South Dakota rapper’s music videos are evidence in Capitol riot case
SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — A new South Dakota resident is among more than 725 defendants who have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. We first told you about the charges against Billy Knutson, 36, here in Sioux Falls. Now the case has been transferred to federal court in Washington DC
Knutson was one of five defendants in three cases, all charged with storming the capital on Jan. 6, who appeared in federal court on Thursday.
Knutson pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges, which include disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and entering and staying in a restricted building or property. In court documentsan FBI agent said Knutson posted on social media that he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and shared photos of himself outside the building.
According to the FBI, Billy Knutson is a rapper who has a YouTube channel under the username “Playboy The Beast.” Court documents point to these videos as evidence of Knutson’s role in the insurgency.
One of the songs on Knutson’s YouTube channel is called “Patriots: Message To The World” and has over 68,000 views. It includes video of the riot.
In it, Knuton raps:
“The media tried to demonize us about the events that took place on January 6 / Spreading fake news and propaganda like they always have / So I just want to take this opportunity to address the nation and tell our side of the story.”
The lyrics also include:
“We fought for all of you and that’s how you treat us / Call us traitors and pretend we’re not peaceful.”
Then in front of a veterans’ memorial, Knutson raps:
“They say it was just about Trump, it never was / It’s our movement / It’s about America / It’s about freedom / It’s about standing up for our rights as Americans.”
“If you won’t fight for us, then we have no choice but to unite and fight for ourselves/And we may have lost the battle, but this fight is far from over done/Give me freedom or give me death,” Knutson punched out as he used his hand to make a slit throat motion.
Following that April 30 video, Knutson released another rap song in May, titled “Drown Me Out,” in which he complains about being banned from social media and how it affected his business.
Knutson’s lyrics say:
“I wasn’t trying to start no war/I’m just a family man/I had to storm the Capitol/Nancy don’t like us in her office.”
Knutson’s most recent video, posted to YouTube this month, features a yellow Proud Boys of South Dakota flag. More than three dozen people linked to the Proud Boys have been charged with crimes related to the riots.
“It’s gonna be a bumpy ride / I suggest you buckle up”
This latest video, which appears to have been filmed in South Dakota, shows newspapers with words such as ‘Joe Biden’ ‘vaccine mandates’, ‘censorship’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ being burned and Knutson rap:
“Homicide is on my mind; as I chase that b****, like Joe Biden. Fradulent M** F**.”
These are stills of court documents from surveillance video, which the FBI said showed Knutson entering the Capitol by climbing through a shattered window. This still from the video shows Knutson highlighted in a red rectangle, using a cellphone to record footage inside the building.
The FBI says it matched Knutson’s cellphone to one used near the Capitol on Jan. 6.
According to his YouTube page, Knutson moved from North Carolina to Rapid City about four months ago and the Justice Department says he now lives in Mitchell.
We reached out to Knutson’s public defender in the case, who had no comment. Knutson will be back in court on March 24.