Curtis Scoon or “Scoon” is a hood legend from Hollis, Queens, who came up during the rough-and-tumble crack era of the 1980s. While he has never been convicted of a crime, his rep as someone who got busy in the streets during that time frame is well documented.
Scoon was already in the process of getting out of the streets after having a moral crisis on a park bench in the projects. He realized he had a passion for writing and filmmaking and jumped into the world of scriptwriting.
But his notorious past on the streets of Hollis would come back to bite him in the a##, when Jam Master Jay was gunned down in his 24/7 Studio in Jamaica, Queens on October 30th, 2002.
Shortly after the murder, Scoon was named as one of the gunmen who committed the murder. For 18 years Scoon denied his involvement in the case, as the NYPD wasted hundreds of hours of manpower investigating Scoon’s possible involvement.
The police eventually dismissed Scoon as a suspect. And over the last 18 years, he has been working to shake the stigma of being associated with the murder of Jam Master Jay, and ironically make it work for him.
Since Jay’s death, Scoon has become a published author in Playboy, helped author a critically acclaimed book (“Queens Reigns Supreme” with Ethan Brown), tangled with 50 Cent in court over Fif’s#### series “Power” and created, funded, and distributed his documentary “Black White & Blue.”
Scoon’s life took a big step to being normalized on August 18th, 2020, when Ronald “Tinard” Washington and Karl “Little D” Jordan was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for their alleged role as the gunman who burst into Jay’ studio to kill him over a drug deal gone bad.
Curtis Scoon checked in with AllHipHop on the 18th anniversary of Jay’s death to talk about his past, the allegations in the documentary “Who Killed Jam Master Jay,” and why he thinks the Feds may not have all of the suspects in custody.
AllHipHop: So I think the first thing I want to talk about is what are your thoughts on the August 2020 indictments of Ronald “Tinard” Washington and Karl “Little D” Jordan for the murder of Jam Master Jay.
Scoon: There’s a lot of thoughts there. If it really was those two guys. Why did it take so long? That’s the first thought. Karl “Little D” Jordan, he is the son of Jam Master Jay’s, I guess you could say best friend and protector in the neighborhood, Karl “Big D” Jordan.
Tinard Washington, he actually lived in Jay’s family house. At the time of Jay’s death. These are people that are really close to Jay. And again, I don’t have any inside knowledge. But you would think that the people in the studio knew who did it from the start.
AllHipHop: That leads me to an interesting question about Tinard. Prior to October 30th, 2002, he was on a robbery spree. That is well documented. And he went on a robbery spree after the murder. I read in court documents that he was frequently intoxicated out of his mind. And he had done so many robberies that at this point, he couldn’t remember what ones he had done and what ones he hadn’t done. The indictment is alleging that there was a drug deal gone bad and Tinard was mad that Jay had cut him out of that. And as a result of this a 17-year-old at the time, Karl, “Little D” Jordan came in and acted as the trigger man. What motive would they have to not come forward for 18 years over these two? Tinard had been in jail. Little D okay, if he’s close with Jam Master Jay through Big D. That’s one thing. Do you think the feds are on the right trail?
Scoon: I got no way of knowing, but this is what I know about the case. October 30th, 2002, was a Wednesday night. It was a rainy cold night. Run-DMC was scheduled to perform at an NBA game I believe in Cleveland or somewhere. They were doing the halftime shows and stuff like that, trying to make money. At the last minute, for whatever reason, the show was canceled.
And what that means to me is that Jay wasn’t even supposed to be in the studio that night, because he’s supposed to be doing a show. His studio was in a building that housed a company called Prime America that had weekly meetings on Wednesday nights. What that also means is that there was a lot of foot traffic in that building. And the importance of that is these people did not enter and leave without being seen. The studio also had a surveillance camera to identify people coming in that they were buzzing.
For one, I don’t think Jay’s death, whatever the reason was, was premeditated because he wasn’t supposed to be there. Number two, I don’t believe that the people in the studio let someone in who they didn’t know. And just for the record, I hate that I even have to say this, but not only have I never been to that studio, but I didn’t even know where it was. Because I wasn’t part of that circle.
AllHipHop: Let’s start with Tinard Washington. I know he was notorious as a stickup guy. I think almost from day one Tinard has always been fingered as suspect number one. Person number two has always had a question mark. Why would they associate you with Tinard? Were you friendly with him in the neighborhood growing up?
