Six Major Claims Chuck Philips Makes in The Village Voice Blog
At a whopping 4,293 words, Chuck Philips’ guest blog in The Village Voice was a lengthy read to say the least. The publication gave the former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter, who thoroughly investigated the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., the floor about a week after he was removed from a Brooklyn Federal courtroom after being named a witness in the drug trial of James “Jimmy the Henchman” Rosemond. For people who missed Philips’ blog entry or simply didn’t have the time to read it, XXL presents six major claims that Philips makes.
1. Tupac Wasn’t The Thug He Portrayed
“Pac was not quite the thug he was thought to be by the media. From early on, the artist sought refuge in philosophy. He studied Shakespeare and Neitzsche. Sun Tzu. Machiavelli. Aristocracy did not impress him. Xenophobia annoyed him. He had no time for racism. In Pac's world, N.I.G.G.A. stood for: "Never Ignorant About Getting Goals Accomplished." He was a ladies man too. Handsome. Charismatic. An iconoclast. An outcast. Reared by revolutionaries, he stayed true to his outlaw roots, challenging crooked cops and gangster psychopaths until the end. And that's who killed him. Lit him up on Sept. 7, 1996, in a hail of bullets, in front of hundreds of witnesses, on the Las Vegas Strip.”
2. Police Didn’t Care to Solve ’Pac’s Murder
“The cops could have cared less. Las Vegas Police Sgt. Kevin Manning, who ran Pac's murder probe, said Pac's murder investigation dead-ended for the same reason most gang-on-gang inquiries dead-end, because cop-leery witnesses refused to cooperate. When I began my murder investigation in 1999, law enforcement's indifference stunned me. I set out to track down all persons with first hand knowledge of the events. Instead of just talking to detectives, I went to prisons across the nation. I developed relationships with gangsters and their families and friends in areas of LA and NY where drive-by shootings are frequent, neighborhoods in which few outsiders go. All roads led to the Quad. By the time I started investigating the ambush in 2007, the statute of limitations on the 1994 assault had lapsed. Police never attempted to find or question Tupac's assailants.”
3. One of Tupac's Assailants Offered to Sell Philip's 'Pac's Stolen Chain
"With guidance from street sources, I was able to determine who the assailants were and where they lived. I tracked them down in prison and interviewed them. Two of the men I suspected confirmed Tupac's suspicions about who had set him up in hand-written letters mailed to me in the summer of 2007. One even offered to sell me Tupac's stolen gold chain."
4. Labels James Rosemond a Federal Snitch
"According to the assailants, the man who ordered and financed Tupac's [1994 Quad Studio] beating was a federal snitch and close associate of Sean Combs named James Rosemond, better known in hip-hop circles as Jimmy Henchman -- a convicted felon of Haitian descent who bore a grudge against Pac…Looking back on it now I'm guessing that they were less concerned about what I had already uncovered than about what I was certain to find out, should I be allowed to keep digging. Henchman had reason to be nervous. He knew I was communicating directly with his ex-partners in crime -- old friends privy to his most damning secrets. I had crossed bridges he burned long ago. His ex-pals not only knew that the leader of rap's anti-snitch underground was, in fact, a snitch. They told me that Henchman had bigger skeletons hiding in his closet.”
5. Henchman Signed a Secret Out-of-Court Settlement With the Los Angeles Times
"I was laid off the same afternoon that Henchman agreed to sign a secret out-of-court settlement with the Times. I was allowed to apply for a buyout and informed that I could tell people it was my own decision to leave. My termination was widely viewed as a nod to Henchman. Before turning in my parking pass, I was informed that the Times had paid Henchman $200,000 in cash. That's not what Henchman said. He boasted about walking away with half a million, plus my head on a platter, as if he had been vindicated. He announced my ouster on his website before I left the Times. (Last week in court, Henchman's attorney said in court that the settlement had paid him $250,000.)"
6. Rosemond’s Alleged $100 Million Libel Suit Was False
"Shortly after the Daily News ran its Henchman expose, a new fanzine suddenly appeared on the Internet. It was called hiphopconspiracy.com. It was supposed to be a real publication reporting news about the inside world of rap. In fact, it is nothing but a vehicle to spread lies about me. The first link at the top of the site's first page is "Chuck Philips." Click on my name and you'll be led to a fake $100-million libel suit against me that has never been filed in any court, plus an array of other fictitious legal documents created to tarnish my reputation."