NEW CUMBERLAND – Weirton rapper Mini Thin said he went through the proper channels in order to shoot his latest music video in a courtroom in the Hancock County Courthouse earlier this month.
Mini Thin is the musical persona of Jason Mallas.
Mallas said he isn't sure why Hancock County Commissioner Jeff Davis was upset that the courtroom was used to shoot his music video.
"I don't know if his feelings got hurt that he was left out of the loop or what," Mallas said. "We went through the security machines and we cleared everything with the judge."
Mallas said they used prop guns and everything was done with the proper clearance.
"This video is controversial," Mallas said. "The song deals with things that West Virginia is dealing with daily; things that need to be fixed."
Mallas said he is passionate about building West Virginia up, helping his state and bringing light to the issues the state is dealing with.
"I have a daughter and she can't play in the yard because there are people doing and selling drugs in the area," Mallas said. "That's not right."
Mallas said Davis shouldn't be upset over a music video being shot in a courtroom when there are bigger issues at hand in the county and the state that need to be addressed.
"Where was the commissioner when we wanted to open a detox center in county? I didn't see him for or against it," Mallas said. "No one spoke up for the detox center, and we needed that here."
Mallas said he is trying to raise awareness of the issues at hand and help out his hometown.
"I just want people to realize they can make a difference, even if it's just a small difference, that is still a difference," he said. "I'm not a bad guy. My music is about issues that people need to be made aware of, including drugs and anti-bullying."
Mallas, who is 12 years sober and previously served jail time for his alcoholism, said he is an advocate for children and frequently gives donations to children's charities.
"God has a plan for me," he said. "He has a plan for my life. I'm just trying to be an advocate and raise awareness."
Davis could not be reached for comment, but he previously said he was unhappy Mallas shot the video at the courthouse and wanted his fellow commissioners to adopt rules to ensure a similar scenario doesn't occur again, The Weirton Daily News reported.
In the video, an actress named Jennifer Blaze wore fatigues during the four-hour shoot, and fake guns were used to depict a story about the rescue of a rape victim.
Davis told The Weirton Dailey News that the shoot sends the wrong message about public safety.
"I hope that, as long as I'm part of this watch, it doesn't happen again," he told the newspaper.