How Rap Artist Laz Tha Boy's Lyrics Helped Land Him in Prison

Prosecutors put a chill on artistic speech.


Deandre Mitchell is from Richmond, Calif., and Laz Tha Boy is his hip-hop rap music persona. Although he says he writes many different types of rap music, he has found local success in the Northern California area as a gangsta rapper.

Three of Mitchell's rap videos (What You Do It FoIt's Real and Southside Richmond) became evidence used against him in a 2012 grand jury proceeding in which he was indicted on two counts of attempted murder, stemming from two shootings in Antioch, Calif. His case is like a lot of other cases springing up around the United States featuring aspiring rappers who are having their violent rap lyrics used against them. But nowhere is this phenomenon more prevalent than in one of gangster rap music's birthplace, California, where prosecutors aggressively prosecute gangs.

Click here for complete text, download, and links. This story was originally released on November 13, 2014.