J. Cole Visits Inmates at San Quentin State Prison During Tour

Nicholas Hunt

J. Cole is busy rocking the mic on his 4 Your Eyez Only tour, but he made time to visit inmates at San Quentin State Prison on Tuesday. His visit was timely given Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only album touches on incarceration and social justice. The North Carolina rap superstar has been vocal about mass incarceration throughout his career.

The humble “Neighbors” rapper, not one for grandiose social media bragging, hasn’t posted any flicks from the recent visit yet. But his team was there to give fans a glimpse into what Cole does behind the scenes that isn’t always publicized. For this specific trip, Cole chatted with men serving life sentences.

Dreamville President Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad posted the below photos of Cole and the inmates on IG. But Hamad noted the meaningfulness of the experience wasn’t something that could be conveyed on social media.

“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,” Hamad wrote.

Felton Brown, head of Art Direction and Graphic Design at Dreamville, also accompanied Cole to the San Francisco area prison. He posted a few photos of his own.

“One of the most moving moments since this new journey,” Brown wrote. “Spent a day with some brothers whose stories go unheard behind the wall. Learned a lot, so much work to be done. “This system will try to not give you a voice but we’re listening.”

Brown ain’t never lied because Dreamville certainly is listening. In October 2011, Cole founded the Dreamville Foundation. The nonprofit aims to connect urban youth with the resources they need to pursue their dreams. Programs include a back to school giveaway and a Nobody’s Perfect writing contest.

In Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only HBO documentary he traveled to the south to speak with low-income residents about their experiences with housing, felon voting laws and racial segregation. Just a few years earlier, Cole traveled to Ferguson, Missouri where 18-year-old Mike Brown was killed by police in the summer of 2014.

Cole will be performing at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Wednesday night. The rapper performs a number of his sets in an orange prison jumpsuit.