If you'd like to hear Tiny Doo's mixtape No Safety, you can do so here. But be aware that by listening to it, you may somehow be implicated in nine California shootings for which 14 men are about to stand trial. Tiny Doo himself is one of those men, and even prosecutors admit that the only crime he committed is releasing his music.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney's office, Tiny Doo—real name Brandon Duncan—is a documented member of the gang that allegedly perpetrated the attempted murders. No one is alleging that Duncan fired a gun himself, bought the weapons, or was at the scene of the crime—that he had anything to do with the shooting at all, really.
Instead, they're proposing the bullshit idea that Duncan's rapping makes him implicitly guilty, trotting out a little-used 2000 law that "allows for the prosecution of gang members if they benefit from crimes committed by other gang members," San Diego's 10News reports:
Though Duncan hasn't been tied to the shootings, prosecutors argued 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.
Duncan's trial begins December 4, the Los Angeles Times reports, and he's being held on $1 million bail until then. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison, according to his attorney Brian Watkins. He has no prior criminal record.
The implications about artistic expression should be reasonably clear. Just in case, Watkins deflated the notion that No Safety had anything to do with perpetuating a crime by comparing it to a similarly gritty well-known work of art:
"If we are trying to criminalize artistic expression, what's next, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino?" Watkins said after visiting with his client in county jail.
"Every drug gangster loves 'Scarface.' Does it encourage violence?" asked Watkins, a reference to the 1983 movie directed by De Palma and starring Pacino.
The only pieces of evidence against Tiny Doo, Watkins told the Times, are the mixtape and a social media photo of him with a few of the alleged shooters.