On this day in Hip Hop history, Scott Monroe Sterling known widely as DJ Scott La Rock of the famous Boogie Down Productions was born in the Bronx borough of New York City. Scott La Rock was the producer for rap icon KRS-One until his untimely death on August 27th, 1987.
La Rock was born in the Bronx, New York City, New York and was raised by his mother Carolyn Morant. As a child he moved from Queens to the Morissania neighborhood in the South Bronx then to the Morris Heights projects. La Rock attended Our Savior Lutheran High School where he was a great student and athlete. He originally intended to attend Castleton State University to play basketball but decided to switch his focus to music upon graduation. In college he used to DJ at a local bar called Dugan’s Bar on Friday nights. From there his musical career blossomed.
La Rock graduated college in 1984 and returned to New York City. He worked a few jobs in the city while at night spinning records at the Broadway Repertoire Theatre. Through his work as a social worker, La Rock met his future partner in crime Lawrence Parker aka KRS-One at the Franklin’s Men’s Shelter. The two, along with Derrick Jones or DJ D-Nice, formed Boogie Down Productions.
In 1987 the group released their first LP, Criminal Minded, which has become a classic Hip Hop album. Criminal Minded has been ranked by The Source as one of the 100 Best Rap Albums. Rolling Stone ranked it as one of the 500 greatest albums. Complex Magazine ranks the track South Bronx from the album as #9 on their list of best diss-songs of Hip Hop.
La Rock life came to a stretching halt in 1987 due to senseless street violence. In an effort to support his friend and partner DJ D-Nice, La Rock was shot in the neck and died of his wound. As the story goes, La Rock, DJ D-Nice, Scotty “Manager Moe” Morris, DJ McBooo, and BDP bodyguard Darrell rolled up to the Highbridge Homes Projects in the South Bronx. They were there to handle a problem between D-Nice and a man who’s ex-girlfriend we was acquainted with at the time. After they handled their disagreement, bullet began to fly toward the white on red Jeep CJ-7 that they were riding in. La Rock was hit and later died at Lincoln Hospital within one hour of being shot.
KRS-One’s Stop the Violence Movement was a direct result of La Rock’s murder. Despite the loss of La Rock, KRS-One kept the Boogie Down Productions name alive and continued to release music and grow to be one of the most respected voices in Hip Hop. DJ Scott La Rock’s righteous legacy lives on forever through his music and the empire that he helped shape. Take some time today to listen to his classic album and pay some respect to his greatness.