San Diego rapper Tiny Doo is facing attempted murder charges over his rap lyrics, thanks to a law that prohibits gangs from benefiting off criminal acts.
According to ABC 10, the rapper (real name: Brandon Duncan), along with 14 other gang members appeared in court last week for a preliminary hearing. A judge decided that the 15 men — who are charged in a gang conspiracy involving nine local shootings since April 2013 — would go to trial.
The report says Tiny Doo has no criminal record, but could face life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors are calling upon a state law that was put in place by voters in 2000, which allows them to go after gang members if they benefit from crimes committed by other gang members. Although the rapper is not linked to the shootings, prosecutors argue that he benefited from the shootings because his gang gained in status, allowing him to sell more albums.
“We’re not just talking about a CD of anything, of love songs. We’re talking about a CD (cover) … there is a revolver with bullets,” said Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna.
ABC 10 asked law professor Alex Kreit for his thoughts on the case. He called it a stretch. “The Constitution says it can’t be a crime to simply make gangster rap songs and hang out with people that are committing crimes,” he says. “You have to have more involvement than that.
“Where does that end if that’s the definition of criminal liability? Is Martin Scorsese going to be prosecuted if he meets with mafia members for a movie for his next film?” Kreit added. “The Constitution says it can’t be a crime to simply make gangster rap songs and hang out with people that are committing crimes. You have to have more involvement than that.”
Tiny Doo has worked with the likes of Lil Wayne, Mitchy Slick, Strong Arm Steady, and Talib Kweli, among others.