The Prison Music Project’s “I Can’t Breathe” is a visceral track that still rings true years after it was performed

Saturday, September 26, 2020


The Prison Music Project was started back in 2010 by the singer songwriter Zoe Boekbinder when they visited the New Folsom Prison for a day. Little did they know that this one trip would turn into a decade long collaboration that would see them working, teaching and performing with the musicians who were incarcerated behind the prison walls. Now that collaboration has turned into a fully fledged album titled Long Time Gone and whilst there were a lot of good tracks here none of them stood out like I Can’t Breathe did for me. It’s a free style that is performed by the inmates Sincere and Baby Shell Dog years before its release after the murder of Eric Garner and the poignant and passionate lyrics still ring true all these years later. The visceral performance reflects the issues of the system that whilst he is incarcerated the killers of these black men are wandering free. It’s powerful stuff and the project itself is incredible.


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