Lecrae selected the winning lyrics from hundreds of submissions and will record the song on-site with the winner at Central California Women’s Facility in early 2022
DALLAS, TX, November 10, 2021 — JPay, an Aventiv Technologies company providing communication services and free educational and re-entry resources to correctional facilities, announced the winner of its inaugural “Original Hip-Hop Track Contest,” which was open to incarcerated individuals in participating State Department of Corrections facilities (DOCs). The winner, Ms. Carmela Mose, is currently incarcerated at Central California Women’s Facility and was chosen from hundreds of submissions read and assessed by students at the Department of Music at Morris Brown College (MBC), a historically Black college in Atlanta.
As part of this first-of-its kind contest, participants were asked to compose original lyrics and a song title to one of three beats produced by the hip-hop record producer Zaytoven. The students at MBC then selected 25 finalists. Grammy Award–winning artist Lecrae, who chose Ms. Mose as the winner, will meet Ms. Mose at her facility to record her lyrics on-site. The song will be made available for free to all incarcerated individuals who have access to the JPay and Securus music platform. Lecrae will be donating 100% of his compensation for participating in the campaign to non-profit organizations that serve incarcerated individuals and those re-entering society. Reach Records, Lecrae’s label, also will make the song available across streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon. All proceeds will benefit a 501(c)(3) charity located in the state of California to support the re-entry efforts in the community.
“I’m grateful to have been a partner in this unique campaign that highlights the undiscovered talent of our often-forgotten sisters and brothers currently incarcerated,” said Lecrae, a Christian rapper known for his engagement in faith-based activism and social justice efforts. “This contest is about instilling hope for a better future, and the reason for my involvement is straightforward and simple: giving someone the chance to tell their story through the power of music and possibly change the direction of their life. I look forward to meeting Ms. Mose and providing her with this opportunity to officially join the hip-hop community and use her lyrics to inspire others.”
JPay worked with eight DOCs to give their incarcerated population the opportunity to participate in this inaugural contest. The rules were simple: the lyrics must be original, positive, and free of any profanity, violence, or gang references.
“This contest was an extraordinary experience for our organization. We have the ability to bring a campaign of this magnitude to life using our infrastructure and technology and to use this opportunity to create a life-changing experience for the winner,” said Dave Abel, President and CEO of Aventiv Technologies, Parent Company of JPay. “Lecrae’s music and his presence in the incarcerated community has impacted so many, and we are grateful for his partnership with this initiative. We congratulate Ms. Mose and look forward to hearing her song when it is released in 2022.”
Due to COVID-19 protocols being reinstated in the facility, the recording and distribution of the song have been moved to early 2022. The health and safety of all those at Central California Women’s Facility and all of the facilities we serve remains our primary concern.
This campaign is part of Aventiv Technologies’ multi-year commitment to transform its business practices. The organization is focused on five key areas of improvement, including listening and responsiveness. Consumers voiced their need for more initiatives that humanize the incarceration experience, and through the Original Hip Hop Track contest, the world will soon hear the voice and message of one extremely talented winner, Carmela Mose.
Facility contest participants include California (California Institute for Women; California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility at Corcoran; Central California Women’s Facility; High Desert State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison), Idaho, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, North Dakota and the Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehab Center, and Washington state.