360:
Hold On

360CoolC.jpgOn February 1, a Philadelphia judge granted a stay of execution to Christopher “Cool C” Roney. The 36-year-old MC had been scheduled to die by lethal injection on March 9 after being convicted in the January 1996 killing of Philadelphia policewoman Lauretha Vaird during a bank robbery. Locked up since his October 1996 conviction, Cool C holds the dubious distinction of being the first and only major rapper on death row.

Best known for his 1989 single “Glamorous Life,” Cool C first came to prominence in the late ’80s as a pioneer in Philly’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. Performing with his cousins Eaze and DJ Reece, C perfected his art rapping in the halls of Overbrook High School and at parties at Wynne Plaza and Wagner Ballroom. In 1987, he recorded “Juice Crew Dis” for local independent label Hilltop Hustlers Records, and on the strength of that track and two subsequent singles, landed a contract with Atlantic Records. Cool released two full-length albums for Atlantic, 1989’s I Gotta Habit and 1990’s Life in the Ghetto. He put his solo career on pause in ’93 to form C.E.B. with Eaze and another Philly MC, Steady B. That year, the trio released Countin’ Endless Bank on Ruffhouse/Sony Records. In 1995, Cool signed as a solo artist to Philadelphia International Records, and was in the process of recording an EP when he was arrested, along with Steady B, in January 1996. Initially Steady B confessed to being the driver in the robbery, but at trial his lawyers claimed his statements had been coerced by the police.

Today, Cool C sits in the State Correctional Institution-Greene in Waynesburg, Pa., awaiting the outcome of his postconviction litigation, which will determine whether his case is tried again. Although he won’t comment on the specifics of his case, Roney has steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout the trial and appeals process. “My mood remains strong, positive and faithful daily,” says C from death row. “My thought when the warrant was signed was, Why? I have more appeals; and they are my rights that I am going to fully exercise to get a new trial and acquittal, despite what media and society thinks.”

And while his case hasn’t garnered as much attention in the rap world as Stanley “Tookie” Williams’, Cool has nothing but love for the hip-hop community. “I love hip-hop, and it’s in me forever,” he says. “The golden era is gone, but that’s all right. I’m just thankful and proud that I was here to witness its birth.”

To contribute to Cool C’s defense, please contact:
Christopher Roney Defense Fund
c/o Willie & Barbara Roney and Eric Ponder
P.O. Box 28101
Philadelphia, PA 19131

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    Note: Don’t actually send any money to his defense fund. It’s too late.

  • Doc Flav

    Sad For All Involved. Juice Crew Dis Remains A Classic. This Is What Happens When Your Contracts Aint Tight. Help This Mans Fam If You Can, I Sure They Can Use It Some Kind Of Way.

  • Claire Owens

    Cool is still going through appeal stages so it’s not “too late”. He was given an indefinite stay of execution.

  • syed

    yo peeps im an aspisrin rapper, ima a post sum lyrics so holla bk want ur response

    Cop da coup wid da roof gone n switch plates, was born 2 get cake, call it fate, I no ur type u pre ejaculate ur too eager mate 6 2 da hed will make u levitate, ur bate g written ova u like a gucchi handbag one word ma bois will push ur head back. Im 4rm da manor, where u can get gunned down 4 less den a benna, cudve been a docter, ended up a shotter, I thought quick money easy life, all 4 a coupla pairs of air max 95, kicked da books 2 move packs, cooked da crack in ma mums flat, saran wrap. Mum cudnt stand that kicked me out told me don’t come back, cant say I wasn’t upset, week later she got shot I was a suspect, found da nigga who done it, shots 2 da hed gave him a closed casket, with ma mum gone had 2 provide 4 ma lil brother, didn’t want him 2 get up 2 no bother, told him education is da key 2 da future, felt like a hypocrite, he asked me y I quit, school, saw me smash a nigga hed against the wall, das when he realised is bro was a criminal.

    • DEXTER

      THIS NEGRO IS HOT GARBAGE

  • kristen

    ^this boi is a nut

  • trey cham

    Pray for C top live — extend jail time– but there is hope– email me with any mix tapes– i can get some distribution.. trey_ebay_3000@yahoo.com,, peace

  • http://www.mzmack.com Mz. Mack

    Keep ya head up Cool. Your in my prayers.
    http://www.mzmack.com

  • Anonymous

    As a juror on the Lauretha Vaird trial, I have to say that Cool C was, in fact, present at the bank that day. The photographs taken from the ATM clearly put him at the robbery. I feel bad that we had to give him the death penalty, but unfortunately, the law left us no other option. You made a mistake Chris, and a life was lost. I hope you don’t stay on death row, but you do belong in prison for life. Stay strong!

    Juror

    • ANONYMOUS

      You know I do not understand these cats. You commit a robbery, shot the cop. Which resulted in her death, a single mother of two kids. Surveillance camera’s showing you were clearly there. And you want a legal defense fund for what? What can the defense team for you? The governor already signed the papers for you to be executed. Take your punishment like a man.

    • D

      Are u GOD? How could u live with yourself putting someone to DEATH?

  • CJ

    Hi, My name is CJ and I’m a exc for TSW films. we are in the process of putting a network in place to help young entertainers handle and manage there career. You can visit our site at http://www.thesystemwithin.com. We have a movie due to be released in march 2007. I pray that Cool C does well on his appeals but this is what happens to our youth when there is no support and guidance in the hip hop world. My personal email is poboy14life@yahoo.com for anyone with questions on entertainment (music dis. and actors as well behind the scenes productions.

  • DJ OD

    Ooo-oooo! You got it! Incarcerated life! Ooo-oooo! You got it! Incarcerated life.

  • Randy Carlo Willis

    Mr. Cool C.

    Besides Run-DMC, you are one of my favorite hip-hop artists. It’s sad to know and read that you are on Death Row, awaiting execution. My prayers are with you and your family. As the late Tupac Shakur quoted “Kee Your Head Up”!

  • Randy Carlo Willis

    “Keep Your Head Up”!

  • Dan

    I remember listening to the Glamorous Life, “00000 0000000, you got it”, at a club in Philly.

    For me and my friends, The Glamorous Life, was our war song.

  • http://yahoo trish

    i believe in your innocence.i constantly pray for you.the juror even believe you are innocent.the tape may place you there but it does not show you killing no one.you be easy and know that your #1 fan got your back…..stay strong……missing you out here.

  • http://myspace.com/nebuerpatproductionz C.D.

    Alwayz been a big fan of yourz.
    I still am…the game has change…
    during the golden era, u could be gangsta
    and still deliver a message.
    but today it’s just ignorance and wannabeez…
    I still got your original tapez of your
    solo projects. You inspired me to wanna rap with your smooth swagger over Philly beatz, still being bittin off today.
    That’s why C is Cool…Rhamatallah!

  • B-Love

    Man, this cat killed a mother of 2 and still proclaims his innocence, even after it’s been proved he is guilty.
    The stay of execution is a travesty and this guy should be put to DEATH for what he did and his lack of remorse.

    Countless Endless Bank…yeah right….if he had to rob a bank, then he definitly wasn’t countin’ no bank!!

    R.I.P. – Lauretha Vaird….what this thug did to you was awful and you will always be remembered!!

  • pome(crew 932)

    i remeber buying this record in Florida in the 80′s. pray for the innocent mother doing her job who has two children with “NO” mother. Cool C if you get this, practice what you preach. do the crime, you do the time….I still will play for you and play your track

  • john doe

    I was’nt there to see what happened so I dont feel it’s fair for me to pass judgement on Chris Roney aka Cool C. I never knew Chris Roney I only knew Cool c’s music and it is what it is which is true quality hip hop not like this garbage nowadays. Listen to “Down To The Grissle ” That song says it all !!!! Thanks for giving my ears those great songs Cool C !!!

  • http://donald_garnettdell.com donald_garnett

    It’s a sad thing when black men put themselves in a bad spot. I like Cool C. But wrong is wrong you killed another black person over some money human life is worth more than that.BLACK MAN YOU GOT TO BE SMART VIOLENCE AND LUST GETS US NO WERE.

  • Travis

    KRS said it best, “When your outta here”. When rappers fall off. I am sure he didnt grow up with money, so when you dont have it don’t rob banks to stay on top. They should have robbed the dope man. If they had killed him the police wouldnt even had cared. You shouldnt rob anyone at all though.

  • UCantBeSerious

    DJ OD…u crazy den a ma’fucca man..lmao.

    Let me tell ya something….People lie….science doesnt. Forensics,ballistics & other pieces of evidence has been tested on several occasions both by the “defense” and “prosecution” so in order for him to be innocent, that would mean ALL THE PEOPLE iied regarding the science in all this. Thats a bit far fetched to beleive ALL those people lied. Its a shame…it really is.

    • john doe

      None of the video cameras in the bank caught the actual shooter therefore how can you be certain it was Cool C ? Then one of the participants in the robbery got a life in prison deal instead of the death penalty for testifying against him. What I think is totally absured is that participants testimony should totally be thrown out because that person was outside the bank waiting in the getaway vehicle which was a van !!!! Get your facts straight moron ! Im not the brightest bulb in the chandeleer but if I were on the jury how can you absolutly sure that he’s guilty ? If the prosecuters had such an air tight case why did they need to rely on the other two participants testimonies ? Theres just too many holes in their case. Read the manuscripts about the case. Im sorry to burst your fairytale perfect world bubble but science does make mistakes. Science has actually freed alot of wrongly convicted people after science was applied incorrectly on some of these innocent people. Whats even more sad is that alot of people like yourself think everything is so cut and dry black and white and open and shut and thats all she wrote kind of an attitude because your ignorant butt has’nt been in a death row situation yourself which you may have been wrongly convicted.