Scoon: Tinard was friends with Randy Allen and Jay. But ultimately, Tinard was really a friend to no one. Tinard is just one of them dudes, he’s just bad news, always has been. He spent most of his life in prison. As a matter of fact, when he’s on the street, he’s really doing time. That’s how much he’s institutionalized. I’ve never been to prison and I don’t have any convictions. We have nothing in common. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t even cross the street with Tinard because I might get a ticket for jaywalking. He can’t break any rules without getting caught. Nobody who’s trying to be out in the streets would associate with Tinard. You hang with Tinard, you are going to prison point-blank.
AllHipHop: According to the Feds, Tinard was an early member and a part of the Hollis Crew, which they labeled a gang.
Scoon: Dudes from the streets will understand what I’m about to say. It’s not like a gang or something. Your hood is your hood. So if you hang out on the boulevard or the avenue or whatever, you are repping your little neighborhood. And you got beef with other hoods. That goes on today. But inside every hood, you got cliques within the cliques. Everybody was together and if we was on the avenue and somebody came through, yeah, well, it’s our hood, because that’s what young boys do. I’m talking about late teens, early 20s, adolescence, indulging in adolescent s###, you know, even though today it seems like old people do it. But back then, that’s what kids did. You proved your manhood you, your honor, your courage, all that s###.
Tinard’s an interesting guy. The last conversation I had with Tinard might have been in 1997. And I’ll tell you the crux of that conversation. Because this is an open case, I’m pretty sure law enforcement are gonna go over this interview with a fine-tooth comb. And they can say a lot of things about me, but they can’t say I’m a f###### liar.
In about 1997 it had been brought to my attention that Tinard and some dudes were planning to, how should I say it, run-up in my mom’s house because they thought that something of value was there. I wasn’t living in New York. But I came back to New York because my brother got in a really bad accident in Baltimore. And he was in Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1995. So when he went in the hospital, I was trying to handle his stuff. And I was staying in New York a lot. My girl lived in Brooklyn, but I was keeping my cars at my mother’s house in Queens. Because they saw my cars at my mom’s house, they must have assumed that there was something of value in the house. But they all knew that if they was gonna rob me, the plan must have been to kill me. I’m not somebody you’re going to do something like that to, and then be like, ‘see you later’ and be like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’
I saw Tinard on the corner of my mom’s block one day, and I was on foot. He was on foot. It was early in the morning. And he said ‘yo Scoon can I talk to you?’ I said, ‘Yeah, what’s up Tinard?’ He said, ‘Yo, man, I know people running around talking, saying that I’m planning to do this that and the third. But none of that’s true.’ It’s just me and him on the corner man, it’s about 8 o’clock in the morning. I said ‘man, you do what you do. I ain’t got no problem with that, man. That’s who you are. I said, ‘but now that I know, if I’m looking out that window, and I see you anywhere in the vicinity, I’m not going to try to figure out if you’re walking to the bus stop or looking for your lost pet.’
Tinard looked at me, and he said, ‘yo I understand.’ And that’s my word. That’s the last time we ever talked. That might have been in 97. Taking has always been his thing and he’s not very good at it either. And ironically, when people said that it was me and Tinard who did that with Jay, that’s when the streets started understanding that it wasn’t me. It’s known that Tinard and me, we are like oil and water.
AllHipHop: In the “Who Killed Jam Master Jay” documentary on Netflix, they say that Randy Allen positively identified you as being one of the people involved. Why do you think Randy set off this conspiracy, involving you?
Scoon: I don’t know if Randy said that. You know after the funeral, Jay’s family was represented by Marvin [Jay’s brother], who is now deceased, and his cousin Fonzo. And they expressed some suspicions of Randy. The following week, Randy Allen went on Hot 97, and this is all recorded, anybody who wants to pull it up can pull it up.
Boe [Rodney “Boe Scagz” Jones JMJ’s nephew] was with Randy, he wasn’t with his uncle and his cousin. But he was with Randy, defending Randy. I don’t know, maybe Boe really believes that Randy is innocent. But the part that means something to me is: Randy made it clear in that interview that he didn’t think I had anything to do with. He said that on record. I take responsibility for even being the type of person that they would believe I could do something like that, because of the way I lived my life at a certain time. I believe the best defense is a good offense. When I was moving around as a young dude, I didn’t really show a whole lot of mercy. I put a lot of energy into developing an intimidating presence. And it came back to bite me in the a##.
AllHipHop: Let’s talk a little bit about your background in Hollis. They imply that you were a drug dealer in your early days. And they claim that you flew to California with Jay to arrange a cocaine deal. The coke deal supposedly went bad and that could have been a motive for the murder of Jay. I want to be clear to our viewers in the same documentary, the police state that they spent hundreds of hours of manpower, and they have cleared him as a suspect.
Scoon: It’s self-explanatory that I’m still walking around and I have never been hiding. And I had my lawyer Marvin Kornberg. And I was going in on November 4th, to get questioned and possibly get arrested. I wasn’t running from it.
From what I recall from what they say, that was something that supposedly happened in 1995? And in 1996, Jay set up a meeting for me with Lyor Cohen. I believe Nikki D was his assistant at the time the female rapper Nikki D. I had no problems with Jay in 96. Why would I have a problem with him in 2002?
Hypothetically, let’s just say that story is even real. In 1996. Jason Mizell set up a meeting with Lyor Cohen for me because I was trying to do a dedication album for Randy “Stretch” Walker. Myself, and my man Nichols. And at the time attorney Ed Woods, he was my entertainment attorney. We went and we met with Lyor. But the fact of the matter is, if I had any issues with Jay, he wouldn’t set that meeting up for me. Anything else that he talked about is irrelevant. If I had any issues with Jay, he wouldn’t have set that meeting up with me in 1996. And I damn sure wouldn’t wait till 2002 to be angry about something that allegedly happened in 1995. So none of it makes sense. That’s why I’m walking around, never been afraid of getting locked up or anything else. Because you cannot prove something that didn’t happen. They would have to legitimately go out and frame me.
AllHipHop: To be honest with you, that that’s what it seems like happened. Right after the murder, an anonymous source, a police officer let us know that Big D, possibly Little D could have been involved. Big D interviewed with us. And he said he was at home working on his boiler that had blown out.
Scoon: He’s a dusty m###########, he probably was.
AllHipHop: But he denied any involvement. And he immediately said, “I would be looking at Randy Allen” if I was looking at anybody. I’ve heard a number of things about Big D, including prior involvement with law enforcement.
Scoon: He’s been a confidential informant for a long time, got strong relationships with the Queen’s D.A.’s office. This is a fact.
AllHipHop: Do you think that relationship helped amplify the police looking at you as a suspect?
Scoon: Let’s be clear, the night Jay got killed Funkmaster Flex was on the radio, on Hot 97. He didn’t name any names, but he was alluding that people in the industry were responsible for Jay’s death. Flex took it hard. And he was talking heavy that night. The very next morning Ed Lover was on Power 105 doing the morning show, and he was crying, and he was saying the same thing. So the night Jay got killed, and the very next day people in the industry thought somebody in the industry was responsible. And to be clear, they thought it was Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff and Murder Inc. Now, why would Lyor all be concerned about that? That is evident. Murder Inc. was under Def Jam. Lyor was running Def Jam, and Def Jam was under Universal.
So Jay gets killed and there are all these unfounded rumors about Murder Inc and Supreme and you got Irv Gotti and Supreme McGriff connected to Fat Cat, in the killing of [police officer] Edward Byrne. This is some like real movie s###. And, again, we talked about the music industry. We are talking about a lot of gangster cosplay, so anything that remotely resembles some serious s### going on, they revel in this because it’s almost like ‘we really look like we in the middle of all of this.’ I can’t speak for this generation but for my generation, street dudes didn’t rap. That’s not what we did, we didn’t entertain or amuse people. I’m theorizing that it was in Lyor’s best best interest to find out who did it, or find a believable suspect.
And that brings us back to dusty Big D.
After Big D got exposed as being an informant – he took the stand and testified and did whatever he did – Jay got a job for Big D over at Rush Management. And he knew what Big Dig did. It didn’t matter. That was his childhood friend. And again, that’s why I don’t like to compare the music business to the streets. For this dude to rat, take the stand, send another dude from the same block to prison for 25 to life, and then Jay, gets him a job? That’s not gangster. And I’m not even mad at Jay. He was a DJ.
Jay wasn’t really, in the street. And when people start talking about him being a drug dealer, I don’t know nothing about that. The Jay I know didn’t sell drugs. And if he did, he wasn’t really good at it. Because at the time of his death, I believe he was in $400,000 in debt to the IRS. Behind on payments to his house. He was just drowning in debt. If he was selling drugs where was the money?
AllHipHop: They say that he was dribbling and dabbling because of the financial pressure that he was under. According to the indictment, they believe that Jay was running drugs down to Baltimore.
Scoon: I don’t know anything about that. What I do know is that he wasn’t in the best financial shape. I believe Big D worked for Lyor. I believe Big D gave Lyor my name. Now, who gave Big D my name? The recent revelations, it opened my eyes to certain things. I can’t understand like, why this dude Big D was pushing my name so hard. I’m thinking maybe it was he’s really trying to get justice for his boy [Jay] or something. But then when his son gets arrested. I’m like ‘could that have been why he was pushing my name?’
AllHipHop: I was reading through some court documents, and they referenced the fact that, aside from this indictment, I don’t think Little D had any charges as an adult. He did he have one charge when he was 17 for a shooting. I heard he shot Boe Scagz [Jay’s nephew]. It could have been due to anything, but to be a murder suspect [in his uncle’s death] 10 or 15 years later? Do you think this was enough to scare some of the people in the studio into their behavior of quite frankly, obstructing justice for 18 years?
Scoon: You want me to tell you God’s honest truth, man? I don’t like any of these people. I swear to you, man. It doesn’t even make sense for them to plan to kill Jay. In my mind it just had to have been something spontaneous, an accident.
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— Boe Skagz (@5starboembm) August 13, 2020
AllHipHop: With Boe, you guys had a back and forth on Twitter, which resulted in his name-checking you in one of his freestyles I was listening to on Facebook. He’s a rapper and I liked what I heard, all of those Queens aesthetics were there.
Scoon: He’s been doing it for 20 some years. He better be pretty good at it. I remember Boe when he used to be outside with his t-shirt on, his hands up inside a T-shirt in the wintertime. Boe got a deal, because of who his uncle is, not because of his talent. I think Jay knew some guy at some label and he did Jay a favor and he signed Rusty Waters. Rusty Waters was Randy Allen and Boe. Randy was 38 at the time, and Boe was about 21. And they were pretending to be from down south, rapping about cornbread and collard greens. So they were essentially a gimmick group. The night Jay got killed, the very next day, Randy and Boe went on a promotional tour. That doesn’t sit right with me. I mean, your uncle gets killed. Your best friend and business partner gets killed. You got a trash a## rap group. I mean, the tour ain’t going to make a difference. You ain’t selling no records, you got a deal as a favor. Let’s not act like you got to get on here and push that s###. This ain’t 36 Chambers you talking about here.
AllHipHop: When we interviewed Jay’s mother after the murder she expressed real concern that Boe and Randy, had clicked up and had disappeared for two to three days. I compared our interview with Boe to what he said in the Jam Master Jay documentary. We talked to him 10 years ago, but his story is the same. He said he was outside on the block, went to get a haircut. Heard that they were shooting the studio. Now, in our interview, he said that he waited a little while, because he didn’t have a gun on him, and, he wasn’t sure what was happening. He didn’t want to put himself in harm’s way. Once inside, he said that he kicked Jay. He said he argued with the cops, and they let him leave. He told us that it was important for him to go on tour because this was his first deal. He wanted everything to work.
Scoon: I just gotta say it, man. If that’s your priority when your uncle is dead. This is your first tour, that was a priority and a man is dead in the studio something ain’t right with you. Make songs and name check me all you want, but nobody in their right mind would agree with that. That’s part of what I said to him when we had our exchange.
I said, ‘did you kick him when you came in off the street? Or did you kick him when he fell at your feet?’ l ain’t a rapper or nothing, but that’s how I felt. That kick s###, man you don’t see your loved one on the ground [and kick him]. Furthermore, if you come off the street up inside the studio, there’s some minutes that had to go by between the time Jay was shot and by the time he [Boe] got there, let’s say at the very least five minutes By that time the blood is already pulling from Jay’s head.
What you got to kick them for the thing you thought he was playing? That’s that Kool-Aid around his head bro that’s his blood. What are you kicking them for? I don’t want to theorized too much but the s### don’t be sounding right to me with nobody. The only thing I know is my name don’t belong nowhere in there. I didn’t associate with any of these people. And at the end of the day, the police are looking for a big drug deal. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just some typical n#### nonsense.