptions to the rule. During a concert in California, Jay-Z shouted out “California, build more schools, less prisons”, in support of Proposition 47.


The latest rapper to take a political stance against the prison industrial complex is no other than social conscious rapper Kweli.

“Just from my perception being a young, black man growing in up Brooklyn, prison and the prison-industrial complex seems to be one of the biggest drains on society. It seems to be a problem that you can have a direct effect on with grassroots activism and even possibly voting,” states the Black Star rapper.

“Prison is for profit. [In] America, a small group of people get rich off of imprisoning people,” explained Kweli. “This is a country that was built on slave labor. It’s sort of like the backbone of this country. We have a?value system that celebrates giving people nothing and extracting everything from them. Because of it we’ve become the greatest country in the world, so when slavery was ended America naturally formed a replacement for slavery.”