The gift of social media as being an outlet for self expression at its most raw, we tend to overshare and indulge in topics that can open the eyes of those whom we thought weren’t watching, and further piss some people off. Making a career out of it, folks are branding and building their following over these social feeds, generating conversation and sometimes beef; everyday, there is an emerging new voice squealing to clear their throat over the internet waves. One of its flaws is to expose a bit much, and if not careful, you can end up terminated from a job, blacklisted, or even jailed for your thoughts.
It was social media that led to the arrest and indictment of cultural commentator Taxstone last month. If found guilty on sentencing day, a one Taxstone (Daryl Campbell) could face up to 20 years or more in prison. Originally arrested on grounds of weapon possession charges by an ex-felon, Campbell would have been put on house arrest had he been given the privilege to make bail, leaving him to sit in a cell as the prosecuting team builds their case.
Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave was arrested following the shooting death of his bodyguard Ronald
“Banga” McPhatter backstage of Irving Plaza at a T.I. concert in New York City last May. Troy was later released on a $500,000 bail after providing a not guilty plea to the shooting death of his longtime friend.
Months following Troy’s release on bail, news of Taxstone being the actual shooter would hit news waves as the prosecution has no choice but to prove their case in order to clear Troy Ave of his allegations. Speculation of the murder weapon actually belonging to Campbell would ensue, apparently being tussled away from him after he shot McPhatter, and wounded Troy; leading to the video we all saw months ago of the rapper walking through a backstage area shooting the gun into an unknown direction; now supporting Troy’s initial claim of self-defense. At first, rumors suggested he was aiming at another Brooklynite rapper Maino, causing him (Maino) all kinds of grief surrounding the incident. To then, more news of a witness, on top of Stone’s social media presence, later leading to a DNA match, directly linking Stone to the actual murder.
Investigators would use this comment made on Campbell’s podcast in order to piece their evidence together, producing a somewhat convincing story.
“He had a gun in his hand and he murdered someone,” District Attorney Hagan Scotten said in court on that Tuesday following Campbell’s arrest, arguing against his release on bail. Although both Campbell and Troy Ave’s DNA was found on the gun in question, as it was the gun that originally led to Troy’s arrest; investigators would later reveal, it was in fact Taxstone who pulled the trigger, killing McPhatter and wounding Troy.
But where is this news coming from months after?
Unapologetically himself, Campbell premiered his Tax Season podcast in March of 2015; and while receiving plenty hype and notoriety to the testament of his voice for the culture; it would become his downfall, leading to his ultimate state of arrest on the morning of January 15, to now facing some serious prison time. After getting the attention from known celebs through his Twitter commentary, and a growing fan base of people who entertain his many opinions, including other hip hop heads and influencers like DJ Vlad, Charlamagne the God and more; known for his prolific twitter debates, and saying things that people won’t say; pushing records and giving his two cents, Taxstone would create his brand.
A professional s–t talker, known to discuss the street life, street Cred, violence, and even topics of why having beef with certain people is pointless and reckless. With Tax Season in full swing, and other opportunities in the line-up, a buzzing, growing career, making money and a name for himself based off being himself, Taxstone is what some would call a journalistic innovator.
But is he merely an innovator with a past, or an innovator with a deep rooted seed of thuggery that not even his newfound claim to fame could save him from?
With numerous arrests under his belt for armed robbery and other charges, the majority stemming from before he turned 24, we can hardly hold a man accountable for new crimes he may not have committed due the crime he might have committed well over 6 years ago. But, based on those past crimes, and known sentiments he’s made clear against rapper Troy Ave not being the one to resurrect New York City back to the Hip Hop limelight, and that remark made on his podcast, the implications of a new crime would hatch. Always honest about his dislike for Troy Ave, Taxstone didn’t portray straight hater vibes, expressing that Troy needed to prove himself before he could claim to bringing rap back to NY, saying the rapper didn’t come out with enough hits to claim that in an interview with Global Grind. Controversy being the name to the game, with some twitter spats between the two, a few diss tracks, and a bit more back and forth, it could have all been deemed merely Hip Hop entertainment, as Campbell is known to voice his opinions in a comedic way as oppose to a threatening one.
And in the past, Taxstone has received heat for calling Tupac a snitch after he accused Diddy and Biggie of having something to do with his NYC shooting outside of Quad Studios in ’94; he even called Cam’Ron a snitch for implicating Roc-A-Fella in ’05 after a failed carjacking in DC leaving him with two gun shot wounds. What is his (Taxstone) stance on snitching now?
Does he continue to stay true to himself with his brash, utter honesty and confess to his sins, therefore, staying in jail for the time that he may be sentenced, or does he snitch himself, on the true or false culprits. And what it would mean if Troy Ave was in fact the one to snitch on him?
It’s hard to take your own criticism, even if taken with a grain of salt; but to start something just to finish it in this way makes zero sense. So I’m not sure if this is the end of Tax Season, but it sure does feel like it.