Droppin’ Knowledge For ’Em: The Truth From Prison

March 19, 2018 / / Horizon News

Men at London Correctional Institution reach out to at-risk youth to share the reality of prison life.


They don’t tell you these stories, man, in Scared Straight.
But you ain’t scary. I can see it in your young face.
Wild juvenile. Wild, wild juvenile.
It ain’t too late to straighten up, man, and turn around.
Wild Juvenile from Droppin’ Knowledge For ’Em

Prison is not glamorous. It’s not a right of passage. It’s scary. It’s lonely. And you feel like you are dead to the world.

No one knows this better than the 55,000 men and women who live inside Ohio prisons today.

To reach out to at-risk youth, men incarcerated at London Correctional Institution recently filmed a series of YouTube videos with the hope to deter some of them from a similar fate.

DeCarlo Blackwell, Institutional Inspector for the prison, spearheaded the Droppin’ Knowledge For ’Em project to educate people about the perils of prison life.

“The men in the videos have made mistakes in their lives which have cost them relationships, family, friends, children, and, ultimately, their freedom,” Blackwell said. “These men are committed to droppin’ knowledge to you because they have seen their ‘truth’ was a lie which was influenced by negative messages that came from their families, schools, music videos, and their communities.”

With help from Horizon Program Coordinator Dr. Richard Boone and several Horizon participants, the series includes inspirational raps and speeches from men who have spent years in prison, away from the people they love.

You can watch the Droppin’ Knowledge For ’Em by clicking the links below. Then click the Share link to post the videos on your social media pages or email them to teachers, family, and friends.

Droppin’ Knowledge For ‘Em Introduction

Wild Juvenile

Purpose of Dropping Knowledge For ‘Em

Just Because I Wanna

Droppin’ Knowledge


Wild Juvenile Lyrics

They don’t tell you all these stories man, in Scared Straight
You ain’t scary. I can see it in your young face
Wild juvenile, wild, wild juvenile
They don’t tell you all these stories man, in Scared Straight
But it’s a scary, scary place inside these prison gates
Wild juvenile, wild, wild juvenile
It ain’t too late to straighten up, man, and turn around

You feel this judged you, well, man, I relate
How to wake up lonely every morning in this prison place
I’m Grandma’s baby. An inmate’s what Ohio made me.
You think I’m crazy. I’m 498280.
They switched my name for a number. It’s how they play me.
They call me “Inmate Thomas,” and it remind me daily.

I lost my rights, lost my freedom, miss my story, well
I came to jail a kid, and I was raised in hell
I sat in cells many years. My other peers, they walk the stage
Graduated. I’m sentenced here
18 years, 18 years, ain’t that life?
Now I did wrong, where I’m from doing wrong is right
Yeah, and I done paid the price.
Y’all wanna know what it cost, huh?
Those that love me, really love me keep on dying off
And I lost more than freedom inside a prison, dog I held that phone. My granny’s died. My last call.

Preaching nah won’t reach ya. Live and learn
They said, “That stove is hot.” I felt the burn.
I’m telling you listen. Man, I’m telling you listen
You can go in the kitchen get those burns and those blisters

Play it cool, stay in school, the wise always rule
You never been a dummy, so never be a fool. Your mind a terrible thing to waste. I gotta say
when you good at sports catch the ball. It’s not the case.
When you in this place, your family’s doing time
When you in this place, man, this was something mine

I hope he learned this lesson here. I hope you change
I hope you do, homey. This prison life is lame.
Some people say they like they never come around
I feel like I’m dead to the world now.
The places I have been. The lessons I have learned.
I share ’em with you, little  homey, cuz I’m concerned

And they don’t tell you all the stories, man, in Scared Straight
But you ain’t scary. I can see it in your young face.
See, I been down this same road so, yes, I relate
Nobody understands your struggles. You feel out of place

An adolescent state of mind. It’s a cold world
This ain’t the place you wanna be. Ain’t nothing here for you
And if your family’s there, too, you keep your head cool
And if you wanna stay free you need to stay in school

One thought on “Droppin’ Knowledge For ’Em: The Truth From Prison

  • Very educational, a good community resource. Would like the men to speak on the impact prison life has on their famiies. The financial burdens, the loneliness and rebuilding inside prison walls. The roadblocks one may face when released.

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