By Robyn Collins
A grand jury has voted to charge rapper Troy Ave, born Roland Collins, for a shooting at a T.I. concert at New York club Irving Plaza that left one dead and three injured. An indictment containing the charges will be filed within two weeks, according to the prosecutor Christine Keenan, reported New York Times.
Last month, Collins was captured on surveillance cameras firing a gun in a shooting that left his own bodyguard dead. Troy Ave still maintains his innocence and just released a mixtape addressing the situation, claiming that he took a gun from a man who tried to “assassinate” him and turned “the tables ‘round like a G.”
That track is one of several that were recorded from phone calls from jail. He calls the shooting and entire ordeal “a minor setback for a major comeback.”
He said, “It ain’t the end of Troy Ave, not at all; this is just the beginning. I’m innocent. Unless they charging me with being real from the very beginning, I’m innocent.”
There is a question about whether the lyrics could be admitted as evidence in court. Critics argue that rap lyrics are artistic expressions protected under the First Amendment, but rulings have established that lyrics can be used against defendants under special circumstances.
Charges against the rapper will be made public on June 22. Collins is being held without bail at Rikers Island.