Additional Film Info

Music Videos

Inspire (Teddy Kane)

Lay My Burden Down  (Garland Carr)

Freedom Wind (Garland Carr)

Lost One (Teddy Kane)

Radio Interview

Click here to listen to a radio interview with Speech Thomas.

16 BARS (2018)



Available for streaming until Nov 25 at 11PM MT.


Each stream is $5.99 and will be available for purchase from 3pm MT, on November 19 through 3pm MT on November 22. Once unlocked after purchasing, viewers will have 72 hours to watch.


One dollar ($1) from each stream will be donated directly to the 16 BARS recidivism campaign – The Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows.


16 BARS is a feature length music documentary that offers a rare glimpse at the human stories — and songs — that are locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons. The film follows a unique rehabilitation effort in the Richmond City Justice Center that invites inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, 4 men collaborate on an album with a Grammy®-winning recording artist, Todd “Speech” Thomas, from the iconic activist hip-hop group Arrested Development. As the creative process unfurls, each of these men must unearth painful memories from the past, which hold a key to a new chapter in their lives.


The film is set in Richmond, Virginia, the former seat of the confederacy, where the legacy of systemic racism, a spiraling opioid crisis, generational poverty, and a lack of mental health services have entrapped many of its citizens in a cycle of incarceration, making the city itself a unique case study for rising recidivism rates in the U.S. at large. With the U.S. locking up more of its citizens per capita than any other nation on the planet, the music of the film serves as rare testimony to the raw and messy truth behind the criminal justice system’s revolving door.


Following the film there will be a pre-recorded Q&A from May 2020, created by the California Film Institute and Rafael Theater, featuring filmmaker Sam Bathrick, film subject Speech Thomas and moderated by Steve Michelson, ED of The Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows.