Thanks to @pedro_dee for passing me the link to the alarming story of Mikel Knight and his street teams. It's a business model that appears to cut out all the normal music-related ways of building an audience, and just rushes up to people in the street, browbeating them into buying not very good CDs. It's like a cross between pyramid selling and chugging. The scary thing is, it brings in money - without necessarily worrying too much about paperwork. Or the people involved:
Ky Rodgers says that one night when riding in a street team van, the vehicle was in an accident in Utah, and the van fell off a three-story cliff. Ky was severely injured, and had to be care flighted to a hospital. He broke his L2, L3, and L4 vertebrae, his pelvis and sacrum, and was in the hospital for a week before he was discharged. He claims that Mikel Knight completely abandoned him and the rest of his street team crew, did not pay them, and would not return their personal possessions. Ky was stuck with $38,000 in medical bills, and couldn’t get Mikel Knight to even work with the auto insurance company to take out a claim, if the van was ever insured in the first place. “There was nothing we could do because we never signed anything saying ‘hey, you’re hired!’ He leaves no paper trail, no proof that anyone works for him, and he never withheld taxes from anyone’s pay.”Knight's response to this, and other allegations, is to post things about "haters" to social media.