A rap video shot by, and starring, inmates inside a UK prison has emerged on YouTube.
The video appears to have been made under the noses of guards, shot on smuggled phones in a wing of Forest Bank prison, Salford.
Featuring two inmates from Forest Bank prison, the professionally produced music video shows them mouthing the words to a rap in their cells, with officers nowhere to be seen.
The video was posted on YouTube and so far has had 178,000 views.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, a spokesperson for the privately-run prison said: “We constantly review our activity to tackle the issue”.
The two-minute clip, featuring rappers named L1 Manny and Mazza L20, states it is ‘filmed by all the mandem’ and starts with a message reading: “This music video was filmed on the wings”.
It includes wide shots of prisoners associating on a wing outside their cells and also a screenshot of a story in the Manchester Evening News published in January last year, about a prison officer who brought paper laced with spice into the jail.
One of the rappers is then seen strolling along a corridor outside the cells mouthing the lyrics to the rap and making one of many gun signs.
In another section, inmates can be seen walking around the prison yard. One of the lines in the rap states: “Do you know what it’s like when you lose hope, seven years straight and you still gotta do sosh.”
At the end of the video, viewers are directed to a number of Instagram accounts including one for Manny which includes a picture which appears to show him making another gun sign beside a cell door, surrounded by other inmates.
It is the latest in a string of incidents at the prison, which is operated by Sodexo on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. For instance, earlier this week the MEN revealed an inmate was taken to hospital following a ‘ten-man-brawl’.
On January 4, an inmate died at the prison, the latest in a series of deaths there. Other fatalities include Michael McDonagh, 27, who was found unresponsive in his cell in February 2019 and 63-year-old Raymond Lucy, who was found dead in his cell in July of that year. More recently, an inmate died at the prison in June of last year.
Also, in December firefighters were called to put out a fire at the prison. In October, the M.EN. reported how vandals damaged three cars belonging to staff. It followed a similar wrecking spree in July when another three cars were vandalised.
In May, the prisons’ watchdog slammed the privately-run prison which was ‘unable to fill its role successfully’. Their report also noted ‘an ongoing problem with mice’.
The damning report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons detailed ‘cramped and overcrowded cells’ in the category B jail. The watchdog’s unannounced visit in February found the jail had 1,354 prisoners, nearly 300 above its baseline capacity.
Sodexo’s contract runs until 2025.
Asked about the rap video, a spokesperson for HMP Forest Bank said: “We can confirm that this video was filmed several months ago. The use of mobile phones in any prison is illegal, and we constantly review our activity to tackle the issue.
“Where individual prisoners are identified, action is taken.”