Two of the most beloved figures in pop culture hit the stage Thursday to promote the release of Larry Hoover, Founder of Chicago’s Gangster Disciples, and many more incarcerated people with harsh prison sentences. Hoover currently is serving over 200 years following a murder in 1973 and then later drug conspiracy charges in 1995.
Meanwhile, Kevin Strickland, a former Missouri Inmate, has been freed from prison after 43 years for a triple murder he didn’t commit. Both of which are Black men.
While it brought joy to fans to hear hit songs that solidified them as legends, including Kanye’s “Flashing Lights” and Drake’s “God’s Plan”, the goal of the concert was not mentioned once.
“Me, my mother, my brothers, and my kids have all been incarcerated through this journey and we haven’t even been to jail “- Larry Hoover Jr. on Kanye’s Jesus Lord
Ye’ (following a recent name change) has pleaded for the release of Larry Hoover from prison for several years. He met with Donald Trump, former U.S. president, to speak on the matter in 2018. Ye’ also featured Hoover’s Son, Larry Hoover Jr., on his latest album, DONDA, to give a different perspective on his father’s character as he remains incarcerated.
“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, said the younger Hoover. “For many of us, Larry Hoover is a beacon of hope for his community who deserves to breathe free air”, he continued.
Kanye and Drake both wore merchandise that boasted the words “FREE HOOVER” but acknowledging the concert’s goal doesn’t go much further than that. The items are currently available for presale on Amazon.com.
However, Hoover Jr. did mention how his father was concerned about the showcase being centered around his freedom may affect his chances of being released given his past. In a Dec. 7th interview on the Drea O Show, Hoover Jr. said “Him being an influential person, it won’t just disappear”. But he continued by pointing out that his father has no plans for illegal activity if he is released. “If he had an opportunity to come home to use his influence negatively, it would ridiculous”, said Hoover Jr.
The concert took place live at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles but live-streamed on Amazon Music and Prime video for free.