The webcast we mentioned earlier, by colleagues at Melodream Entertainment of Raymond Martinez — aka Ready, the man who pulled a gun on cops at Times Square last week and was shot to death — has been and gone, but you can hear the playback on the web. It’s three hours long and we only got through the first, but here are some highlights from that:
Participants reiterated that Martinez sold only his own CDs, and was not coercive in doing so. “He’d say to random girls, ‘let me sing to you, baby doll,'” said one. They claimed that Martinez was “internationally known” and that he always paid in full for his sessions at Melodream’s studios, in contrast with some other customers. They portrayed him as “an extremely family-oriented dude” and very ambitious about his music.
Martinez was also cited for his awareness of social issues — for example, said one participant, “Forcing people to take a vaccination… Ready’s been trying to tell people this for years. And now his message is really getting heard.”
One participant, identified as Martinez’ brother (but not the one who was arrested with Martinez), described the fatal encounter: “It was a regular day, seliing their own CDs, ‘X Marks the Spot,’ I’m pretty sure that’s what the police found in his hand, and then a group of cops — I’m not sure if they’re undercover cops — asked him for his tax ID. He said no, I ain’t got no tax ID, and he ran. And someone informed Omar, my brother, that he’s running from the police. Omar, his reaction is okay, again? He gonna get away? Somehow he just decided to turn around and take it out on ’em. But that was what he rapped. That’s his words. And he got shot.”
The Melodream crew said Martinez had many bad experiences with the police, and that this was why he was armed. “He didn’t set out there, with the gun he had on him, he didn’t set himself out there to use it for beef with other dudes,” said one. “He solely believed in not being arrested by crooked cops, not being taunted and pushed by crooked cops.” Also: “You looking at a man who was frustrated. Like the story of the Man on Fire. That’s what it was, the Man on Fire.”
Another recalled Martinez telling him that he was tired of being hauled in by the authorities, and “ain’t no cop tellin’ him nothing.” He said Martinez told him, “If I’m in a situation with the cops, it’s not going down tomorrow, it’s not going down next week, [but] it’s gonna go down. Whatever happens, happens.”
“He died at the same age as Tupac, twenty-five,” said another, “and left as a G. A street legend.”