Rahway state prison, (now called the East Jersey State Prison) is one of the rare U.S correctional facilities that has access to a recording studio. Max B being transferred to this correctional institution was not a coincidence. It was previously requested by his lawyers during his final court date on September 16, 2016, and was part of the whole strategy set up by his brilliant team (Phaseone, Sharon Wingate & Masar Tv).
So the question remains —”when can we expect new songs from Max B?”. Hard to predict, as there is no feasible traces of new music being recorded at the East Jersey State Prison (EJSP) since the Lifers Group’s album in 1991. However, our source inside the EJSP has confirmed that there is indeed still a recording studio installed there, which make us feel very optimistic about the situation, and also reinforced the statement made on twitter by his longtime friend French Montana saying that Max B has access to a recording studio which should lead to new music being released soon. “My brother Max B got a studio in the new jail, Cokewave coming soon” he said.
Max B has been recording songs over the phone for quite some time now. Masar, his personal engineer explains: “I talk to him almost every day. For years he used to rap A Cappella over the phone, and I’ve synced his voice to the beat in my studio, but due to the poor quality of the audio, we’ve decided to put an end to it. With the team, we are now seeking an alternative solution in order to capture his vocal properly“.
Rappers recording and releasing music from jail isn’t new, ask C-Murder and Gucci Mane. However, prison rules vary slightly from state to state. In 1971, It took Record Producer George Kerr 2 years and 500 letters to the Superintendent of Prisons in Washington DC to get the permission to record his band “The Escorts” at the EJSP where Max is actually incarcerated. Max B’s team will certainly follow George Kerr‘s footsteps in order to have the Boss Don Biggavel back in the booth as soon as possible. Stay tuned.
My brother max b got a studio in the new jail cokewave coming soon 🏄🏻🏄🏻
— French Montana (@FrencHMonTanA) November 6, 2016
Curious about the history of the music that has been recorded inside the East Jersey State Prison? Then read the following article:
History of music recorded behind the walls of the East Jersey State Prison
The Escorts | 1973
In 1973 Reginald Haynes, who had been convicted as a teenager of armed robbery formed a prison band called “the Escorts”. They were later discovered at the Rahway State Prison talent show by record producer George Kerr.
Unprecedentedly, After two years of correspondence spent convincing the warden, Kerr was allowed to bring a mobile recording studio to the prison and laid down the vocals for the first album.
George Kerr explained: “Originally, I didn’t feel like going but once I was in the prison and I heard all these musicians, I liked what I saw. I remember turning to my wife and telling her I thought it would be great to record the group. She thought I was out of my mind and that I was never going to get it done.
I started talking to the prison warden and explained that I was a professional record producer and he had the same reaction. The moment he said, “you can’t!” I remembered a time when I’d said that same thing to producer Richard Barrett when he was doing a session with me and The Imperials. He told me, “Don’t ever use that word around me!” and when the warden said the same thing to me, that gave me the incentive to show I could do it, I could record these guys, even in prison.”
Kerr persisted in his mission and five hundred letters and two years later, a mobile recording truck pulled up outside Rahway Prison. “I did some research and found out that it cost about $964 to house an inmate and that if the authorities let me record them, they could pay for themselves,” says Kerr. “I went before the Superintendent of Prisons in Washington DC and explained that to them. It took a lot of work but they eventually gave me permission to record The Escorts.
After rehearsing the group on regular visits to Rahway over a period of five months at a piano in the prison auditorium. “We actually did the vocals in the psychiatric ward because it was sound-proofed!” says Kerr. “Before we did the sessions, I was on the phone to all of the New York newspapers and television stations to tell them what we were doing and when I got to the prison, there were all these newsmen with cameras…”
Kerr decided to make a second album: three of the members of the group were out of prison while the other four remained inside hence the title of the group’s sophomore project, “3 Down, 4 To Go.” In a twist of irony, the three freed former inmates had to go back into Rahway for the recording of the album. “..Who do you know that walked into a prison of their own free will! We recorded the second album in exactly the same way as before…
Tell us a little bit about how the Escorts got started.
Reginald Haynes: I was sentenced to prison when I was 18 years old, and I was just not into the things I found were going on around me. So I put together a group. We had no name. We just sang to occupy our time. That was in Trenton State Prison in New Jersey. I was transferred to Rahway State Prison, and they had what was called ‘institutional talent shows’, in which groups and individual singers, guys who had any type of talent, would get together and put on a show for the prisoners. They allowed us to invite our families.
After our performance this guy named George Kerr came running backstage and said he’s been in the business for over 30 years, and we’re the best group he’s ever heard and he’s got to record us. Of course, we thought he was crazy. This was a maximum security prison and we were all doing time. It was unheard of. But he was serious. He worked from the outside, we worked from the inside. We wrote everybody we could think of, we begged and cajoled, and two years later he got permission to come in and record us.
The Lifers’ Group | 1991
The Lifers’ Group, a government-sponsored hip hop music program for long term inmates, started at East Jersey State Prison.
In 1991 inmate Maxwell Melvins and 12 other inmates incarcerated at the East Jersey State Prison (originally Rahway State Prison), formed a rap band called the Lifer’s Group. While behind bars, They was able to record an entire album in the band room of the Rahway State prison.