Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace
The Los Angeles Times delivered a bombshell when it reported that the Notorious B.I.G. offered gang members $1 million to kill Tupac Shakur and provided the gun used in his 1996 murder.
The investigative report, which details the hours leading up to Shakur's fatal shooting, was written by Chuck Philips, who has covered the slaying extensively and spent more than a year researching the case. The Times piece places Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, in Las Vegas on the night of the shooting and details a meeting that allegedly took place between the East Coast rapper and several Crips.
Citing gang members who spoke only on terms on anonymity, Philips asserts that not only did B.I.G. agree to pay the killers, but that he also insisted they use his gun, a loaded .40-caliber Glock pistol that he then placed on the table.
"The revelation of Biggie was shocking to me," Philips told MTV News on Thursday. "When this came up, I was just... 'I don't believe it.' So I went about trying to disprove it in various ways with various sources and that's not what happened. What I ended up writing is what happened."
Philips reports that Orlando Anderson, a Crips gang member long believed by many to be Shakur's murderer, pulled the trigger. According to the article, Anderson and several other Crips planned the execution in retaliation for a beating Shakur, Suge Knight and their associates gave Anderson earlier that evening after a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Biggie had been feuding with Shakur and, according to Philips, had told the Crips he wanted the rival rapper dead, so the gang members figured they might get Biggie to pay them for the hit. (Biggie's ties to the gang stem from allegations that his record label employed Crips as security guards, although P Diddy, the rapper's best friend and head of Bad Boy Records, has denied it.)
In Philips' article, he noted that "a handful of thugs and East Coast rap associates" were with B.I.G. at the meeting with the Crips. When asked if there were specific names his sources mentioned, Philips responded: "Not that I'm willing to talk about." Philips said at least one of his sources was in the meeting with Wallace, but he would not say if any were among the four Crips in the white Cadillac that executed the drive-by shooting he so specifically describes. "All I'm going to say is that I think I have very good sources on the story."
In the second part of Philips' report, to be published Saturday, September 7, the writer examines the police investigation of Shakur's murder. While Orlando Anderson has long been pinned for Tupac's murder by reporters, police never charged him. Two years after Shakur's death, Anderson was killed in an unrelated incident.