As an aspiring gangsta rapper trying to make his bones, Antron Singleton took the phrase way too literally. So charges a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Last year, Singleton, a Suge Knight protégé whose stage name is Big Lurch, allegedly killed his roommate, Tynisha Ysais, and ate a piece of her lung. While Singleton awaits his criminal trial, the victim's mother has sued him, Knight's label (formerly Death Row Records), Stress Free Records, and two employees, alleging that Knight's label had encouraged him to behave violently in order to earn gangsta-rap street cred that would boost record sales.
According to Reuters, Singleton faces murder and torture charges after having been found on a Los Angeles street last April, staggering, naked, and covered in blood. In an apartment nearby, police said they found Ysais' body, with teeth marks on her face and pieces of her lung torn from her chest. A medical examination found human blood and flesh in Singleton's stomach, police said.
Singleton, who had done guest work with such rappers as Mystikal, was recording his own album for Knight's label. (Formerly Death Row, then Tha Row, the label is now called Death Row's Back, Knight told MTV News last week.) The civil suit, filed by Carolyn Stinson, the 21-year-old victim's mother, said the label had given Singleton drugs ''to encourage [him] to act out in an extreme violent manner so as to make him more marketable as a 'Gangsta Rap' artist.'' The suit continued, ''Part of what makes a gangsta rap artist marketable is the fact that the artist is a current ongoing participant in violent gang activities. Singleton met this criteria and was even more marketable because his songs were as violent as his lifestyle and included rape, murder and ended with him eating his victim's body organs.'' Singleton's real-life acts of violence ''were performed within the course and scope of his employment with the other defendants,'' the suit said. Knight's lawyer, David Chesnoff, told Reuters he had not seen the suit and could not comment.