Justice has prevailed.
NBC 7 San Diego is reporting that a judge has dismissed the charges against Tiny Doo, a 33-year old rapper. He was being brought up on gang conspiracy charges, pretty much solely with his lyrics as evidence. This is not only a win for Tiny Doo, but a win for rappers and free speech everywhere.
So along with 14 codefendants all supposedly linked to the Lincoln Park gang in San Diego, Tiny Doo was being charged in connection with 9 shootings between 2013 and 2014. Only problem is that all this connection was based on was Tiny Doo’s rap, and the prosecutors claimed he not only encouraged people to commit crime with his lyrics, but the he also benefited from his gang’s streed cred from the shootings. They essential claimed that with his hip hop, Tiny Doo was promoting violence and helped cause the shootings.
There wasn’t any evidence actually connecting him to the shootings though! Now, they apparently did have evidence connecting him with some of the gang members who did the shooting, and they also say he was supposedly around the area of some of the shootings. They claimed that this was enough to show he was a gang member, and under a a California law that passed 15 years ago, you can charge gang members for crimes that other gang members committed.
Prosecutors gotta prove that they benefited from the crimes in some way though, which is why they added that he benefited from his gang’s supposed increased street cred. So, pretty much, prosecutors were trynna say that Tiny Doo was a member of the Lincoln Park gang, that his music promotes crime and inspired the shootings, and that the shootings increased Lincoln Park gang’s street cred so Tiny Doo benefited from the shootings. You see the problem here?
The main thing they tried to pin this all on Tiny Doo for was his music. He was facing life in prison for hip hop! This was a free-speech issue, and rappers everywhere might have had to worry about this shit along with everything else they gotta deal with. Luckily, a judge dismissed the charges against Tiny Doo so fans of hip hop and the first amendment can rest easy. If you want, you can check out his 2014 mixtape No Safety here.
Tiny Doo’s alright.
After the charges were dismissed he thanked Talib Kweli on twitter for his support (and Kweli immediately responded of course.) He also claimed that this would not change how he approaches hip hop from now on (good) and that he would soon be writing about what the courtroom was like (dope.) We at Spit Talking look forward to that shit and we’re glad hip hop won’t be further demonized by folks/the media.