(TIML NEWS) A hip-hop podcast host who feuded for years with the Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave was arrested on Monday on a federal weapons possession charge in connection with a shooting last year in which the rapper’s bodyguard was killed.
DNA believed to belong to the podcast host, Daryl Campbell, 31, who is known as Taxstone, was found on the trigger, hand grip and magazine of the 9-millimeter Kel-Tec semiautomatic handgun that was used in the shooting in the V.I.P. green room of a crowded Manhattan concert venue, a federal complaint says.
Mr. Campbell had the gun before the shooting, and videos show him coming into the green room before the gunfire and then fleeing, the complaint says. In front of him was the bodyguard, Ronald McPhatter. Behind Mr. Campbell was a person who is not named in the complaint, but who appears to be Troy Ave — whose real name is Roland Collins — based on earlier police accounts. Wounded in the legs, Mr. Collins was holding the Kel-Tec gun and firing it toward a fleeing Mr. Campbell.
Mr. McPhatter was fatally shot in the chest at close range. The gun also had his and Mr. Collins’s D.N.A., and it was later found in a van that transported Mr. Collins to the hospital. Two bystanders were also wounded at the venue, Irving Plaza, where the rapper T.I. was set to perform. Mr. Collins pleaded not guilty in June to attempted second-degree murder and other charges.
Mr. Campbell gained a following for his provocative hip-hop commentary on the podcast Tax Season, which was at the leading edge of a migration of hip-hop talk shows from the radio to the internet. In a 2015 interview, he said he thought his growing fame had drawn the attention of Mr. Collins, whom he had publicly criticized for years on Twitter.
“I think his music is mediocre, and he, like, tried to portray this image that he was making greater music than everybody in the city when he wasn’t,” Mr. Campbell said in the interview. He said that Mr. Collins was trying to take the spotlight from another Brooklyn rapper, Bobby Shmurda, and that in response: “I had to, like, be the person to interrupt that. I just feel he’s, like, a fraud rapper, like he never was a drug dealer.”
The complaint, sworn out by Detective Jose Flores of the New York Police Department, quotes a public threat, which it says Mr. Campbell made before the shooting, that he would open fire on Mr. Collins: “When I see you walking up with six dudes, bang-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.” Mr. Campbell repeatedly adds, “Try me.”
Mr. Collins released a “diss track” in which he made fun of Mr. Campbell’s social media barbs. “Twitter fingers, how many times ya gonna tweet me?” he raps. “I’m always on the flier, guess you too scared to meet me.”
Mr. Collins was shot and wounded in Brooklyn last month while in a red Maserati. The police said they still had not made any arrests. His lawyer, Scott Leemon, said in a statement on Monday about the Irving Plaza shooting, “Troy was a victim.”
Mr. Campbell went blind in his left eye after being shot when he was younger; the gun had been so close to him that gunpowder burned his retina. The federal complaint says he spoke publicly of belonging to the Bloods gang. After spending time in state prison on convictions of attempted weapons possession and attempted robbery, he described in interviews being on a mission never to be locked up again.
He was asked in June about rumors that he had been involved in the shooting at Irving Plaza. “Man, I don’t know what happened with that situation,” he said.
Mr. Campbell’s lawyer, Kenneth Montgomery, said he could not discuss the case before learning more about the accusations.“He’s doing as best he can for anybody charged with a federal crime,” Mr. Montgomery said of Mr. Campbell. “He’s a smart young man, and he’s concerned about his family, like anyone would be.”