A couple of weeks ago, “up in the Bronx where the people are fresh,” hip-hop legend DJ Scott La Rock was honored with a street-naming ceremony at the intersection of Jerome Avenue and Kingsbridge Boulevard. The co-founder of the groundbreaking Boogie Down Productions was shot and killed at the Bronx’s Highbridge Houses Aug. 27, 1987, just months after the release of their classic debut album “Criminal Minded.”
As partners with KRS-ONE and D Nice, they were representing their borough while battling Queens’ Juice Crew—headed by Mr. Magic, DJ Marley Marl and MC Shan, among others—in one of hip-hop’s most celebrated rivalries.
Friday, May 19, Scott La Rock Jr., D-Nice, DJ Kool Red Alert, third Bass’ Prime Minister Pete Nice, DJ Jazzy Jay, the Ultramagnetic MC’s Ced Gee, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Castle D and Universal Hip-Hop Museum founder Rocky Bucano were in attendance during the ceremony.
“He was a genius and committed to helping others his entire life,” stated NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera during the event.
Family and friends recollected La Rock’s genuine concern for his community as he worked as a social worker before exclusively focusing on his career as a music producer. In fact, it was during this tenure that he crossed paths with a homeless Brooklyn youth who went by the name KRS-ONE at a Manhattan homeless shelter.
Cabrera also noted that the present location was actually facing the Kingsbridge Armory, where La Rock also worked.
Scott La Rock Jr. had previously announced the naming ceremony on DJ Eclipse’s “Rap Is Outta Control” radio show on Sirius’ Hip-Hop Nation. La Rock Jr. added how D-Nice has been a constant supporter throughout his life ever since his father’s killing.
D-Nice later tweeted: “Congrats to @scottlarockjr, the Sterling family, and our Boogie Down Productions family on having a street in the Bronx named after Scott. Thank you for sharing Scott with the world. #BDP #DJScottLaRock.”
Janette Beckman, acclaimed hip-hop and punk documentarian and photographer, also paid respects, tweeting, “Hip-hop royalty turned out to dedicate Bronx corner Kingsbridge and Jerome to Scott La Rock RIP today #djjazzyjay #djredalert #cedgee from Ultramagnetic #grandwizzardtheodore #castled and more #hiphop #bdp #scottlarockjnr.”
La Rock was killed during the recording of their second album “By All Means Necessary,” released in 1988. KRS continued to credit his deceased DJ on his subsequent albums. “Criminal Minded” celebrated its 30th anniversary this past March.