East Mississippi’s Tie to MC Hammer- It’s Hammertime!
Do you remember the days when MC Hammer took the music world by storm? Believe it or not, his heyday has a connection to the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, Mississippi. It goes through Billy Davis, the facility’s recreation manager. We’ll explain his connection to “Hammertime” in a bit. First, meet one of the most dedicated employees on site.
“He is an exceptional employee,” says Deputy Warden Ray Rice, referencing Billy. “I think he shows the BIONIC [Believe It Or Not I Care] spirit in that he cares deeply about what his job is and about the guys that come through his program. He just has that personality. He’s jovial all the time. We can ask him to do anything, even outside of recreation in the gym, and he volunteers to do extra things and help us in any way he can.”
The recreation program at East Mississippi is multi-faceted, providing a great range of activities, tournaments, and positive exercise and relaxation. The wide variety of these recreation opportunities is all spearheaded by Billy.
“I love the interaction with the offenders,” he explains, “and talking to the inmates, just getting to know them; and also showing them different things. Giving them a calm mind, relaxation, and also just giving them something to take their mind off of everything.
“A lot of the things that we do, we got to do positive, because it starts from the beginning. You can be a mentor. If you’re going to do something good for the guys, let them see something positive in you, and hopefully it will rub off on them and make them positive.”
So what does Billy have to do with MC Hammer? As it turns out, Billy was once a dancer and backup singer that toured with MC when his concert was filling arenas across the nation.
Billy had an amazing adventure with MC Hammer, for several years, and they remain friends to this day. Billy is also still involved in the entertainment industry; singing, producing, and recording a variety of music.
But in spite of performing before hundreds and thousands of people for so many years and enjoying continued success in so many ways, Billy’s humility has stayed with him as he takes joy in the kind of man he’s chosen to be.
“My slogan is and my motto is, ‘if you see someone without a smile, give them yours’,” he says.
Then he says a fond goodbye with a bright smile.
“Love and peace.”