NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Davidson County Jail inmate was able to get a film crew behind bars and record part of his new music video without anyone knowing.
What we often see in music videos is recreated to make a certain image, but the images in rapper “Struggle Jennings” video are very real from inside the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) jail.
“A lot of people have stories to tell that might help a young person change their life and make sure they don’t end up in jail; there are messages to be told,” said DCSO spokesperson Karla West.
While serving time for drug related charges, Struggle Jennings, whose birth name is William Harness, was able to arrange a camera crew to come inside the jail and film parts of his rap music video “Black Curtains.
“They came to us saying they wanted to shoot a documentary,” said West.
She said like any request for a documentary or media interview, she and an officer were with the crew and inmate the entire time.
“They sat there and asked him 20 minutes worth of questions, just as they would with any documentary about his life and different things like that. At the end they asked, as part of the documentary, could he mouth some of the words to his song and I allowed that.”
What West said she was told; those final moments would be used in a music video later posted on Harness Blog and YouTube for the world to view.
“Again we were duped when it seems as though now, their purpose from the beginning was to try to get that accomplished so it could turn into a video, not a documentary at all,” said West.
The song is a message to Harness’ son about not following down the same path that landed him in jail, but West says, “The lie completely covers up whatever the message is of the song.”
West said the interview was shot in November of 2012, two weeks before Harness was transferred to a Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain city, Tenn.
The sheriff’s office did not find out about the video until last week and West said, “We don’t want people to believe we would just open our doors and allow this to happen and know it.”
West said Sheriff Daron Hall sent a letter to the out of state production company, Creativity for Hire, asking to remove any footage of the facility, anything depicting DCSO and any video showing the sheriff’s deputy.
Legal options are being explored by the DCSO, because West said the production company misrepresented their purpose.