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Rapper's Album Cover Raises DOJ's Eyebrows

Feds: Cover of 'The Capital' by 'Bugzie the Don' features picture of rapper at Jan. 6 Capitol riot
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2021 6:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – A heavy-metal guitarist has been charged in the attack on the US Capitol. Now, a rapper. Back in March, Politico reporter Kyle Cheney posted a picture of one of the suspects in the Jan. 6 riot, perched atop a Capitol Police SWAT truck and appearing to casually have a smoke as Trump supporters behind him ascended the Capitol's steps to storm the building. Cheney made another observation, which the Department of Justice also made, thanks to tips: The suspect, since identified as Antionne DeShaun Brodnax of Virginia, used that image on the cover of his new rap album, The Capital, and actively promoted it in the weeks after the attack, according to the DOJ. WUSA reports that Brodnax, aka "Bugzie the Don," is now facing criminal charges for disorderly conduct and unlawful entry, among others, though court documents note Brodnax isn't accused of violence or theft during his alleged 40-minute visit inside.

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Per WUSA, investigators say Brodnax told them he'd come to DC before Jan. 6 to shoot a music video, and on that day, he noticed a crowd from the "Stop the Steal" rally making its way toward the Capitol. Brodnax told investigators he followed the group and that, when they stormed the building, he himself "entered the building after United States Capitol Police (USCP) moved the gates that blockaded the door," per charging documents. As he wandered the inside of the building, court documents note, he started receiving social media messages that he was being broadcast on CNN. Per the Washington Post, Brodnax was arrested March 11, just days after his album—whose first song is "The Capital Skit"—dropped. The feds have since issued subpoenas to Facebook and Twitter to gain access to Brodnax's social media accounts in search of further evidence. Brodnax's attorney is working to block such measures, saying they violate Brodnax's constitutional rights. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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