Hundreds of family, community members pay respects to slain Baltimore rapper Lor Scoota

and Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
"Look how many people he brought out." Friends, family and fans attend Lor Scoota's viewing.

Donna Gilmore used to keep an eye on Tyriece Watson when she lived near his family in the Gilmor Homes.

"He was a nice little child," she said.

On Thursday, she attended Watson's wake.

She was one of hundreds who came to the Wylie Funeral Home in West Baltimore on Thursday to pay their respects to Watson, better known as Lor Scoota, who was shot and killed Saturday.

People, including many children, streamed into the funeral home for hours.

Inside, Gilmore said, Watson's body was displayed in a white casket surrounded by photos of the 23-year-old West Baltimore rapper with his family and friends.

Watson's popular songs played over the sound system, she added.

Watson's family requested that members of the news media not enter the funeral home. Just before 5 p.m., the family ended the public viewing after someone in attendance circulated a picture online.

A few people close to Watson spoke briefly to members of the media outside the funeral home.

"We came from nothing," said his 27-year-old godsister Domonique Scott. "But he grew up and blessed this city."

Watson's 28-year-old brother, John Mosley, said little. Asked whether he thought he would get over Watson's death, he said: "I don't even think you do."

Police blocked off the 700 block of N. Mount St. A few officers milled about the peaceful event.

Lt. Col. Melvin Russell of the Baltimore Police Department was also in attendance. The Police Department hopes to be "part of the healing process," he said Wednesday of Watson's death.

"Lil Scoota T's and buttons y'all! Got Lil Scoota T's and buttons!" Ronnie Banks, 55, called out from a nearby street corner. He and Tony Murphy, 42, were selling shirts commemorating Watson for $20.

"They want more up at Mondawmin," Murphy said of the shirt prices asked by his competition.

Murphy said he was inspired to memorialize Watson on T-shirts because of the rapper's importance in the community.

"He meant a lot," Murphy said. "Look how many people he brought out."

During a musical tribute to Watson on Thursday afternoon, 92Q's Lil Black instructed the crowd to raise their two fingers in the air for Lor Scoota and peace: "2's up for Lor Scoota."

D.C. rapper Shy Glizzy arrived about 5 p.m. to pay respects, along with YBS Skola, friend and frequent collaborator of Scoota's. Once Lil Black pointed out Glizzy's presence, kids screamed and began to crowd around the rapper near the entrance of the funeral home until the DJ cut the music and ordered the kids back to the stage area.

While popular radio hits by Fetty Wap and Drake played, the largest responses from the crowd came from hometown favorites like Tate Kobang's "Bank Rolls (Remix)" and Lor Scoota's "Bird Flu" and "Panda (Remix)," which were played multiple times as the crowd performed Scoota's trademark "Bird Flu" dance.

Much of the musical event was celebratory, but a brief respite from the music allowed local poets to recite original work inspired by Baltimore's problems with violence, poverty and lack of opportunities. Kondwani Russell performed his piece "Baltimore Bullet Train." Before reciting "Black Boy Blues," Alanna Dixon, known as Neptune the Poet, asked those in the crowd to turn to and hug one another. Too often, she said, hate is prioritized over love in the city.

"There's nothing wrong with showing some love out here," she said.

wesley.case@baltsun.com

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