As of 2008, there were an estimated 846,000 black men in American prisons. If current trends are allowed to continue, a full 30% of that demographic will spend some portion of their life behind bars. But it’s impossible to gauge the full effects of what author Michelle Williams terms “The New Jim Crow” until you factor in the emotional and often material hardship experienced by parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends of the incarcerated. On Heavy Rain, the latest single off his forthcoming album, Denzil Porter offers a firsthand account of the pain, describing the stories of his brother, Donald, and two childhood friends named Stephen and Sunny were locked up without due process for trumped-up, unfair or even entirely false charges. Christopher “Claws” Stevens provides understated boardwork to back the Bronx representative’s bars. Fans will be able to find this powerful cut, the previously-featured Whole Lotta O’s and much more on Porter’s Pot, scheduled for release in November.
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