San Quentin Rehabilitation Center (SQ) hosted a Summer Blast Concert for residents and volunteers. The group enjoyed hip-hop music and messages of faith through lyrical performances as part of the event.
Using their poetic skills and lived-experience, incarcerated artists and outside rappers displayed their talents in a connecting and unifying way. All the music revolved around faith and fellowship.
The event featured finalists from an earlier talent contest at SQ. They performed mostly original songs on stage to a gathered crowd of hundreds.
With a commanding stage presence, SQ resident Maurice “N8TION” Buckley pumped up the crowd with his high energy. He performed two Christian rap songs — “Bible” and “Crazy.”
“I’d rather have a Bible than a gun in my hand,” said N8TION in his lyrics.
Sponsored by Prison Fellowship Academy
Prison Fellowship Academy sponsored the event. They are one of the largest non-profits that serve the incarcerated community across the country. They have been spreading their message of hope in prisons for 47 years.
At SQ, Pastor Eric Nobles leads the fellowship academy for the community. He opened the concert by sharing a prayer with the crowd. Nobles thanked Warden Broomfield, Lt. Berry, and Lt. Gardea for their work in hosting the concert.
He spoke of how the concert uplifted the incarcerated population and showed love and faith in action.
“People talk a good game, but we are here to show our care, love, and connection because we are all made in the image of God,” said Nobles.
Lt. Berry attended the expressive hip-hop performances and shared that she believes in the power of music to inspire. She added that there are more musical events to come in the future.
“It’s great seeing how religious services tie into one’s incarceration,” said Lt. Berry.
Outside guests who came with the Prison Fellowship Academy included some talented Christian rappers and hip-hop artists. Artists such as Mustafa’ the Hood Priest, Young Preach, Wild, and Uthanasia shared their music and positive vibes with the incarcerated. With one accord, their message was that “God is good.” They emphasized that you can make a change no matter where you are by His grace.
“God is marinating some of you guys,” said Young Preach, while encouraging everyone to believe change and transformation is possible.
Mustafa’ spoke encouraging words reminding everyone how good God is. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to come into San Quentin to help pay his debt and give back.
MC Residents Henok Rufael and Rashyd Zinnamon kept the flow going, mixing in some improvisational acappella along the way.
“God is with you, and that’s what these people came in to remind us of,” said Rufael.
Story by Michael Callahan, Staff Writer, SQ News
Photos by Vincent O’Bannon, Staff Photographer, SQ News
San Quentin Rehabilitation Center