Cleared: the rapper who gave CDs away to London shoppers

Jonathan Wright, aka XYM Da Yorkshire Rapper
Jonathan Wright, aka XYM Da Yorkshire Rapper

A RAPPER from Midgley has been cleared of illegal street trading after he was prosecuted for giving away his own CDs.

Jonny Wright, known as XYM Da Yorkshire Rapper, was promoting his music in London’s Oxford Street when he was stopped by undercover Westminster council officials.

The 28-year-old was hauled before a court after a man gave him a voluntary donation of £3.41.

Jonny, who represented himself, said “The prosecuting lawyer was saying it wasn’t a donation, it was a flexible price.

“I said if I bought a house, it would be a flexible price but I couldn’t live in it for nothing.

“I just think it’s a stupid case in the first place.”

The judge evidently agreed and threw it out, clearing Jonny, who was given his 41 confiscated CDs back.

The rapper said it had felt good to defeat “the man”.

“I was absolutely right because it’s my own music,” he said.”

“The whole reason for illegal street trading law is for pirate DVDs.

“This is my own, original music with original lyrics and I thought it was pretty pathetic they had an undercover street team spying on me.

“It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and a waste of time.”

He said he had not been hopeful of a victory as he could not afford a solicitor and did not qualify for legal aid.

But “money-grabbing” Westminster Council’s case against him had been flimsy, he said.

“The guy who gave me a bit of money, they didn’t question him, and they didn’t use CCTV evidence, which would have proved me innocent,” he said.

Jonny, who is also an actor, moved to London in 2005 to study at the ArtsEd drama school.

He began writing and rapping seriously in 2007 and believes his album, The Great Recession, conveys positive messages. He said: “I’m not one of these guns and cars rappers. I’m talking about politics and stuff and black people improving themselves.

“I am trying to entertain but do it in a socially responsibleway.”

Follow him on Twitter @xymyorkrapper.