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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Kanye West Was Co-Nominated with Larry Hoover Jr. for a Grammy Award for 'Donda'

Kanye West shared his Grammy nomination for 'Donda' with Larry Hoover Junior. Larry speaks on the track "Jesus Lord pt 2." He explains why he feels that his father, Larry Hoover Sr., formerly known as the leader of the Gangster Disciples, has been unjustly sentenced to life in prison. Larry Senior has served close to 50 years in prison-most of this sentence has been on a 23 hour a day lockdown schedule in Colorado's ADX Supermax prison.

His initial conviction was for ordering a murder during the early 1970s with his co-defendant, Andrew Howard. Despite being a model prisoner and working to receive parole, Hoover was being investigated by the feds; and, in 1997, was convicted of running a criminal enterprise from prison.

His relatives and supporters have always considered his second sentence stringent and not completely legitimate. Dr. Clemens Bartollas, a sociology professor from the University of Northern Iowa, made the following comments about Hoover via The Chicago Tribune, "They're holding him because they're afraid of him," he said. "They're afraid of his political power. "I've been very impressed with his intent," he said. "I believe he can contribute to our de-escalating gangs in Iowa."

Dr. Bartollas had an arrangement with the Illinois Department of Corrections that allowed Larry to speak to his sociology class via phone about the impact of gangs on society. Dr. Bartollas could not maintain this relationship once Hoover was transferred to Colorado.

Another supporter of the Hoover family is Rap-A-Lot Records executive James Prince. During the 90s, Larry made a guest appearance on James' artists, The Geto Boys' album, The Resurrection. On the track "A Visit With Larry Hoover," Larry explained to James during a conversation that he feels the rationale behind the incarceration of most blacks is financial profit. See Larry's lyrics below:

"And the cold game is what they're doing now, they done put the prisons on the open market, you know, it's on the stock exchange. Big companies own prisons now. They all got stock in prisons—MasterCard, Smith Barney." He further explained to James how his family had been negatively impacted by his incarceration and prevented from making an honest living. To listen to the song, click here

Last year, James Prince organized a free Larry Hoover benefit concert, where Kanye West and Drake performed in Los Angeles to support the "Free Larry Hoover" movement. Kanye is a Chicago native, as is the Hoover family, and highly knowledgeable about the legacy of Larry Hoover. Larry Hoover Jr.'s guest appearance on Kanye's album and his campaign, "Free My Father," are additional efforts to get Larry released from prison.

Here are Jr.'s lyrics from Jesus Lord pt2:

"What up, Ye? This Larry Hoover Jr

First and foremost, I wanna thank you for taking the fight for my father to the Oval Office

You might not have been the only one that could've did that, but you were the one that did do that

And with your assistance, we can continue to let the world take part in this fight

You know, to me it kind of feels like, me, my mother, my brothers, and my kids have all been incarcerated through this journey and we haven't even been to jail

We have been looked at and treated as criminals for being a part of this family

My father's truth and the reality that he raised me in is that he wanted to make a change in this community (Tell me if you know someone that needs)

Because the conditions in this capitalist society is what made him and it's what made the children of today

After twenty-five years of bein' locked down, twenty-three and one, my father has not called any shots from one of the most secure and segregated prisons in the world

And will not, once released, call any shots for the Gangster Disciples

If my father's intentions were to lead us to death, destruction, into the hell that he has had to live in for the past twenty-six years

Man, he would be dead to me

I didn't sign up for that

I didn't stay on this journey this long for that

All my life, man, I've been waitin' for my father to come home

They told me when I graduated eighth grade, he would be home

Then they told me when I graduate from high school, he would be home

I went away to Morris Brown, I graduated, and he still ain't home

Now I'm an adult, and my daughter went away to college and graduated

He still not home

Now even more than that, my son, he graduated eighth grade and we still waitin'

Matter of fact, he hasn't hugged, kissed, or touched any of his grandchildren

And they haven't been able to touch they grandfather

Even though it is not seen that way for some of us, but for many of us, Larry Hoover is a beacon of hope for his community who deserves to breathe free air

Free my father (Jesus), Mr. Larry Hoover Sr. (Lord)."

Click play below for the song.

The Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert-Photo Credits: Getty Images, @larryhooverjr_ and @jprincerespect (Instagram)


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