Rapper-turned-activist Chi Ali is taking a stand against solitary confinement in prisons. The Bronx-born "Age Ain't Nothing But a #" MC spent 12 years in prison for the shooting death of his girlfriend's brother. While behind bars, Chi Ali turned his life around and earned a bachelor's degree in behavioral science. Once out, Ali's number one focus has become advocating the end of "brutal" practice.

In a new interview with The Root out today (April 8), Ali gave a personal testimony about the hells he faced when put in solitary confinement, sometimes for up to 90 days, and discussed his platform against the disciplinary tactic.

"Solitary confinement is prison on top of prison. You can say it's awful, and it is. Solitary confinement and prison, too, they're awful, but until you experience it, it's only words," explained the 39-year-old artist. "It's definitely a tool used to break individuals."

Ali shared his stories in part to help promote Hip Hop 4 Human Rights, a rally-concert the artist/activist will be taking part in on April 12, in Albany, N.Y. The rally's goal is to end such punishment in New York prisons and help improve the police state in general. Other hip-hop artists and personalities down for the cause and expected to attend include Ahmen, Peter Gunz, Mysonne Linen, DJ Kay Slay and Ricky Jones of the Harlem Restoration Project. The aim of the rally is to not only increase awareness of the problem but produce solutions for the justice and prison system.

"I'm not saying that individuals don't need to be dealt with to keep law and order," says Ali. "I don't think putting someone in an empty room is addressing those issues."

Check out Ali's interview in full on The Root now.

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