Prison inmate rap video shot in jail sparks investigation

You can call it bars behind bars. A rap video has gotten a lot of traction and even praise for a music video shot in prison and posted on YouTube.

The men behind it are now in segregation and facing more prison time, and they’re not alone. An investigation is underway after two Macomb Correctional Facility inmates got a hold of cell phones and shot a music video inside their cell.

Guards found a YouTube link written on a piece of paper while conducting a routine search.

"They then looked at it and pulled it up online and then found it was a video that had clearly been shot inside that prison," said Chris Gautz.

Gautz, the spokesman for Michigan’s Department of Corrections, says the video was shot back in September and was posted on YouTube, November 3rd.

Guards did not discover it until a week or so later. The video had about 200 views then. It’s now racked up more than 18,000 and counting

"The prisoners who were in the video certainly made no attempts to hide or disguise who they were, so staff was able to recognize them and go to their cell and confront them about this," said Gautz.

Those inmates could face additional prison time. Having a cell phone in jail is illegal.

"Because while you can make rap videos with them, that’s one thing you can do with a contraband cell phone," Gautz said. "But you can also effectuate an escape, you could put out a hit on another staff member, another prisoner, a member of the public. You could harass witnesses, you could intimidate your victims.

"There’s a whole number of things untoward that you can do with contraband cellphones."

This is not the first controversy coming out of the correctional facility.

An inmate died from an overdose there in 2021, two inmates were murdered there this year — the warden is suspended and barred from entering the prison while the investigation continues.

MDOC is not releasing the names of the men in the video, but says one of them was convicted of second-degree murder, the other armed robbery.

One of the inmates was convicted twice of possessing prisoner contraband while doing a stretch at Muskegon Correctional Facility.

Officials are vowing to find out how they got the phones.

"Did they get them through the mail, did they come in through a visit, were they thrown over a  fence," Gautz said. "(Or) did they come in some other way?

"Whenever there’s a crime like this that occurs, we want to see something be pushed to the fullest extent of the law. Not only for those prisoners, but if our investigation is to lead us to find out who brought those in we want to see that person prosecuted as well."

All parties could get five-year penalties for the phones, considered prison contraband,  State police is investigating and inmates could be moved to maximum security prison pending the outcome of the investigations.