“Speech” from Arrested Development collaborates with currently and formerly incarcerated musicians on new “Track Change“ podcast

April 17, 2024

Track Change follows a group of men in Richmond City Jail as they record an album that chronicles their efforts to break free from a cycle of addiction and incarceration. Launching April 17, the music-infused five-part series takes listeners behind the walls of the Virginia jail, as rapper and musician Todd ‘Speech’ Thomas collaborates with the currently and formerly incarcerated to help them tell their stories through song.

I hope that … Track Change will disarm a lot of the stereotypes about people who are incarcerated.

“In each episode, Speech, the founder of the Grammy-winning hip-hop collective Arrested Development and widely regarded as the ‘Godfather of Conscious Hip-Hop,’ meets both novice and experienced musicians at personal crossroads in their respective uphill battles for freedom. Through frank and vulnerable conversations, he learns what brought them to this inflection point and helps them complete a song that captures this critical moment in their life. From haunting country to fiery hip-hop and soulful R&B, each episode demonstrates the potential of music to break through generations of entrenched inequities — and to affirm the humanity of the people that society has written off.

“‘I hope that by centering the talents and perspectives of these men, Track Change will disarm a lot of the stereotypes about people who are incarcerated,’ says host Speech. ‘I hope the show can also help audiences recognize that there’s more that we can do for the millions of people who are released from jails and prisons every year.’

Track Change is distributed by the NPR Network, and is a joint production of Narratively and VPM.”

Listen to Track Change now at NPR.org.

Your donation to JLUSA empowers directly impacted people.

Thank you so much for supporting our mission here at JLUSA! Your donation helps to support our network of leaders working to dismantle oppressive systems and uplift people and families impacted by mass incarceration across the country.

All charitable donations made to JLUSA are fully tax deductible, as allowable by the IRS.