Making music videos with your friends is one of those pastimes that nearly everyone has partaken in. You get your clique together, procure a video camera (or smartphone) and proceed to choreograph a routine that rivals the works of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Rebecca Black. Sometimes the video is just a cover of an existing song. But other times, you and your friends will have a moment of genius: you’ll write your own song. And now your music video will be even more special because it’s 100 percent original.
For most of us, the story ends there. The music video is produced and published on YouTube and then we move on with our lives, only pulling up the project when we’re feeling nostalgic. But for six young men in Wichita, Kansas, the story takes an unfortunate turn. This week, they were arrested and charged after authorities caught wind of their passion project. Turns out, a rap music video featuring weed smoking results in six arrests when the wrong people click play.
The music video in question was created as a joint effort by six friends in Kansas. De’Adrian Johnson, Mario Smith, Imanuel Norwood, Shundell Barkus, Keandre Summers and Dondre Broom got together one afternoon and filmed a rap music video in a residential neighborhood. When you watch the video, you can tell that the creators, all men in their 20s, put a great deal of time, thought and effort into it. The lyrics and tune are original and they even added special digital effects, like colored filters and glitches, in post-production. Making music and music videos seem to be a passion for these men. And they definitely have a knack for it.
But they did make an egregious error. In the video, they use real firearms and real cannabis as props. For this reason, Project Safe Neighborhood alerted local Wichita authorities.
In Kansas, weed is firmly illegal.
The police obtained a search warrant, and soon after, all six participants were arrested and slapped with charges related to the possession of controlled substances and firearms.
Two of the defendants—Johnson and Broom—were already sentenced. Both 23 years of age, Broom was sentenced to four years in federal prison while Johnson faces only six months. Smith and Barkus are awaiting sentencing. The remaining two, Summers and Norwood, have yet to be tried.