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Southwest Mook – “First Day In”

Familiar piano keys run behind Southwe$t Mook’s distinct Detroit accent on her new single “First Day In.” The anthem plinks are drawn from the beat for Meek Mill’s “Dreams & Nightmares,” and as the song unfolds it becomes clear that Mook’s story is intertwined with the piercing spirit of the instrumental. For the last five months, Mill had been battling the criminal justice system, while Mook is embarking on a journey of her own. Merging the underdog spirit of Meek’s now infamous intro with the raspy authenticity of Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out,” Southwe$t Mook picks up the baton where they’ve left off. In just under three minutes, Mook tells her story, detailing an unimaginable life of crime, a near-death experience, and her own bouts with incarceration.

In the video for “First Day In,” Mook flaunts an ankle monitor, which seems less like a restriction and more of a statement. Dressed in all black and draped in a fur, the song feels like a memorial service to her old life. Here, she’s addressing her demons and owning them, leaving no room for anyone to use her past against her. “Bullet through my chest, think my heart finna stop / Then my body it dropped / I hopped up like, ‘Nigga I’m shot,’” she raps as details the moments just before she was handcuffed to a hospital bed.

“First Day In” is an account of events that is a story only Southwe$t Mook can tell. It’s the story that’s led to her current incarceration, a three-year sentence at Huron Valley’s Women Prison, which chillingly started yesterday, the day before news broke that Meek would be released on bail.