Cool C

Cool C
Cool C
Background information
Birth name Christopher Roney
Born December 15, 1969 (1969-12-15) (age 41)
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Old School rap
East Coast hip hop
Hardcore rap
Years active 1987–1996
Labels Hilltop Records
City Beat Records
Atlantic Records
Philadelphia International Records
Ruffhouse/Columbia/SME Records
Associated acts C.E.B.,
Christopher Roney
Born December 15, 1969 (1969-12-15) (age 41)
Alias(es) Cool C
Charge(s) First-degree murder, bank robbery, grand larceny
Conviction(s) Guilty on all counts, October 30, 1996; sentenced to death on December 13, 1996
Penalty Death penalty
(execution stayed)
Status In custody on death row

Christopher Roney (born December 15, 1969 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), known by the stage name Cool C, is an American rapper whose musical career peaked in the late 1980s. He is perhaps best known today for the notoriety surrounding his involvement in the murder of a Philadelphia Police officer in a bank robbery in January 1996. He is currently incarcerated in a Pennsylvania state prison awaiting execution. He was to have been put to death on March 9, 2006, but his execution has been stayed.


Music career

Early career

In the mid-1980s, Roney was an original member of the Philadelphia-based Hilltop Hustlers hip hop crew. His 1987 debut single, "Juice Crew Dis," which took aim at the New York-based hip hop crew run by influential rap producer Marley Marl (a group that included heavyweights Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane), gained Roney a good amount of attention.

A pair of 1988 singles for Hilltop and City Beat Records landed Roney a contract with Atlantic Records, where he released two full-length solo albums: his debut I Gotta Habit in 1989 and Life in the Ghetto, in 1990.


In 1991, Roney put his solo career aside to join hardcore rap group C.E.B. (which stood for "Countin' Endless Bank"), with fellow Philadelphia rappers Warren McGlone (Steady B) and Ultimate Eaze. The trio released their only album, Countin' Endless Bank, on Ruffhouse Records in 1993, to disappointing sales and reviews. The single "Get the Point" reached #5 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles.[1]

Legal issues

On January 2, 1996, during the same time period that he was recording a comeback EP,[2] Roney, along with C.E.B. band mate McGlone (a.k.a. Steady B), and another local Philadelphia rapper, Mark Canty, attempted a bank robbery at a PNC bank branch in Philadelphia. During the botched heist, Roney shot and killed Philadelphia Police Officer Lauretha Vaird, who responded to the bank's silent alarm.[3][4] As he exited the bank, Roney exchanged fire with another police officer, before he and Canty dropped their weapons at the scene and fled in a stolen minivan driven by McGlone.[5]

Vaird, an African-American woman and the single mother of two children, was the first female Philadelphia Police officer killed in the line of duty.[6]

Roney was arrested and on October 30, 1996, convicted of first degree murder.[3] At his subsequent sentencing hearing, Roney was sentenced to death by lethal injection. On January 10, 2006, his death warrant was signed by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and his execution date was set for March 9, 2006.[7] He was granted a stay of execution from Pennsylvania Judge Gary Glazer on February 1, 2006 until all post-conviction litigation is resolved.[8]

Roney has steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout the trial and appeals process, despite the testimony of three eyewitnesses who placed him at the scene of the robbery, as well as ballistic and forensic evidence and surveillance video that linked him to the murder.[2][5] He is currently an inmate at Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Greene.[7]


Solo albums

Album information
I Gotta Habit
  • Released: August 7, 1989
  • Chart positions: #51 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
  • RIAA certification:
  • Singles: "Glamorous Life", "I Gotta Habit"
Life in the Ghetto
  • Released: August 30, 1990
  • Chart positions: #72 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
  • RIAA certification:
  • Singles: "Life in the Ghetto"
  • killed by death penalty

Group album

Album information
Countin' Endless Bank
  • Released: January 19, 1993
  • Chart positions:
  • RIAA certification:
  • Singles: "Get the Point"


  1. ^ "Hot Rap Singles: Get The Point". Billboard. 1993-04-03. Retrieved 2009-03-20. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Philly MC Cool C awaits his fate on death row". XXL Magazine. 2006-03-24. Retrieved 2006-11-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Law Enforcement News: Around the Nation - Pennsylvania". John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 1996-12-15. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 
  4. ^ Volk, Steve (2003-09-24). "Shoot the Messenger?". Philadelphia Weekly. Retrieved 2006-10-28. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b Newman, Hon. Sandra Schultz (2005-01-20). "Pennsylvania v. Roney". Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Supreme Court of Pennsylvania) J-199-202: pp. 2–5. Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  6. ^ "Philadelphia police charge rappers with female officer's murder; suspect still at large - alleged accomplice of Warren McGlone and Christopher Roney sought in shooting of city's first Black woman police officer, Lauretha Vaird". Jet Magazine. 1996-01-29. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 
  7. ^ a b Sims, Seandra (2006-01-11). "Rapper Cool C's Execution Warrant Signed by PA Governor Ed Rendell". Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 
  8. ^ Strong, Nolan (2006-02-04). "Philadelphia Rapper Cool C Granted Temporary Stay Of Execution". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2006-11-01. 

External links

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