Rapper Yo Gotti â€“ (Photo Credit: Eddy â€œPreciseâ€� Lamarre)
Hip Hip impresario Jay-Z and rap star Yo Gotti threatened two top state officials in Mississippi with a lawsuit because of abhorrent and â€œinhumaneâ€� prison conditions in the state.
The two hip hop heavyweights penned a scorching letter late last week promising that they will sue the state if prison conditions arenâ€™t improved.
Mississippi prisons have come under intense national scrutiny and pressure following another outbreak of deadly gang violence that left five dead â€” while one man remains missing â€” in Mississippi prisons.
The letter, addressed to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall, mentions frequent prison lockdowns, violence, a staffing shortage and inmates who â€œare forced to live in squalor, with rats that crawl over them as they sleep on the floor, having been denied even a mattress for a cot.â€�
Yo Gotti resoundingly denounced the prison conditions in his native state as â€œabsolutely inhumane and unconstitutional.â€�
â€œTo see this happen so close to my hometown of Memphis is truly devastating,â€� the rapperâ€™s statement said. â€œThatâ€™s why weâ€™re calling on Mississippi state leaders to take immediate action and rectify this issue. If they donâ€™t right this wrong, weâ€™re prepared to take legal action to provide relief for those that are incarcerated and their families.â€�
The governor has yet to respond to repeated media inquiries about the matter.
Jay-Zâ€™s lawyer Alex Spiro told the Clarion-Ledger that the rap mogul is in contact with â€œfolks on the ground and people within the prison system,â€� Spiro said.
â€œWe are exploring a variety of civil rights claims and constitutional claims that the prison system and the government is violating the Eighth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act,â€� Spiro told the newspaper