• About Lyrics from Lockdown


    This unbelievably true story begins when Brooklyn’s own hip hop theater innovator and spoken word champion, Bryonn Bain (60 Minutes, The Village Voice, BET’s My Two Cents), is wrongly imprisoned in NYC jails — while studying law at Harvard.  Weaving together the voices of over 40 characters into a one-man tour de force, Lyrics From Lockdown, executive produced by Gina and Harry Belafonte, is receiving extraordinary reviews around the world.  A groundbreaking multimedia production, this critically acclaimed show uses a live band and video DJ, fusing hip hop, theater, spoken word poetry, rhythm and blues, calypso and classical music, to tell a provocative story exposing racial profiling and wrongful incarceration in a nation imprisoning more people than any other in the world.

  • “Shortly after producing the film ‘Beat Street,’  in the years that followed, I grew frustrated with Hip Hop. I was disillusioned by how many artists have turned their backs on social responsibility. The world needs to see how Bryonn Bain’s Lyrics from Lockdown carries the tradition of joining art and activism as an instrument for justice –  at a time when the prison system has our communities in crisis.”

    -Harry Belafonte
    Executive Producer

  • Art and culture are creative tools to educate organize and mobilize a movement. The criminal justice system has hit pandemic proportions and our level of engagement as a community is vital to bring solution and alternatives to this crisis. Bryonn Bain’s Lyrics From Lockdown is an exemplary offering of the engagement of arts in activism and a vision of an equitable and transformative world.

    -Gina Belafonte
    Executive Producer

  • “Every moment on stage was filled with a thing of beauty.”

    -Anna Deavere Smith
    Department of Performance Studies, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
    Author of “Twilight,” Drama Desk winner and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow


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  • End Mass Incarceration Now June 1, 2016
    By THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD For more than a decade, researchers across multiple disciplines have been issuing reports on the widespread societal and economic damage caused by America’s now-40-year experiment in locking up vast numbers of its citizens. If there is any remaining disagreement about the destructiveness of this experiment, it mirrors the […]
  • Texas Prison Bans Bryonn Bain’s Book February 4, 2014
    “While Mein Kampf and other Nazi and Klan favorites are available in prisons nationwide, we have not received ANY response to this appeal (see below) to stop the ban of my book by the Texas Department of Corrections…” ATTN: APPEALS ~ The DRC Director’s Review Committee PO Box 99, Hunstville, Texas 77342-0099 Friday, March 17, […]


  • Bain on MHP: Putting St. Louis Rams’ solidarity in context

    Putting St. Louis Rams’ solidarity in context Tim Wu, Bryonn Bain, Janai Nelson and Michael Skolnik talks about the recent show of solidarity with Ferguson protests by St. Louis Rams players and how it plays into the larger context of free speech.

  • Bain on MHP: Police consider charges against Brown’s step-father

    St. Louis County police are considering whether to charge Louis Head, the step-father of Michael Brown, with inciting a riot with his comments on the night the grand jury's decision was announced in the Michael Brown case. Tim Wu, Bryonn Bain, Janai Nelso

  • Correctional Association, Now a Producer of a Lament Against the Police

    ‘Lyrics From Lockdown’ at National Black Theater It’s not every day that you see the Correctional Association of New York listed among the producers of an Off Off Broadway show, much less a truly polished, meaningful and entertaining one. But there it is on the program of “Lyrics From Lockdown,” right below the National Black Theater and right above […]

  • Walking While Black

    After hundreds of hours and thousands of pages of legal theory in law school, I have finally had my first real lesson in the Law. On Sunday, October 18, 1999, I was taken from the corner of 96th Street and Broadway by the NYPD and held overnight in a cell …