According to the Sentencing Project, a whopping one in three black men are incarcerated a year — a shocking percentage, especially when compared to the 1 in 17 white men imprisoned a year. Ty Dolla $ign‘s brother, Big TC, is one of those men, who is fourteen years into his life sentence, serving for a murder he swears he didn’t commit. In an exclusive interview with HollywoodLife, Ty Dolla $ign revealed the most impressionable moment of his successful rapping career occurred in the studio when he was on the phone with his brother, and fellow rapper Wale walked in. “On Sign Language, there was a song I was making with my brother, who’s in prison right now, and while we were on the phone, Wale walked in the room and he was one of my brother’s favorite artists, still is now, and when he came in I could just feel like my brother was super hype,” Ty Dolla $ign explained at the Stoli Loud and Clear launch event in NYC. “I could just tell that he was really inspired by that moment, feeling like, ‘Okay, the music is getting bigger.’ We got like hardest stuff that we love coming through the studio and hopping on our songs and it just felt good. That was one of the best times ever in the studio, just knowing that I can make him feel good and that little box he’s in.”
Ty’s Sign Language came out in Feb. 2018, he just celebrated his first number one single on “Psycho” with Post Malone and he most recently collaborated with Kanye West on his new album Ye. While his career continues to sore, he can’t help but think about his little brother’s incarceration. “He’s locked up for for no reason, basically,” Ty told HollywoodLife. “I know there’s many people that are going through that same thing, so y’all can relate.”
It’s true — Meek Mill just gave a powerful performance of his song “Stay Woke!” at the BET Awards, which details his incarceration and the disproportionate number of black men imprisoned in the US. “One mistake and getting caged in/You gotta feel me, feel like the system trying to kill me/Got arrested and the charges F1 for popping wheelies, stay woke,” Meek raps on the new single, which features Miguel. Artists like Ty and Meek continue the fight to lower the statistics that haunt the already over-crowded prison system in the United States.