This Week in Beat Making: Sounds from a Notorious Panamanian Prison

Beat Making Lab builds studios in cultural centers around the world and train youth musicians in the art of beat making.

I was headed to Panama to build a Beat Making Lab—a mobile electronic studio—at a community center in Portobelo when my business partner Apple Juice Kid got an interesting call. Apparently there was a studio in the rain forests of Gamboa, where an incarcerated DJ named Professor Angel Sound was making beats in a prison—the same prison that houses Manuel Noriega (yes, the real Noriega).

We didn't know what to expect, but we did everything we could to get permission to go in there and collaborate with him. When we finally got the green light from the warden, we took a taxi out to Gamboa and ended up at a studio called RAM, or Rehabilitacion a Traves de la Musica (rehabilitation through music) where Apple Juice Kid and Professor Angel Sound created a beat with found sounds recorded around the studio/prison cell.

Audio samples included a leaky faucet, clicking handcuffs, a guitar, and an enthusiastic inmate with an appetite for macaroni and cheese. Prof. Angel Sound is a real interesting dude—he told us that he ended up in prison after being blackmailed into muling cocaine for the Nigerian mafia. Turning a negative into a positive, he's done some incredible work with RAM during his time on the inside. He told us, "Music is an amazing medicine for the soul and for the spirit." So we made a little medicine with him. Check it out in the video below:


Beat Making Lab builds studios in cultural centers around the world and trains youth musicians in the art of beat making. This post is part of a weekly series on GOOD—follow our adventures with new episodes here every Wednesday.

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading