Tupac and Biggie
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In Las Vegas, Nevada on September 7th 1996, Tupac Shakur left a Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon fight at the MGM Grand with his manager Suge Knight. While leaving, Suge Knight’s associates spotted Orlando Anderson, a Crip gang member from Compton, California, who had a scuffle with a member of Death Row Records entourage. After hearing this, Tupac immediately engaged in a fight with Anderson along with Knight and his entourage. After the fight, Tupac and Knight officially left in Knight’s black BMW sedan. At 11:15pm, while they were stopped at an intersection, a white older cadillac pulled up to Tupac’s side of the sedan, rolled down the window, and started rapidly firing gunshots at Tupac. He was hit four times, while a single bullet skidded Knight’s head. Tupac was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was put on life support and heavily sedated. Tupac died on September 13th, 1996 from internal bleeding.
On March 7th, 1997, Christopher George Latore Wallace, known as Biggie Smalls, attended the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles, California. He attended an after party the following evening at the Automotive Museum also in Los Angeles, which included members from the Bloods and Crips gangs. Biggie left at 12:30am in a GMC Suburban SUV, and was stopped at a red light when a black chevrolet impala pulled up alongside his car and started firing bullets. Biggie Smalls died at 1:15am, he died six months after Tupac.
Due to the two’s famous east coast/west coast dispute, and the strange similarities with their murders, many conspiracies have arisen over who killed Tupac and Biggie. Some believe that they’re connected. There’s a theory that Biggie hired a hitman to kill Tupac, due to verbal altercations and diss tracks they made towards each other. In one diss track, “Hit ‘em up”, Tupac claimed to have slept with Biggie’s wife, Faith Evans. In retaliation to this theory, it is believed the Suge Knight avenged Tupac by hiring a gunman on Biggie. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, there’s a theory that Tupac faked his death to escape fame and he’s living his life on an island somewhere. Despite this being a pleasant idea, some detest it.
“I don’t think that a man that wanted to escape fame would continue to release music and star in movies,” Rudy King said, after being asked about the faked death theory. King believes that Suge Knight killed Tupac, it was rumored that Tupac was planning on leaving Death Row Records; but if he were to die before leaving, Knight could continue to make money off of past records. But that theory would remove Biggie from the picture, and King believes that the east coast/west coast dispute was majorly for publicity. He believes that Biggie was killed by Crips gang members due to money issues, as simple as that.
Noah Carter, on the other hand, believes the Sean “Diddy” Combs was behind the murder of Tupac. Combs allegedly wanted the heads of Tupac and Suge Knight. His nephew, Orlando Anderson, shot up the car Tupac and Knight were in, and was only able to kill Tupac. Carter thinks that Knight suspected Biggie was the culprit, and therefore hired Wardell Fouse to kill him.
Back to the theory that Tupac faked his death, it is a theory that gives hope in humanity for some. It explains that lack of police involvement in his murder case. According to LA times journalist Chuck Philips, not Biggie, or anyone involved with him, was questioned by police after Tupac was killed. In fact, the Las Vegas police never arrested anyone connected to Tupac’s murder. However, there is a theory from former LAPD officer Greg Kading that Combs that murdered Tupac due to a confession from Crips gang member Keith Davis that he was paid by Combs to kill Tupac; and that he was in the car with Anderson who pulled the trigger on Tupac.
“Orlando rolled down the window and popped him. If they would’ve drove on my side, I would’ve popped them,” Davis said.
Furthermore, Tupac was shot several times previously on November 30, 1994 at Quad Recording Studios. Not only did Tupac state they he suspected Combs was behind it, but in 2011 Dexter Issac confessed that Combs hired him to rob Tupac at Quad. However, Combs has denied all evidence that he killed Tupac.
When it comes to police involvement in Biggie’s case, it was also strangely lacking.
“They (LAPD robbery-homicide division) were there that first night, but they were gone by the next morning and didn’t come back to the case until an entire month had passed. In 30 years, I had never seen that: a murder case involving a major celebrity that wasn’t taken over by robbery-homicide right out of the gate,” LAPD lieutenant Sergio Robleto said.
This leads many to believe that, unfortunately, someone paid the police to keep quiet on both murder cases.
Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were two young rappers on the rise when they died. It is tragic that they both passed before their time and that justice has not been served to their cases. All that can be done is to remember them and the influence they had, and to make sure that something like this never happens again.