  • Philly B-Boy

    Yo check it…The Glamourous Life was my anthem, young white kid from the Philly ‘burbs but we rocked it. I went on in life to work in Law Enforcement so I pray for the offspring of the young lady officer. My heart breaks though for a young black man becoming another statistic. C had skills. The whole crew could spit on the mic or just on the corner in the Hilltop neighborhood. I find myself longing for the Golden Days of Hip Hop when it was all about the mic skills and you had a DJ to make it hot. It’s gone and unfortunately so is a talented young man who knew the game and posessed the skills to win it. I only found out about this a few weeks ago and I was angry at Chris for doing this. Even if he is innocent of the killing, he was still involved in the situation by being present at the time. I am also angry at what Hip Hop has become. The whole scene has been on death row for years and that also breaks my heart. So to the many fans of true hip hop, keep your heads up for what Cool C represented and for the memories of what Mic Skills truly were.

  • David Feldman

    I am the juror that wrote here earlier. To Trish, I never stated that I thought he was innocent. Had that been the case, I would have decided that during the deliberations. I said that I felt bad about giving the Death penalty, but the guidelines left to us by Judge Glasier, left us with no other options. Based on the crime, the photos, and testimonies, I fully believed Chris to be guilty of second degree murder. I still feel that life in prison would be the right punishment.

    Juror

  • http://www.ncadp.org Against the Death Penalty

    With all due respect, the jurors did have a choice. Capital punishment is never the only option given to jurors to apply.

    The death penalty should be abolished.

    Please visit http://www.ncadp.org for more information on the death penalty in the United States.

  • J Tru

    Are you crazy? A Police Officer and a mother of 2 is killed and all you want to speak out about is a busted what was? If he was so money why would he have to rob a bank?

    The ONLY good that could possibly arise from this mess is the fact that there is a Boys & Girls Club named on her honor.

    I dont believe in the death penalty, but I do believe in being a man and admitting what you have done.

  • KOKOBEWARE

    WHEN I READ SOME OF THESE COMMENTS I GET DIGUSTED! COOL C IS STILL HUMAN! NOBODY CAN PUT A MARK ON YOUR LIFE BUT JESUS! I HAVE REMORSE FOR THE COP THAT WAS KILLED & HER KIDS! SAD SITUATION BUT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT IT ON BOTH SIDES! LIFE IN PRISON IS JUST AS BAD ESPCIALLY WITHOUT PAROLE. IF YOU KNOW THE BIBLE JESUS SAYS ASK FOR FORGIVNESS AN THALL SHALL RECEIVE.IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT PPL THINK AS LONG AS GOD KNOWS THATS ALL THAT MATTERS.

  • 215Head

    Kokobeware,

    Give me a break! A cop doing her job was killed. A human life was lost. A mother will never be able to see her children graduate. 2 children will grow up with emptiness, and possible have to deal with posters like yourself that say ‘LIFE IN PRISON IS JUST AS BAD ESPECIALLY WITHOUT PAROLE’. NO IT IS NOT!!!!! What should be his punishment, a slap on the wrist? That is an idiotic comment.

    I am from the 215; have friends/fam from both sides of the law over the years. We just recently had a cop have a bullet put in his head for no other reason but walking into a Dunkin Donuts in the middle of a robbery. His family was paraded through the media, and had to relive that moment time and time again. The city wanted justice; they didn’t care if the murderer was a star.

    The only reason you feel that way for Cool C is because he is/was a rapper. If he was off the street and killed a family member of yours, you wouldn’t have the same sympathy. You would want justice just like the family of the officer. That is what is important. GROW UP!!!!!!

  • A Non-Emus

    Apparently to some people on here, the lady cop shot herself and the bank also robbed itself but Cool C just happened to be there. If your mother was killed, you wouldn’t be talking about “I can’t pass judgment on the killer”. But just because Glamorous Life was a jam back in the day…? *shakes head*

  • Rusty Nail

    This is Not his first murder while doing a robbery. This nigger done it before and got away but this time he shot a cop.

  • http://www.hotmail.com shax

    i keep tryin to find out if he is dead cant get a straight answer? so any one on this will you let me know

  • http://www.gurmanclub.cz Fil Gurman Jh – FaceBook

    It’s sad That kind of persona that black music has produced such a story that must pay for, is awful destruction of life that means so much for rap. I’m with you!

  • is that dude

    idk y some of yall hopin he gets through this shit
    his boy steady b admitted to what was done
    this dude deserves to get whatever comes his way

  • smh

    WHAT? this coward killed a sister, and for what? Ive seen real brothers do alot more with alot less. This coward was given n oppurtunity of a life time did nothing with it. Now he wants people to send money for his defense, WTF! He was arrested for a cowardly act because he didnt wanna earn his money like a real man and killed a woman in the midst, now he’s in prson and he still wants money handed to him!!!

  • smh

    I wish there was a fund for him to get beatdown everyday, I would definately send some money!!