Mikel Knight’s Street Team Returns to the QCA
It's been just under a year since the Quad Cities last saw Mikel Knight, the self-proclaimed "most controversial man in country and hip hop."
We were tipped off by a listener that Knight and his street team were in the QCA yesterday. "The Maverick" was spotted at a hotel and McDonald's near the Moline airport. Here's the photo they sent us:
If you missed out on the blog I posted last year you may not know why it's such a big deal that Mikel Knight is in the area.
He makes his money by sending out the "Maverick Dirt Road Street Team," a fleet of vans and buses covered in his imagery. The team members hit the streets and solicit people in parking lots and gas stations to buy Knight's albums and merchandise.
On the surface it doesn't sound that terrible, maybe just a little aggressive for a marketing campaign. But a closer look shows team members working a dozen or more hours each day plus driving the night through. They have little to no time for showering or sleeping and are out of town before authorities catch up to them.
Many former street team members say that if they missed the sometimes unrealistic sales goals, the would owe money to Knight for use of his vehicles. They are routinely threatened and strong-armed into staying on the team.
Multiple reports show that team members are often left on the roadside without money or possessions if they under perform for too long.