Originally printed in the September 2002 issue of XXL:
Twenty-three years ago, New York’s adolescent rap scene was forced to grow up. Violently. The murder of Scott La Rock was much more than simply the loss of a talented up and coming DJ. In many ways, La Rock—in both his life and his death—set the stage for hip-hop as we know it today.
While he was alive, La Rock drafted the aesthetic blueprint for gangsta rap with the previously unexplored street themes and shocking imagery of BDP’s classic Criminal Minded (the only album he ever recorded). On the business side, his Black-owned independent label, B Boy Records, pioneered the burgeoning genre’s rebel entrepreneurialism.
“Scott would have been Puff before Puff, no question,” says Chris Lighty, a close friend of Scott’s who now runs the Violator Records empire. “But without the dancing. He approached the music as a business at a time when most people just wanted to be down and make records.”
Read the whole article here.