Lloyd Lake, a former business associate of infamous Death Row Records founder Suge Knight, is accusing Knight of being a conniving government informant being used by the United States to regulate hip-hop, and he's attempting to pull out all the stops to prove his case. Lake is campaigning to raise funds for a tell-all documentary titled Justice For Tupac & Biggie
, uncovering the truth behind Suge Knight, his involvement with the government and the many legal cases which Knight has been involved with, most notably the murder cases of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
The documentary is essentially seeking to identify Knight as a snitch, though the film may never actually be made. The documentary purports to feature interviews with Tupac’s former bodyguard and a suspect in his killing, Reggie Wright, as well as lawyers who reveal the U.S. Justice System’s unwillingness to prosecute those involved in the crime. Lake put the project first on Kickstarter, then on Indiegogo in an attempt to meet a $150,000 goal, after which the documentary will be released to the public. The campaign isn't going so well
Lake, who’s known Knight since 1994, has a bone to pick with him, particular after being indicted after an incident with NFL star Reggie Bush, and wants to address the question of why Suge Knight has never served serious time in the U.S. prison system outside of the four years he spent locked up following a probation violation in 1997. It's an interesting proposition—one which whets many a conspiracy theorist's appetite—but one that hasn't held much weight despite Knight's repeated arrests in the past decade.
So why push for this documentary now? It all stems from the incident with Bush in 2008, when Lake spoke about giving the former Heisman Trophy-winning running back and his family $300,000 in cash, living arrangements and other benefits between Nov. 2004 and Jan. 2006. The deal was a verbal agreement in exchange for Lake’s management agency, New Era Sports and Entertainment, representing Bush. Bush and Lake would eventually reach a settlement in a civil case regarding the dissolution of the matter, but Lake has contended that Knight's involvement caused Bush to go to the FBI, getting Lake indicted and somehow still getting off without major criminal investigation.
Alongside Wright, Lake's film is looking to dismantle a perceived injustice dating back nearly two decades and make the hip-hop community aware of Suge’s "snitching" activities, often bringing up the name of infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, who was protected throughout a decades-long criminal enterprise by funneling information to the FBI on his enemies, as a comparison. Conspiracy theorists or not, Lake and Wright’s accusations still contain some element of plausibility.
"The fact that 17 years has gone by without anyone being prosecuted, and there are 17 deaths connected with Tupac’s murder for which no one has been charged, this forces us to look at the glaring fact that the legal system failed," Lake said during an interview with XXL
. "It’s my goal with this documentary to put not only those involved on trial, but to reveal the shameful cover up and reveal the truth and facts in the case."
Whether or not the documentary ever sees the light of day, XXL
spoke with Lake and Wright to try and get to the bottom of their claims, fantastical or otherwise. The story remains far from over. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)