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A Forty for Lor Scoota
Death in Dindustan


Last week Harm City was rocked with the tragic death of aspiring rapper, Tyriece Watson, otherwise known as "Lor Scoota." The killing sparked a call by fellow rappers to their friends and neighbors to flee Baltimore. It also inspired a West Baltimore vigil, which police tried to attend and were promptly threatened by the gathered mourners. This has led the nation at large to believe that the killing was a West Baltimore thing.

The fact is, Scoota spent time on the Eastside and the Westside, and was gunned down on the Eastside, in my neighborhood. As Mescaline Franklin, the recreational photographer who shot the covers of Poet and A Once Great Medieval City, was in town, we decided to go to the liquor store where Scoota died and buy a forty of the local favorite in his honor.

As Mescaline was taking photos of Scoota's memorial—balloons, candles, a stuffed critter, and liquor bottles—that is blocking the sidewalk out front for a week now under the glare of a half dozen Dindus stranded when the #33 overheated and broke down—I spoke to the charming Indian woman whose husband owns the liquor store. After making a purchase I asked her if her building front had been damaged in a car accident and she gave me the narrative in an animated fashion:

"My husband was here, and he is uninjured, although, after the car crashed into the building, the police did not inquire as to his wellbeing. They were only concerned with the famous rapper. The rapper was in his car at the light across the street when the gunman stepped out into the street and shot eleven rounds into the side window and window shield. He tried to drive away but was dead before he hit the building. The police have refused to cooperate with us. I have called over and over again asking for a police report number so that I can file the insurance claim. They refuse, saying it is an open investigation. And then there is the trash shrine out front, it obstructs the walk, the balloons are dangerous to passing cars and I am not about to clean that up. We have been warned not to remove the shrine. The liquor bottles are not even purchased from us, but brought in by the mourners... Thank you so much for asking after our well being—no one else cares. We are alone, behind this counter."

Mescaline and I went outside as the surly Dindus glared at us but made way. One door down is a hipster coffee shop doing brisk business with the pasty patrons from the upscale paleface Waltherson neighborhood directly behind this storefront. The local palefaces do not patronize the liquor store and the Dindus do not use the coffee shop—utter, proximate self-segregation.

Eighteen years ago I stood across the street from this spot, where three young Dindus dealt drugs at the bus stop I used, when they decided to carjack an SUV parked in the very place where Scoota dead-wrecked his ride. The baby that was in the SUV was set out on the sidewalk, eight miles downtown on Hanover Street, as the three businessmen took the vehicle to Cherry Hill, which is the South Baltimore drug hub where they drew their wholesale product.

Below is one line of Lor Scoota's genius-level poetics, that we have been forever robbed of by that heartless villain who shot him! If you want to hear more, do a YouTube search for Bird Flu by Lor Scoota.

"We sellin' scramble, coke en smack, keep them junkies commin' back."

Addendum

As we finish Lor Scoota's forty—Mescaline downing the last drop—my photographer reminded me that the mourning Dindus had written Scoota's epigram on the window of the damaged building, owned by the Hindus! He asked me if there was an ordinance against this and there is. As a supermarket manager, I was routinely reminded by Baltimore City authorities that I had to remove graffiti from the store I managed or pay a fine.

Here's to you, Scoota—shit rolls deep in Dindustan when the Dundids come for you, don't it?

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