If you are starting from scratch with no livestock then sure you can put in whatever live rock you have or buy. The die off from the rock will only help your cycle.
It's after you have fish and other living things in the tank that you want to cure the live rock in a separate container or tank as the die off will most likely cause a parameter spike which can harm your fish.
I would add as much live rock as you can and then go from there. Base rock can be added at any time, with livestock or not. Theres nothing on that rock to have die off from so no spike.
I had to bust up a few rocks in my time as well, lol, kinda makes for some interesting shapes.
Nothing is saltwater happens quickly, just bear that in mind. You want to be compeltely cycled before adding ANY livestock, including crabs and snails. i t could take a week or weeks to cycle. I;ve found though that saltwater cycles faster than freshwater, I'm pretty sure because of the live rock.