Lil Nas X raises funds for The Bail Project
Lil Nas X is raising money for the nonprofit The Bail Project to provide cash bail to people in prison across the country.
The 22-year-old singer, real name Montero Lamar Hill, made the announcement at the same time as the opening of his prison-themed music video for “Baby Industry“Thursday night.
The video shows Lil Nas X being sent to Montero State Prison, a fictional location based on his own name. In the (very NSFW) video, Lil Nas X dances with several other naked inmates before donning a pink jumpsuit and working out in the prison yard.
With the help of rapper and songwriter Jack Harlow, who features in the song, Lil Nas X leads a prison break – after a lot of dancing and celebration, of course.
But in a declaration Posted on The Bail Project’s website, the “Call Me By Your Name” frontman wrote that the devastating impact of incarceration “isn’t just mockery to me.”
“Music is my way of fighting for liberation. It’s my act of resistance, ”he wrote in part. “But I also know that real freedom requires real change in how the criminal justice system works. Starting with the cash deposit.
“It’s not just theoretical for me. It’s personal, “the singer continued.” I know the pain incarceration brings to a family. And I know the disproportionate impact of the cash bond on black Americans. “
The organization, which emerged from the New York-based Bronx Freedom Fund in 2007, aims to end the cash bond system in the United States by “providing free bail assistance and pre-trial assistance each year. to thousands of low-income people, ”according to its website.
The movement to eliminate cash bonds from the US criminal justice system has gained momentum in recent years. Opponents of the cash bond, which aims to ensure that defendants return to court if they are released pending trial, say the age-old practice is a punishment against poverty.
Supporters of ending the cash bond system say the poor and innocent should stay in jail awaiting court appearance while the rich and the guilty are free. Prisons are associated with offenders, but the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress notes that three in five people locked up in the United States have not been convicted of a felony.
Since launching in 2018, The Bail Project has said it has paid $ 47 million to bail out more than 17,000 people in more than 24 cities. This has avoided more than 100,000 days of incarceration and reduced collateral consequences such as the loss of jobs, housing and childcare.
According to The Bail Project, ranked by state, seven of the ten states with the highest incarceration rates in the United States are in the South. And black Americans are paying the price for incarceration in the region. Of all black Americans imprisoned in the United States, nearly half are in Southern jails, The Bail Project said. Many inmates also face fines and court costs that can lead to return to custody if not paid.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.