The 25 Realest Rap Songs About Prison

Suga Free "I Wanna Go Home (The County Jail Song)" (1997)

Producer: DJ Quik
Album: Street Gospel
Label: Polygram

Yes, county jail isn't prison. Pedantry aside, Suga Free's "I Wanna Go Home (The County Jail Song)" takes a startlingly creative approach to addressing a harsh reality of our incarceration nation. Prison doesn't just lack hospitable living arrangements and a feeling of personal security; many prisoners also live without the basic building blocks of modern musical production.

Luckily, rap is a perfect art form to adapt to this reality, because all it requires is a beat and a story. And a tabletop beatbox is more than enough accompaniment for Suga Free's narrative about life behind bars. "I used to beat on walls, bunks—man, check this shit out," the rapper says, introducing a pimp's story about losing his prostitute while sitting behind bars in county jail, anticipating his freedom. —David Drake

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