Cool C is set to be executed on Thursday by lethal injection, the result of the Philadelphia rap trailblazer’s 1996 conviction for the killing of police officer Lauretha Vaird.
The murder took place in January 1996, when the rapper whose real name is Christopher Roney tried to rob a bank with two other men. Roney shot and killed Vaird, a 43-year-old mother of two as she came into the bank’s entrance.
Cool C was seen as a pioneer of rap, one of the highest profile rappers to emerge outside of the birthplace of rap in New York City.
As the Village Voice pointed out, Cool C gained notoriety by releasing a dis track against MC Shan, who was targeted for turning his back on the Philadelphia rap scene that gave him his start.
The Voice noted,
“Stepping up to Shan made Cool C a hometown hero and garnered the attention of increasingly prominent rap labels. The next year, City Beat, the label that also originally released Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two” and Ultramagnetic MC’s “Traveling at the Speed of Thought,” put out Cool C’s next single, “C Is Cool.” That and C’s self-released follow-up, “Down to the Grissel,” were successful enough to land C a deal with Atlantic Records. In 1989 Atlantic released C’s debut album, I Gotta Habit, boasting his signature single “Glamorous Life,” whose suave boasts and featured females (including a young Jill Scott) landed the video regular rotation in rap outlets.””
But Cool C also fell into crime and was convicted of taking part in the robbery that led to Vaird’s death.
His mother testified that she was making breakfast for Roney at the time of the robbery, but a judge upheld the conviction in 2005, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Cool C is slated to be executed on Thursday, barring a stay of execution.
[Images Via AP, news.nom.co and hotnewhiphop.com]