Final Scratch was developed by a small Amsterdam-based 2-person company called N2IT in 1997-1998. The two creators were active in the rave/club scene, and had experience djing. The first version ran on BeOS.
I was hired in 1998 to go to Vegas and demo the very first system seen in the US at a BeOS event at the Treasure Island Ballroom. Here is a link to an archive of the event:
http://www.beatjapan.org/mirror/www.be. ... party.html
The hardware at the time was a hand-soldered prototype in an open aluminum project enclosure. The software it controlled was the BeOS media player. You could open multiple instances, and control whichever one was in front. Very rough, very primitive, but it worked more or less the same as it did now. There were exactly 2 prototypes, and no one had invested 2 million dollars into the company.
Here's a link to an early press release (I don't think the product actually existed as such at this date):
http://news.harmony-central.com/Newp/19 ... ratch.html
I had worked with Timothy Self, then audio evangelist for BeOS, prior to this at Opcode Systems, makers of Studio Vision & several top-notch midi interfaces.
I call total BS on the RZA and his "inventing" Final Scratch.