Report: Biggie Involved in Tupac Hit
E! online 9/6/02
This just in: The Notorious B.I.G. has been fingered in the murder of Tupac Shakur.
That not so earth-shattering revelation comes courtesy of Friday's Los Angeles Times, which spent two years investigating the slaying.
Of course, the theory that Biggie, aka Christopher Wallace, might have had something to do with Tupac's murder is far from novel. Within moments of the Las Vegas drive-by that ultimately claimed Shakur's life in September 1996, the prevalent hypothesis was that the West Coast rapper's archrivals from the East Coast played a role.
The idea went something like this: Tupac represented the major California rap faction, Death Row Records, and Biggie was the biggest star in Sean "Puffy" Combs' Bad Boy empire, the key New York hip-hop house. Tupac and Biggie frequently dissed each other lyrically and in interviews, but most wrote it off as typical rap posturing. Somewhere along the line, their boastful machismo crossed the line into bloodshed.
Such speculation seemed even more valid when Biggie himself was gunned down in Los Angeles in March 1997. Both the Tupac and Biggie murders remain unsolved.
The Times again rounded up the usual suspects. Orlando Anderson, a card-carrying member of the Crips, is once again said to be the trigger man. (Police investigated the Anderson angle but never declared him a formal suspect; he was later slain in an unrelated shooting.)
Anderson had been roughed up by Shakur's posse in Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel following a Mike Tyson fight there. The beat-down was reportedly in retaliation for an earlier incident, in which one of Tupac's bodyguards (a group made up primarily of Crips-hating Bloods gangbangers) was mugged by Anderson and his cohorts.
To be fair, the newspaper adds some new wrinkles to the hoary story, claiming it was Biggie who provided the murder weapon--a .40-caliber Glock pistol-- and a $1 million bounty on Shakur. Biggie was in Vegas at the time of the murder, met with Anderson and agreed to underwrite the hit, according to the Times.
Hours later, a Caddy reportedly carrying Anderson and his fellow Crips, pulled up alongside the BMW driven by Death Row rap mogul Suge Knight. Tupac was in the passenger seat. The assailants opened up on the Beamer and sped away.
Six days later, on September 13, Shakur was dead, and, according to the Times, Wallace paid his first $50,000 installment to Anderson's Crips crew.
Of course, with the trio of principals dead, there's no way to corroborate the Times story. Biggie was killed on March 9, 1997 as he sat in his car following a post-party for the Soul Train Music Awards. (At the time, it was reported that L.A. police were trying to link Knight to the crime, suggesting he might have ordered the hit on Biggie to avenge Tupac's death.) Anderson, meanwhile, was shot dead in May 1998 in a gang clash.
However, the Times also asserts that three other, unidentified Crips who allegedly accompanied Anderson in the Tupac drive-by still live in the L.A. area and have never been questioned by authorities.