A prosecutor in California says San Diego-based rapper Tiny Doo — who’s given name is Brandon Duncan — should be given a lengthy prison sentence because his rap lyrics are so violent, they go past the point of creative license and into the realm of conspiracy.
California Penal Code 182.5 makes it a felony for an individual to participate in a criminal street gang, or to benefit from gang activity, and provides for 25 years to life imprisonment for violators. Prosecutors point to Tiny Doo’s “No Safety” album and say the lyrics show that he’s guilty of breaking that code — that he’s obviously in a gang and profiting from gang activity, they allege, CNN reported.
He faces nine counts of criminal street gang conspiracy over allegations that he and his alleged gang members bolstered their stature with several shootings in 2013, CNN reported.
One example of the lyrics that prosecutors say is a “direct correlation to what [his] gang has been doing,” CNN reported: “Ain’t no safety on this pistol I’m holding.”
At the same time, nobody suggests that Tiny Doo has ever shot anybody; he doesn’t have a criminal record, CNN said.
The rapper told CNN that he’s simply “painting a picture of street life [with lyrics]. The studio is my canvas. I’m just painting a picture. I’m not telling anybody to go out and kill somebody.”
He also said he’s concerned that prosecutors are killing his creative endeavors.
“I would love to continue to rap,” he said, CNN reported. “But these people have you scared to do anything around here.”
Prosecutors, meanwhile, say they have proof via social media postings that Tiny Doo is a gang member.
But CNN’s legal analyst Mark Geragos says the legal battle that’s brewing is a big one.
“The problem is you’re going to run straight head-on into the First Amendment,” he said, CNN reported. “If they don’t have anything other than the album, this case I don’t think would ever stand up.”