The year 2016 will mark a sad anniversary — 20 years since the murder of Philadelphia police officer Laurethia Vaird, the first female officer killed in the line of duty in the city's history.

Vaird was shot and killed in January 1996 when she confronted three men attempting to rob the PNC Bank on Rising Sun Avenue in the Feltonville neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The men were eventually caught and convicted, but two of the three robbers, Warren "Steady B" McGlone and Christopher "Cool C"  Toney, were hometown hip-hop heroes who made it big in the '80s and, for a time, seemed headed for the same fame as their Overbrook High School buddy Will Smith.

Instead of becoming music super stars, after popular hits in the '80s and early '90s both of their careers fell into a tailspin and they turned to crime. The 1996 robbery landed  Toney on death row and McGlone in prison for life.

Journalist Michael Gonzales takes a deep dive into the Philadelphia rap community of the 1980s to find out if where the rappers came from held any clues to where they would eventually end up. His article, "How Cool C and Steady B Robbed a Bank, Killed a Cop and Lost Their Souls," is in the current edition of the online magazine Cuepoint.

Harlem native Michael A. Gonzales is a cultural journalist, essayist and short story writer who co-wrote the groundbreaking hip-hop book "Bring the Noise: A Guide to Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture" (Crown, 1991). He has written for numerous publications including Spin, Essence, The Village Voice, New York Magazine,  The New York Daily News and The New York Post. Gonzales currently is currently a contributor for to, and a blogger at Blackadelic Pop.

"The Remix with Dr. James Peterson" is a weekly podcast from WHYY that takes a fresh look at how race, culture and politics intersect. Host James Peterson, director of Africana Studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University, talks to people who are not necessarily in the mainstream news cycle, but who are driving opinions, news and movements through media platforms new and old.