Deceptive Country Rap Artist Mikel Knight’s Street Team Spotted Illegally Soliciting In Wichita Falls [UPDATED]
A "country music artist" who, according to an article by SavingCountryMusic.com earlier this year, has built a career based on manipulation, violence, and deception is currently in Texoma.
At 1:00 pm today (11/23), Mikel Knight's tour bus, van, and street team were spotted in the Wichita Square parking lot at the intersection of Kemp Blvd and Call Field Road. Street team members were seen stopping cars and trying to solicit sales of Knight's CDs.
If you aren't familiar with Mikel Knight's music, that's not a surprise. The country-rap artist, known as “The Maverick of Music Row,” hasn't made his career by touring, getting radio airplay, or any of the traditional ways. Instead, he's developed a plan involving manipulation, violence, and skirting local laws to sell albums.
In the article by SavingCountryMusic.com, they went in depth to reveal the terrible ways that Knight has drawn people into working for him. There are numerous reports of how people on “The Maverick Dirt Road Street Teams” end up overworked, underpaid, physically and mentally abused, and manipulated while forced to aggressively try to sell Knight's albums. There's even been deaths that may be able to be linked to the working conditions.
The street team is known to skirt local ordinances when it comes to being able to legally sell items in a town. In May of this year, 5 members of his team were arrested in South Dakota for not having proper permits. In Wichita Falls, the city requires a "Solicitors Permit" that must be approved by the city clerk and the WFPD. We contacted the City Clerk's office and were told that they do not currently have a permit on file for Knight.
You can read more about the history of deception of Mikel Knight's street team, Knight's criminal past, and the numerous allegations against him from former workers and their familist in the article on SavingCountryMusic.com. For now, know that they are currently in Wichita Falls and pass the word along to others.
If you are in the area, be aware that they use very aggressive sales techniques. They are also known to tell people that they are raising money for local charities, but the validity of that is questionable at best. We reached out to Mikel Knight via his official website; however, our request for a comment was not immediately returned.
We have notified the WFPD about their presence and will update this story if any more information comes about.
UPDATE (11/30/15): Our request for comment from Mikel Knight and his staff has been returned. Thomi "FAT Thomi" Hairston, General Manager for 1203 Entertainment said in an email,
"Regarding any adverse claims or allegations aimed at Mikel Knight and/or 1203 Entertainment that have been published on certain blogs, they are primarily being sourced from disgruntled, former employees who apparently have too much free time. The REAL story about who we are, that is currently being shared across media outlets, speaks to the facts; that we are a faith-based organization that offers a second chance and gainful employment to young men who really need it. We regularly travel across the nation selling and promoting music, but the ultimate benefit of those experiences is that we get the rare privilege of engaging with the amazing people in our country's biggest cities to the smallest towns. We appreciate their support, as well as the loyalty of our millions of dedicated fans."
UPDATE: (2/23/17): The Mikel Knight street team was spotted again in Wichita Falls today. This time there are other vans and RVs branded "Midnight Cowboys" and "Duke Boys" with them.