How DJ Flow Wound Up Hosting Lor Scoota's Posthumous Tape, 'Live From The A'
The slain Baltimore rapper's final project is out today.
Today would have been Lor Scoota's 24th birthday. The Baltimore rapper's life was brought to an unfortunate end last June when he was gunned down after leaving a charity basketball game. By that time, he had established himself as the city's most promising act, releasing three mixtapes under his Still In The Trenches series, and connecting with artists like Meek Mill, Shy Glizzy, YFN Lucci, and more. Before his death he promised a new mixtape called Live From The A, which would be a look into everyday life on his native Pennsylvania Avenue (a.k.a. The A). Members of his YBS crew have been teasing that the project would still be released but hadn't given any hints as to when that might be. Finally on Instagram last week, YBS Skola and others revealed that the project and a documentary about Scoota's life under the same name would come today, April 13, while still keeping details airtight.
A few days later, locally revered DJ Flow announced that he was making a dream come true by hosting the posthumous tape. It was an unlikely pairing considering that Baltimore's DJ Manny had made a name by being the voice behind most of Scoota's best known releases. Flow was more than qualified, though. Since moving to Baltimore from Brooklyn in 2007 to attend Morgan State University, he's established himself as one of the city's go-to DJ's, hosting tapes for local artists like YGG Tay, Tate KoBang, Blue Benjamin Sleepy, Damond Blue, and more. He'd also been the touring DJ for Shy Glizzy, with whom Scoota developed a close friendship and collaborated with for his breakout 2014 single, "Bird Flu."
During a phone conversation over the weekend, I spoke with Flow about how he got the opportunity to help immortalize Scoota's story, how he facilitated the rapper's biggest hit, and how he witnessed his growth before his untimely death. Today, the Live From The A tape and documentary are being exclusively circulated through select Baltimore retailers in physical form and will be uploaded online soon. Read DJ Flow's account of how hosting Live From The A came about below.
Ever since I came to Baltimore I used to live with a guy named The Keenan System who works with a lot of artists in the city. He used to bring Scoota by the house and we used to chop it up. We always knew each other but never really had that relationship. He used to do remixes of other people's records so anytime a new record came out I used to call him like "Yo you need to do 'Trap Queen' or you need to do 'CoCo.'" Basically, do these songs before they pop. He'd get to them but he wouldn't really be on it. So we ended up having a real convo one day and I told him, "Look, you the hottest artist in Baltimore right now. I'm going to be the biggest DJ. We need to find a way to mesh our stuff together and push it."
At the time I was DJ'ing for Glizzy but he wasn't at the pinnacle he's at now. I told Scoota that we had to find a way to connect them. So the original "Bird Flu" drops and goes crazy with the kids then we ended up putting Shy Glizzy on the remix. This is our first real encounter. Glizzy sends his verse for it to me and I ask him, "Should I put this on Soundcloud?" I was so excited to have the remix first, I threw it on Soundcloud prematurely not knowing too much about the business. I'm just getting so much backlash, they telling me to take it down. But the song is doing so well, we did like a million in a couple months. Everybody was so furious but I had to explain that that's how the culture was moving. After that everybody was good again. That sparked me and Scoota's relationship.
As time goes by, we talk about doing a tape but never got around to it. Unfortunately, years later he dies so we never got to do it. But his producer that did most of his songs on Live From The A, J Feddy, he always had records. So every time he tells me he's about to do a Scoota tape I keep telling him I need to have that shit. I'm pressing him forever. But at this point it's out of our control because when somebody dies, their family's in possession so we're not able to make that call. I kind of push it out my mind like it's never going to happen. Then I get a phone call from somebody from YBS and they told me because my voice and what I could do with the tape, they wanted me for it. I took it as an honor. Just to commemorate somebody that put Baltimore on and really was the crossover from somebody just being in the hood to now being with Meek, Diddy posting you, being in the studio with Game. He had potential to be a superstar. He had the swagger, he had the personality, he had the look, he was a cool guy, he was hip to what was going on. And you could tell he was growing. To a fault, he became life to people. Before, he was a guy that used to walk around with a gun on him but after awhile he didn't have to do that because he understood the kids. He wasn't glorifying certain things as much anymore. You could tell he was opening up. It's an unfortunate thing.
So when YBS reached out to me, I just sat down with them for a whole day and kicked it. We talked about stories with Scoota. I'm sitting there with Chino, Skola, Snook, Dip, and we're just going through records. We talked about things we loved about Scoota before I went in the booth and executed my vocals. Then I just went in the booth by myself to reflect and think about everything because it's such a legendary moment. I wasn't trying to drop the ball.
Photo (Left to right): Manolo Rose, DJ Flow, and Lor Scoota
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