Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review Journal spoke with author Cathy Scott, an expert on the 1996 slaying of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas, who says she doesn’t buy the story Chuck Philips of the Los Angeles Times is telling saying that Notorious B.I.G. promised $1 million to have Shakur killed. “It didn’t happen that way. Biggie was a rapper, not a killer, and he was a mama’s boy and not the thug Tupac was,” said Scott. “Biggie was accused early on, so that’s nothing new… I interviewed Biggie’s mother several times at length. She said Biggie was at her New Jersey house the next morning and cried when he heard Tupac was shot.” She added, “It would have taken guts to point a finger at Sean (P Diddy) Combs, Biggie’s record producer.”
Chuck Philips of the Los Angeles Times reported on the family of the late rap star Notorious B.I.G. denying Friday that he played a role in the murder of rival Tupac Shakur, or that he was even in Las Vegas on the night of the 1996 shooting. Philips said, “The Times account was based on court documents and interviews with police investigators and gang members, including witnesses to the crime. It said Wallace was in Las Vegas on the weekend of the shooting, registered at a hotel under a false name.” Read more.
Former Vibe writer Kevin Powell has added his name to the list of those commenting on the Chuck Phillips’ recent Los Angeles Times article pinning blame on Notorious B.I.G. for paying to have Tupac Shakur killed in Las Vegas. Powell said, “I strongly suggest to members of the hiphop community, especially younger Blacks and Latinos who have the most to lose from this on-going confusion and fear and jagged innuendo, to not believe the hype. At the end of the day the Los Angeles Times wins because these sort of stories sell tons of newspapers, help to spread twisted rumors and fears across the country, and, essentially, keep young people of color at each other’s throats simply because we do not know what else to say or do.” Read more.
Launch.com reports that Charli Baltimore, who was the Notorious B.I.G.’s girlfriend at the time of his death has denied claims by Chuck Philips of the Los Angeles Times that Biggie was in Las Vegas at the night Tupac Shakur was shot in September 1996. “I mean, I know for a fact that that was not the situation and, you know, I think that it’s really sad that someone would say that a dead man was responsible for another dead man’s murder,” she said.
Newsday reports that Marc Duvoisin, an assistant managing editor of the Los Angeles Times has responded to denials from the family of the family of Notorious B.I.G. on the Times’ story Chuck Philips ran fingering Biggie as the financier of Tupac Shakur’s murder. “We stand by the story,” Duvoisin said. Bakari Kitwana, a former editor of Source magazine commented that he knew Philips has credible sources in the hip-hop underworld. “It sounds outrageous,” Kitwana said of B.I.G.’s reported involvement, “but stranger things have happened in the hip-hop world.”
AllHipHop.com spoke with Lil’ Cease yesterday on the report in the Los Angeles Times that his now deceased friend Biggie Smalls was involved in the death of Tupac Shakur. The former Junior Mafia member denied B.I.G.’s involvement, saying he was “in the crib watching the fight.” Cease asked, “He used a fake name and nobody seen Big? Especially with that tension situation, Pac was there and Death Row was there, you think nobody would have said, ‘Big’s in here. Pac’s in here. Something about to go down.’ Why is it coming out now, not a year later or months later?” As for what would motivate a Pulitzer prize winning journalist like Chuck Philips to write something like this, Cease said, “I know its crazy, but it’s somebody with some paper that’s making some moves and just trying to destroy somebody, man. I think its more of a Puff situation, man. I think people are on a guilt trip and just trying to put niggas in the mix and niggas don’t know the [gas] that they are putting on the fire. Its bigger than that situation, putting a lot of people’s lives in danger. This sh** had just died down and now this is going to just rise that sh** back up.”
Chuck Philips of the Los Angeles Times posted the second part of his story on the killing of Tupac Shakur and why the case still hasn’t been solved. While Las Vegas police say their investigation stalled because witnesses in Shakur’s entourage refused to cooperate, the Times review found that police committed a string of costly missteps. Nothing in today’s story made mention of Notorious B.I.G. and his role, whom Philips fingered in part one of the story. Read more. [Requires free subscription]
The Smoking Gun has the search warrant affidavit filed by Compton police in September 1996, just weeks after Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas that pinned the crime on Orlando Anderson. Detective Tim Brennan’s affidavit noted that there “is an ongoing feud between Tupac Shakur and the ‘blood’ related Death Row Records with rapper ‘Biggie Smalls’ and the East Coast’s ‘Bad Boy Records’.” Read more.
Craig Seymour of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked with Randall Sullivan, author of ‘Labyrinth’ and Nick Broomfield, who was behind the new documentary ‘Biggie & Tupac’, and both question the story out today by Chuck Philips of the Los Angeles Times. “The facts, as I have researched them, are not presented in their entirety here,” said Broomfield. Meanwhile, Sullivan questioned, “Everything in the story has appeared multiple times except that small section that says the Notorious B.I.G. provided the gun. That seems to come entirely from unnamed alleged members of the Crips gang. I hope people are going to ask, ‘Who set [Philips] up with these Crips and why would they agree to confess to this murder?’ What would be their motive?” Read more.
Statement: The family of Christopher
Wallace has released the following statement:
“The article which appeared today in the Los Angeles Times titled, ‘Who
Killed Tupac Shakur,’ and related stories from other media outlets are
patently false and are the most extreme examples of irresponsible journalism
we’ve ever seen. The LA Times article takes facts on record and juxtaposes
them with hazy, un-attributed remarks which are not the result of any
legitimate investigation, but rather are simply an effort to generate further
confusion and publicity.