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Troy Ave Plans Show in N.C. Despite Current Ban on Him Leaving 5 Boroughs

By Noah Hurowitz | February 9, 2017 2:59pm
 Rapper Troy Ave speaks to a high school class run by Christopher Emdin, an associate professor in science education at Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
Rapper Troy Ave speaks to a high school class run by Christopher Emdin, an associate professor in science education at Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
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DNAinfo/Noah Hurowitz

NEW YORK CITY — Embattled rapper Troy Ave has begun planning shows as far away as North Carolina, despite bail restrictions stemming from a deadly shooting last year that specifically bar him from performing, according to his lawyer and social media posts.

Promoters for Troy Ave are already selling tickets to his show in Charlotte on Feb. 25, even though he’s been banned from leaving the five boroughs while he awaits trial.

But his lawyer, John Stella, said he’s confident that new developments in the case will convince prosecutors to lift some of the restrictions on Troy Ave, whose legal name is Roland Collins, at his next court hearing Friday.

“He has promoters who are actively trying to set up dates with the expectation that we’re going to prevail on the bail application,” Stella told DNAinfo. “He’s been in full compliance with all the restrictions, and he doesn't lead any kind of nefarious lifestyle. I think we’re on the cusp of an agreement.”

The show, which is part of the festivities surrounding the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte, is advertised as a day party, with tickets selling for between $45 and $350, according to the Eventbrite page Troy Ave linked to in his Instagram post.

The manager of the venue referred questions to the show promoters, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Troy Ave was charged with attempted murder and weapons possession following a chaotic shootout on May 25 at a TI concert at Irving Plaza that took the life of his friend and bodyguard Ronald McPhatter and wounded three others, including Troy Ave.

He has been free on $500,000 bail since July, when he limped out of court with an ankle bracelet and a strict set of bail conditions, including an 11 p.m. curfew, a mandate to stay within the five boroughs and an order not to perform or even step foot in any bars or clubs.

Stella has been lobbying for months to have Troy Ave's bail restrictions be loosened. Prosecutors have consented to allow him to travel to New Jersey every Wednesday to visit his children, and gave him some flexibility with the 11 p.m. curfew on nights where his work keeps him late in the recording studio.

But the main issue for the rapper remains the ban on his ability to perform, which Stella said is Troy Ave's main source of income. According to Stella, the inability to do shows has financially crippled his client, costing him tens of thousands of dollars in missed concert dates.

However, Troy Ave’s social media posts tell a different story.

Despite claims by his lawyer that the rapper is “barely getting by” due to the travel and performance restrictions, his posts on social media in recent weeks have boasted of his continued financial success. They include an Instagram photo showing his son playing with a thick roll of cash and a post in which he shows off a spacious, unfurnished home that he claims to be his “new crib.”

In another posts, he shows receipts from a gambling website that appear to show Troy Ave winning about $25,000 on the Super Bowl, as well as on a recent Boston Celtics game.

Troy Ave was arrested the day after the shooting when police released video of him firing at least one shot inside the packed club as bystanders dove for cover. Investigators later found the gun that killed McPhatter in Troy Ave's car, they said.

Stella has long argued that Troy and McPhatter were the victims and intended targets of the shooting. Last month, federal prosecutors charged the prominent hip-hop podcaster Taxstone, who had feuded with Troy Ave, with smuggling the weapon that killed McPhatter into the club that night.

Taxstone, whose legal name is Daryl Campbell, faces federal weapons charges including possession and receiving a firearm by interstate commerce, after investigators linked the gun, which had Campbell’s DNA on it, to a straw purchaser in Florida, court documents show.

Campbell hasn’t been charged with McPhatter’s murder, but in an arraignment last month, Assistant United States Attorney Hagen Scotten repeatedly accused Campbell of pulling the trigger.

"He had a gun in his hand and he murdered someone," Scotten said in a Jan. 17 hearing.

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office has since said it has a witness prepared to testify that Campbell fired the shot that killed McPhatter.

According to Stella, Taxstone's arrest proves  Troy Ave had no intention of violence the night of the shooting.

“He and Banga were on the wrong side of the barrel,” Stella said, using the nickname for McPhatter. “I think prosecutors had sized him up as being responsible for the gun being inside the green room, but we’ve been saying since the beginning that wasn’t the case.”