DJ Train: What Happened After N.W.A. and the Posse?

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This is an installment in The Posse Project, a 12-day series in which catches up with all 12 guys pictured on the cover of N.W.A's first album, N.W.A. and the Posse. Today, we continue with DJ Train, one of two people in this photo who are now deceased. To read previous posts from The Posse Project click here.

DJ Train

Also Known As: Clarence Lars.

Before the Photo: DJ Train was a childhood friend of MC Ren (read MC Ren's entry in the Posse Project here) and Eazy E who became one of Ruthless Records top DJs, working with J.J. Fad and other acts on the label.

In the Photo: Train is blocked out by the letters Macola stamped on the front.

After the Photo: Train went on to start a group called C.P.O. (Capital Punishment Organization) with rapper Lil' Nation (aka Boss Hogg) and producer Young D. The group's debut, To Hell And Black peaked at #33 on Billboard's hip-hop chart.

Courtesy of Tootie
DJ Train in the studio before his death in 1994.

Now: DJ Train was killed in a house fire on July 26, 1994.

His brother, Jesse "Tootie" Lars -- who produced MC Ren's single, "Same Ol' Shit," which peaked at #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- told me Train saved the lives of several family members.

"He went back in because he thought some of our family was still in there. He passed out in the living room, right in front of the TV, and they found him right there when they went back in," Lars said. "He was a really cool guy. A lot of people don't know that when him and Dre and Eazy went on tour they'd come back at like 1 a.m. and leave their stuff at our house so we could practice on it, learn how to make music. That's just the kind of guys they were, people don't know that."

Articles about about Train's death ran appeared in Vibe (click here and search for "Train") in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Wednesday June 27.

Here's an excerpt from the Press-Telegram story:

Replicas of the million-selling rap records he helped create hung, melted, on the wall of his apartment Tuesday, a vivid summary of the life and death of Clarence Lars - better known to music fans as DJ Train.

Lars was 23 when died just before 8 a.m. on July 26. He passed in the burn unit of a California hospital from injuries sustained early Sunday morning in a fire that charred the kitchen and living room.

Train's mother, two sisters and a niece were in the apartment when the blaze began, and all made it out alive.

"He could have been selfish and got out himself,'' said his father, Jesse Lars Sr. at the time. "But he helped get two people out and thought the other two were still trapped, so he went back in.''

As word of Train's death spread Tuesday, the neighborhood where he was raised became the site of a spontaneous wake. Family, friends, fellow rappers and fans parked their cars outside the home, listened to music and shared memories over bottles of malt liquor.

"Train was a big man - over 6 feet, over 200 pounds - but he was a peaceful man, a spiritual man," said Rebecca Morfin, the mother of his 5-year-old son, Sean. "He was courageous, too. When the paramedics were putting him into the ambulance and we were all screaming that we loved him, he signaled to us that it was all right."

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510 gurl
510 gurl

DJ Train gave me a sweatshirt that had Compton loves no one.. It was after a concert in Oakland.. I sure do miss him.. :(


They call me KENBERRY I grew up with DJ Train and Tootie, I met DJ Train through my buddy Randy "Lorenzo". Back in the days we used to go over Train house and he would show us new scraches and tell us stories about HIP HOP artist back then. Train lived around the corner from me so we were always at his house. I met one of my closes friend in my life Robert "DJ ROB" Perry, who Train and Rob G both taught me how to scratch. Train really cared about his friends and tried to SHARE his HIP HOP success with all of us. I remember once at Dominguez High School we had class together and Train just got off tour and had a BIG Dookie rope chain like the ones RUN DMC wore, and Train let me wear it for my next period class. That was the type of guy Train was, its no doubt that Train would have created JOBS for all of his friends if he had'nt past away. I too was there the night when DJ Train house caught fire, me, DJ Rob, and my boy Chilli Bee had the time of our lives, DJ Train put on a show, in retrospect I was witnessing DJ Trains last proformance. That night DJ Train gave his greatest gift to us all and I will never forget it too. I cried like a baby when I heard the news of his death. DJ TRAIN lives through all of US.

Rob Black
Rob Black

My hart still goes out to the fam of the broth'ah DJ Train..even though it's been a while since his death. (A producer like my self)  I bet he would have made some real tight beats if he was still here. Seem like only the good die and mostly the assholes of the world are the ones that who we are lef wit.Much respect to N.W.A. and the posse! Hip-hop needs a shot in the arm right now..We need more innovation and imagination (different styles and sampling)and shit that make since again and not the same old cookie cutter beats that out ta day. pfft east coast-west coast were you at??!!!!DETROIT stand up! TRECKAVELLY

G Rob
G Rob

Is was there the night of the fire just me and train was the last two up after drinking old e that night he had just made Blacc beans and Turkey tacos and me and him was playing Tootie s 3do game we. I got a Tex from my x tell me she was on her way Bacc home from the club with her home girls so I told train I was on my way to the house ill c you tomorrow. Jumped I'm my super sport. and went to the house early that morning train s cuzzn nuk. Called about 6 am telling me get to trains house a fire happened. I'm like what fuc you lie n I just. Lift! Shot over ASAP when I got there a saw the house I just broke. Down and cryed on the porch mad ass fuc I new it was bad that was the last time I talked to my homie the last one to see him alive. Out all the homies. The Almighty DJ train R.I.P from yo homie DJ g rob Robert Perry love you local see you soon

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