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Welcome to Queens Jamaica
Randy Walker was born in 1968 in Springfield Gardens, Queens, to an African American father and Jamaican, immigrant mother. Randy had a younger brother and two sisters. His father died in 1981, and his mother, Lucilda, was a nurse at New York University Medical Center.
In the late 1980s, Randy, dubbed Stretch, and his brother Christopher, dubbed Majesty, teamed with DJ K-Low, forming Live Squad. In 1988, both rapping and producing it, Live Squad debut with an EP, titled BQ In Full Effect, which, featuring Percee P, includes the tracks « Troopin It » and « We Ain’t Havin’ It. » Noteworthy is Stretch’s voice, deep and raspy.
In 1990, Stretch met Shock G of Digital Underground, the Bay Area rap group’s 1991 album featured Stretch on its track « Family of the Underground. » That year, Live Squad remixed the group’s single « No Nose Job. » That summer, Stretch met Underground ally Tupac « 2Pac » Shakur. The two became fast friends. Rapping his February 1992 single « If My Homie Calls » on Yo! MTV Raps, 2Pac was backed by Stretch, friend of host Ed Lover, who, praising Live Squad’s demo tape and taking « executive producer » credit on its releases, helped Live get signed to Tommy Boy Records.
In 1992, Live Squad released a double A side, « Murderahh! »/ »Heartless, » followed by single, « Game of Survival »/ »Pump for a Livin’, » in 1993. Live Squad also released an ultra-violent promo short film, Game Of Survival, on VHS tape, showcasing six songs from through group’s forthcoming album. In June, national outrage broke out over the Los Angeles area’s original gangsta rapper Ice-T‘s side project, his rock band Body Count‘s album of heavy metal with its track « Cop Killer. » Tommy Boy, favoring radio friendliness, dropped Live Squad and shelved the album.
NAS talk about Stretch’s death
Stretch was really hurt by 2Pac. I would hear him talking about how ‘Pac was so mad at him because Stretch was with 2Pac when he got set up and robbed in the lobby of Quad Studios in Manhattan, in Nov. 1994. ‘Pac was mad at everyone after that. I felt bad for Stretch because he really had a lot of love for ‘Pac and couldn’t believe that ‘Pac thought he had something to do with it. Stretch dropped me off at home, then went home and was killed [in Dec. 1995, in Queens]. That was a real great guy. He produced “Take It in Blood” and “Silent Murder”—the irony. It was just a messed up moment for me. It was the last work he did.
November 30, 1995,
This is the last beat 2Pac’s old associate Big Stretch from Live Squad worked on.The story goes he left the studio at 12am after working on this track and was shot dead by 12:30am.Which is crazy when listening to the lyrics.
The sample is from Soul II Soul – Get A Life.
Around this time, Stretch met fellow Queens rapper, Nas, who was working on It Was Written. The two linked up, with Stretch contributing production to Nas’ album. On November 30, 1995 (exactly a year since Pac got shot at Quad Studios), Stretch dropped Nas off home after leaving a recording session and was shortly killed afterwards.
The murder was reported in the New York Times – “Randy Walker, 27, who performed in the group Live Squad, was being chased by at least two men in a black car when he was shot at least four times, crashing his minivan at the corner of 112th Avenue and 209th Street in Queens Village just after 12:30 A.M., said Lieut. Vito R. Spano, commander of the detective squad in the 105th Precinct.”
On October 12, 1995, with bond posted via Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records, and pending appeal, Tupac was released from prison in upstate New York. Joining the label in Los Angeles, Tupac feverishly recorded his fourth album, All Eyez on Me. Two tracks, in particular— »Ambitionz Az a Ridah » as well as « Holla At Me »—have lyrics against Stretch, one envisioning his death.
By the album’s release on February 13, 1996, Stretch was already dead. Released a few months later, in July 1996, the sophomore album, It Was Written, by rapper Nas, from Queensbridge in Queens, had Live Squad production on two tracks, « Take It In Blood » as well as « Silent Murder, » from Stretch’s final recording session exactly one year after the November 30, 1994, shooting of Tupac
On November 30, 1995, Stretch was on his way to a Biggie Smalls event after leaving the Nas recording session at midnight. He dropped off his own brother Majesty at his Queens Village home. Two or three men in a black car pulled up beside Stretch’s green minivan, and gave chase, firing from a rolled down window. Stretch crashed at 112th Avenue and 209th Street, just after 12:30 AM. He was found dead with four bullets to his back.
In one theory, Stretch had robbed « a big drug dealer of over 10 bricks ». Despite the « pressure on the street, » he refused to return the over 10 kilograms of cocaine, and this is why « a hit was issued. »In April 2007, via separate investigation into the murder of Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC, in his native Jamaica, Queens, federal prosecutors named Ronald « Tenad » Washington as a suspect in both murders.
Walker produced the tracks “Take It in Blood” (on which Nas mentions him by name) and “Silent Murder”, both of which appeared on the 1996 album, It Was Written, for fellow-Queens rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones.
Take It In Blood
2Pac interview ”Source” Magazine, March 1996
And what about you and Stretch from Live Squad?
Stretch was my closest dog, my closest homie. I did alot of drama, I got into alot of cases and shyt because of Stretch. Money wise, he couldve had anything. His daughter was my daughter, whatever she wanted she could have. Then this shyt happened and the nikka didnt ride for me. He didnt do what your dog is supposed to do when you shot up. When I was in jail, nikka never wrote me, never got at me. His homeboys was coming to see me nad he wasnt coming to see me. And he started hangin around Biggie right after this. Im in jail, shot up, his main dog and he hangin out going to shows with Biggie. Both these nikkas never came to see me.
And before he passed, you never got a chance to talk to him?
Aint no words. The rules of the game are so self-explanatory.
After all that went down, people are trying to say its some sort of hit connection…
Nah, Know what happend? Rules of the game, what comes around goes around. I never had no violent thoughts towards Stretch at all. I just didnt want to **** with him no more, but I didnt want to kill him. He was my dog. Once you my dog, you my dog. He got shot just like I got shot. Everybody believed it was just a random ****in robbery (when I got shot), this nikka get killed, now random shyt dont happen. There are two methods of fighting, the one by law, the other by force: the first method is that of men, the second of beasts; but as the first method is often insufficient, one must have recourse to the second.