Lost Boyz Rapper Murdered

Police say they have no suspect or motive in Sunday morning shooting of Freaky Tah.

NEW YORK -- Raymond Rogers, who performed under the name Freaky

Tah in the hip-hop group the Lost Boyz, was shot and killed by an

unknown assailant early Sunday morning (March 28) in his native Queens,

according to police.

Police have not identified a suspect or motive, Detective Walter Burnes, a New York City Police Department spokesperson, said Sunday afternoon.

Rogers, 28, was approached by an unidentified black male wearing a ski cap as he left a Sheraton Hotel in the Jamaica section of Queens at 3:57 a.m.

Sunday, according to Burnes. The assailant shot Rogers in the head and fled, Burnes said.

Rogers, who lived in Jamaica, was taken to nearby Jamaica Hospital, where

he was pronounced dead at 4:20 a.m., Burnes said.

The Queens-based Lost Boyz had been working on and off for several

months on their third album, Althea Spellman, a publicist for their label,

Universal Records, said earlier this month. The album, LB for Life, was due in June. Representatives of the label could not be reached Sunday.

The Lost Boyz first came to prominence with two underground hits, "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz and Benz" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless," both off their 1996 debut album, Legal Drug Money. Both that album and its follow-up, Love, Peace and Nappiness (1997), were praised by critics.

A review of the second album in the hip-hop magazine The Source

praised its "addictive, sing-along choruses and bouncy, foot-stomping

basslines," and said the group had created "some of hip-hop's most infectious party joints."

The two albums included such prominent guest stars as Canibus, Redman and Big L -- who was killed in a shooting near his Harlem home in February.

The group performed on the second stage during 1997's Lollapalooza tour.

Some Lost Boyz lyrics touched on the realities of street violence. "You never hear this on your 6 o'clock news/ When my nigga's gettin' killed in the street over tennis shoes," they rapped on the 1996 song "Channel Zero."

Freaky Tah recorded at least one track outside the group: He and fellow Lost Boyz member Mr. Cheeks recorded the song "Plant a Seed" for the movie soundtrack to "Bulletproof" (1996).

An officer in the NYPD's 113th precinct, which is investigating the murder, referred all questions about the case to the public information office. The officer declined to give his name.

A Sheraton Hotel employee who asked not to be identified declined to speak about the shooting.