By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
His job as a federal informer hasn't put a crimpin Caruso's lifestyle. Since his DEA arrest, he continues to throw parties, associate with known criminals, and hatch scams. He and Brendon Schlitz, an incarcerated member of a Mafia-connected street gang known as the Port Richmond Crew, used to rob drug dealers. According to Schlitz, a former schoolmate, Caruso spends his dayswhen not on tour with the Wu-Tang Clanhanging out at his father's garage, Mike's Radiator Repair, smoking pot, trading rhyming couplets with his rapping brother Mario, and "dreaming of his next big score." (When the Voice attempted to contact Caruso at the garage, Mario answered and said, "All you guys do is put slander all over him." Then he hung up. The Voice was unable to reach Caruso himself.)
"He's running around Staten Island like the mayor," says Schlitz. "He tells everybody he's down with the Wu-Tang Clan. They don't know how much of a lying rat bastard he really is."
Only two months agoat a stop on the Ghostface Killah/Cappadonna tour, during Soul Camp, a hip-hop night at the Garage in Washington, D.C.an armed, drunken Caruso intimidated a group of promoters.
"He threatened our staff," says the concert organizer. "He was carrying a handgun in the waistband of his green Karl Kani jeans. 'It's about to get real in here,' he warned them. 'I'm going to come up with some heat.' Everybody knew what he meant."
The dispute was a trivial one. After the gig, a Ford Expedition had turned up to take the Wu-Tang Clan back to the hotel, instead of the expected large van. "Where's the van?" Caruso raged. "If I don't get a van, I want a thousand dollars right now."
"We had zero problems with the artistsGhostface and Cappadonna were great," says the promoter. "The concert was incredible, except for dealing with Caruso, which was a nightmare. In this business you run into a lot of assholes. But Caruso was the biggest dickhead I've had to deal with. Why the Wu-Tang Clan allow this idiot to represent them amazes me. He's hurting the group's reputation."
Additional reporting by Cara Buckley