Scott Monroe Sterling (March 2, 1962 – August 27, 1987), known by the stage name DJ Scott La Rock, was an American social worker, hip hop disc jockey, and music producer from the Bronx, New York. He was a founding member of the East Coast hip hop group Boogie Down Productions

Early Life

Scott Sterling was born on March 2, 1962, in the Bronx, New York City. His parents separated when he was four years old, so he was raised by his mother, Carolyn Morant, a municipal employee. They moved from Queens, New York City, to the Bronx: first Morrisania and then Morris Heights.
He excelled in both academics and sports at Our Saviour Lutheran High School, graduating in 1980. He attended Castleton State College in Vermont and earned a varsity letter in basketball there. He graduated in 1984.
As he realized that he would not become a professional basketball player, Sterling became more and more focused on music. At Castleton State, he used to DJ at Doogan’s Bar on Friday nights with Lee Smith. He helped introduce the entire campus to music from New York City.


La Rock returned to New York City in hopes of finding work and making inroads to the music industry. Through a connection of his mother’s, Scott landed a job as a social worker at Franklin Armory Men’s Shelter on 166th Street in the Bronx. At night, though, he spun records at the hip hop hot spot, the Broadway Repertoire Theatre.
During his time as a social worker, La Rock met rapper KRS-One in 1986 at Franklin Men’s Shelter where KRS resided. The pair formed Boogie Down Productions (BDP) with DJ Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, a cousin of the shelter’s security guard, Floyd Payne. The group’s 1987 debut album, Criminal Minded, is considered a hip-hop classic.

The Shooting

On August 27, 1987, D-Nice was assaulted by men upset that he had been talking to one of their ex-girlfriends. D-Nice asked La Rock to help defuse the situation. Later that day, La Rock, Scotty “Manager Moe” Morris, DJ McBooo, D-Nice and BDP bodyguard Darrell rode a Jeep CJ-7 to the Highbridge Homes Projects  building on University Avenue in the South Bronx.  As they were leaving, bullets were fired through the side and top of the Jeep. La Rock struck his head on the dashboard, not realizing at the time he had been struck by a bullet in the back of his head. He was driven to Lincoln Hospital. He was conscious as he was wheeled into the emergency department, telling doctors he was feeling cold and tired. He died in the operating room.
Two men were arrested and charged with La Rock’s murder, but they were acquitted at the trial.


Criminal Minded (1987)

By All Means Necessary (1988) (La Rock was killed during the making of this album)

Man & His Music (Remixes from Around the World) (1997)

Best of B-Boy Records (2001)

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