Freaky Tah was shot in the head while coming out of a party in Jamaica,
Queens. He was gunned down by a masked assailant as he was coming
out the Sheraton Hotel on his way to the airport. Police at this
time have no motive or suspects. Tah was pronounced dead at 4:20 am Sunday
of Sound Obituary:
Rapper Freaky Tah, a member of the Lost
Boyz, was shot and killed in the New York borough of Queens on Sunday around
4 a.m. An unidentified gunman, who wore a ski mask, came up behind Tah,
fired a shot into the rapper's head, and ran. Witnesses at the scene said
the gunman fired into the air after shooting Tah, though police were unable
to confirm the report. According to the Associated Press, police do not
think robbery was a motive in the killing. Tah, whose real name was Raymond
Rodgers, was 27 years old.
Tah was leaving a party when the shooting
occurred. The other three Lost Boyz were also allegedly at the party, though
police were unable to locate them later in the day. Tah was taken to Jamaica
Hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later.
"Universal Records is deeply saddened by
the loss of Freaky Tah, a member of the Lost Boyz," his label said in a
statement today. "Universal Records joins the rest of his bandmates, family,
friends, and fans in mourning his loss, and what is a tremendous loss to
the music community."
The four Lost Boyz grew up together, earning
money in their youth as drug dealers. The title of their 1996 debut album
Legal Drug Money refers to going straight after seeing a drug dealer
die in a shooting. Their second album, Love Peace & Nappiness,
was released in 1997. Following their success, they remained active in
their community, holding barbecues and video game excursions for local
children. They also put money into local businesses and were reportedly
seeking to put together a free summer camp in upstate New York for local
As we reported last month, Mr. Cheeks was excited
Lost Boyz' Freaky Tah Shot And Killed
Lost Boyz member Freaky Tah
was shot and killed Sunday morning after
a late night party in his native
Queens. According to police, Raymond Rogers,
28, (the sand paper
voiced sidekick to LB frontman Mr. Cheeks),
was shot in the head by
an unknown ski-masked gunman after leaving
a party around 4 a.m.
at the Sheraton Hotel in the Jamaica section
of Queens. Rogers was
declared dead at Jamaica Hospitals at
about his group's upcoming release LB for Life and
talked of working with Queens based underground
producers instead of more established names. The
death of Rogers is sure to project a dark cloud over
the late June release. The Lost Boyz have enjoyed
success as one of hip hop's most beloved party acts.
There underground anthems "Jeeps, Lex Coups,
Bimaz And Benz," "Lifestyles Of The Rich And
Shameless" and "Renee" helped propel their debut
1996 album Legal Drug Money to gold status. The
album title was a statement of the group's transition
from drug dealers to becoming respectful artist who
made it their point to give back to their home base of
South Jamaica, Queens. Their follow-up album Love,
Peace and Nappiness also went gold, continuing the
Lost Boyz' infectious, chorus laden block party style
jams. Family and friends of Rogers are looking for
answers to his untimely death. "His dream was to
help other kids in the neighborhood get started in the
business," his dad Linford Rogers told the New York
Post. "He was an open-hearted person, always willing
to help those who were in need. This took a piece of
my heart." ---More news
MC FREAKY TAH DOES NOT DIE NAMELESS:
"Lifestyles of the rich & shameless/some die wit the name/some die
nameless/it's all the same game/it's all the same pain" --Lost Boyz
Continuing the sad stereotype in "lifestyles of the hip-hop rich and
famous"-- in which hip-hop artists fall prey to the same violence their
art sometimes exposes-- Lost Boyz MC Freakie Tah was fatally shot
early Sunday morning outside a nightclub in his native Queens.
It was only a month ago that veteran NYC lyricist Big L was gunned
down, shocking an underground movement that was finally prepared to
accept L's rise to mainstream recognition with his brilliant single
"Ebonics." And no one has forgotten the Left Coast murders-- and
subsequent martyrization-- of hip-hop's two greatest modern icons,
Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.
With the passing of Tah, this epidemic of violence now seems to
permeate an unprecedentedly wide segment of hip-hop culture. Tah
and the Lost Boyz-- too early really to be part of the current "hip-pop"
phenom-- had been relatively quiet since the release of their gold album
Legal Drug Money in '96 and Love, Peace & Nappiness in '97. Though
Tah did not die 'nameless,' in the sense of individual obscurity, his
musical future was unclear as the details surrounding his death.
A couple of darkly ironic notes in all of this are that Big L and Tah have
recorded together, and that with Love, Peace & Nappiness The Lost
Boyz had moved so decidely toward the positive (if not afrocentric) and
away from the criminal-minded Legal Drug Money.
This tragedy rings out sharply with the message that the state of inner
city living is not all ice-downed medallions and Moet. It continues the
blurring of art and life-- and their cycle of imitation of each other.
Moreover, the murder sheds light on why the pop success of someone
like Jay-Z (who was actually once Big L's understudy) represents so
much for city youth of today. Jay-Z's image defines the success of
someone who has fought for everything, cheated death, and relied on
cunning and humor to get over. No matter how much the work of newly
platinum artists may benefit from airbrushing and the bright lights of
Hype Williams video, it still functions, ironically and grippingly, as
Chuch D calls the "African American CNN."
The parting shot here is that despite the cushy state of the American
economy, black-on-black violence continues to plague most urban
communities. So we can only hope that as hip-hop culture endures the
violent loss of its artists, more lyricists and musicians who are holding
the attention of kids on the block and now in the shopping malls, are
also raising up voices against the madness and in support of life.