Controversial country rapper Mikel Knight has lost a key court battle in the California Court of Appeal that could have caused significant reverberations in the free speech and online communities. This is after a lower court ruled that any online outlet with advertisements was subject to rights of publicity claims by individuals.
Much of the attention of ‘Noisey: Nashville’ is expended when Zach Goldbaum embeds with country rapper Mikel Knight’s street team, which Saving Country Music has covered extensively in the past. Independent country artist Margo Price is also involved, and tells the story behind her song “Hands of Time.”
In a strange twist to the incident, and illustrative of the environment surrounding Mikel Knight and his street team workers, the street team worker told local police chief Bobby Floyd that he felt fortunate. “The poor guy actually seemed relieved to have lost his job with them from having the accident,” says Chief Floyd.
32-year-old Dustin K. Finley, a street team member for country rapper Mikel Knight, was found dead in a hotel room in Nashville on Sunday, December 6th. According to Nashville police, they were not notified of the death, but the Medical Examiners Office did conduct an autopsy on Finley. Mikel Knight and his Maverick Dirt Road Street Team have been embroiled in controversy in the past for deaths of street team members.
Country Rapper Mikel Night has gone on the offensive against critics who he says are making unfair accusations against him and his organization, including the families of victims who have been killed and injured while working for him. Knight claims he has hired private investigators to look into people who are complaining about his treatment of employees, and is working with a Nashville-based law firm.
But the allegations and stories about the practices of Mikel Knight and the Maverick Dirt Road Street Team go beyond being overworked and circumventing local ordinances. Stories of physical abuse, mental anguish, individuals being abandoned in small towns, and even the death of street team members in auto accidents after being overworked have been circulating for the last year.