How Cool C and Steady B Robbed a Bank, Killed a Cop and Lost Their Souls

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Dope Article written by Michael A. Gonzales

Philly Rap Legends Schoolly D, DJ Cash Money and others try to make sense of a Tragic Journey

“Philadelphia banks are not hit by takeover teams very often, and with good reason: there are few ways out.” ~Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman

It was nearly opening time at the PNC Bank on Rising Sun Avenue in the Olney section of North Philadelphia. As early pedestrians ambled past on the cold, foggy morning of Tuesday, January 2, 1996, the bank manager entered the low-rise building alone. At the SEPTA bus stop a few feet away, a pair of construction workers casually looked on. Wearing white hardhats, the two young men appeared to be simply sipping hot coffee, puffing on Newports and talking about the forthcoming blizzard. Except they weren’t.

Instead those two men — later identified as Christopher Roney, 26, and Mark Canty, 22 — were watching every move, waiting for the opportunity to ? rush the manager and rob the bank. On the streets of Philly, Roney was more popularly known by his professional hip-hop handle, Cool C. A hit song called “Glamorous Life” had made him a local celebrity back in 1989, but a lot had changed since then.

Canty was not famous, having been recently fired from a lunch-room gig at Albert Einstein Medical Center. But rounding out the motley trio was another familiar face: Warren McGlone, 26, who acted as the heist’s wheelman. McGlone was well known as a key figure in the Philly hip-hop scene, a chubby microphone sensation who called himself Steady B.


DJ Ease, Cool C and Steady B as the short-lived C.E.B. (Countin’ Endless Bank), one year before the attempted bank robbery

Canty carried a 9 millimeter and Roney a 380-caliber semi-automatic; both knew this branch had no security guard. When PNC’s first employee arrived, they pushed their way through the building’s doorway. The manager was forced to the floor while Canty took an employee to the back to access the vault. Having pulled off successful heists previously with the rappers, Canty surely anticipated a major payday. So what if it was supposed to snow? Later that day, it’d be raining green.

However, within moments of entering the PNC Bank, the silent alarm was tripped; the pair’s clumsily thought-out plan began to go haywire.

Riding solo in patrol car #2516, female Philadelphia police officer Lauretha Vaird, a former teacher’s aide who had joined the force nearly nine years prior, responded to the call. As Vaird stepped towards the bank door with her gun drawn, Canty reportedly screamed to Roney, “Here comes the heat!”

The Sound of Philadelphia

Back in the late 1980s, when hip-hop was still maturing into a commercial art form, Cool C and Steady B were ghetto superstars. They performed shows at Fairmount Park’s fabled plateau in West Philadelphia and had their 12-inches and albums stuffed into metal racks at Funk-O-Mart on Market Street. Having met when they were students at Overbrook High School, which Will Smith also attended, both were signed to local label Pop Art Records who, in turn, got them distribution and marketing deals with larger labels.



^^ The rest of the article is on that sites link