Lor Scoota Murdered: Popular Baltimore Rapper, A Community Activist Against Inner-City Violence, Gunned Down In Broad Daylight

Lor Scoota was murdered in Baltimore on Saturday in what police say was a targeted attack on the popular rapper conducted in broad daylight.

Witnesses said the Baltimore rapper was driving on Moravia Road when a gunman stepped into the street and opened fire, WBAL-TV 11 reported. Police arrived to find 23-year-old Tyriece Travon Watson suffering a gunshot wound. He was rushed to a hospital but later died of his wounds.

One of the most popular rappers in Baltimore, Lor Scoota was starting to gain national fame in recent years including the catchy 2014 song “Bird Flu,” in which he rapped about hustling.

“I think I got the bird flu / I’m tired of selling packs I think I need a bird or two / We selling scramble, coke, and smack / Keep them junkies coming back.”

As Baltimore’s City Paper noted, the song had a long and continued life and was even adopted by the city’s sports teams.

City Paper credited Lor Scoota — along with fellow Baltimore rapper Young Moose — with bringing a so-called “hip-hop renaissance” to Baltimore. While he rapped about the gritty side of a city plagued by poverty and violence, Lor Scoota also addressed many social issues including the Black Lives Matter movement and the nationwide reactions to violence within the nation’s inner cities.

City Paper noted that his song, “Ready or Not,” has a new and more devastating meaning given Lor Scoota’s own shooting death.

“Amid the ascent of the Black Lives Matter movement, Baltimore rapper Lor Scoota weaves together a line about how the killings permeate social arrangements and social media on his song ‘Ready Or Not’: ‘How I’m supposed to live with all this death in my sight / Keep you ni**as by your side because ni**as dying left and right / I see rest in peace on IG three times a night.’ The lyrics don’t condemn the killings. Not in the way Kendrick does on ‘The Blacker the Berry,’ where his condemnation of street violence comes wrapped in a broader denunciation of the community (‘So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street, when gang banging made me kill a ni**a blacker than me?’). But Lor Scoota doesn’t have the luxury to explicitly denounce violence or the community. He is still surrounded by that violence, still navigating the community.”

Lor Scoota was also very active within his community, even recording public-service announcements during the riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police, encouraging non-violence. He even hosted a charity basketball game called “Touch the People, Pray For Peace in These Streets” just before his death.

Lor Scoota’s death led to an outpouring of emotion from fans, many of whom shared their disbelief online. Baltimore City Councilman Nick J. Mosby also released a statement about the rapper’s death, saying that Lor Scoota had “a heart for youth” and noting that he went to local high schools in the wake of the unrest after Gray’s death, talking about the importance of staying in school.

Lor Scoota had been co-signed by Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill, who shared his condolences on Instagram on Saturday. This is now the second rapper connected to Meek Mill to be killed after the 2013 death of teen rapper Lil Snupe, who was killed almost three years to the day before Scoota’s murder.

Police have released few details about the murder of Lor Scoota, but said the shooter was wearing a white bandana. They are seeking more information about the rapper’s killing, asking anyone with information to call detectives at 410-396-2100 or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

[Image via YouTube]

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