(AllHipHop News) David Jassey was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison for over 11 years until California Governor Gavin Newsom commuted his sentence in March. While in the penitentiary, the Swedish songwriter/producer started a music program as a way to offer a rehabilitative tool for fellow inmates and deter them from violent behavior.
During his time behind bars, Jassey also curated what would become a 17-track album titled San Quentin Mixtape, Vol 1. The Hip Hop project was written, recorded, and produced from inside San Quentin State Prison over the course of four years.
“Music is a form of therapy that unites people from all backgrounds,” says Jassy. “I really wanted to use this program to help the young, talented kids I saw rapping on the yard”
The former Navigators member adds, “I didn’t want them to waste their potential and channel their energy into violent behavior, so it is a blessing to finally introduce this project to the world. It’s been incredible to watch these guys flex their creative muscles and get the support of the music and entertainment industry.”
Youthful Offenders Program’s San Quentin Mixtape, Vol 1 opens with personal messages from music industry figures J. Cole, DJ Khaled, Common, T.I., Russell Simmons, Meek Mill, Snoh Aalegra, Maxwell, Nick Cannon, Talib Kweli, and Fat Joe. Criminal justice reform proponent Kim Kardashian West is a supporter of the effort as well.
“This album is truly a testament to the power of music,” Fat Joe states. “It’s inspiring to watch these young men use music as a rehabilitative tool – both to express themselves and send a positive message to communities across the country. Creating an album is a complex process, so for these young men to achieve this goal from within San Quentin State Prison, they should be very proud.”
All proceeds from sales of San Quentin Mixtape, Vol. 1 will benefit the National Center for Victims of Crime, The Boys & Girls Club of Oakland, and Potrero Hill Neighborhood House (The Nabe). Since his release, David Jassy returned to Sweden. He plans to resume his professional music career while still providing beats for the Music Program at San Quentin State Prison.