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, however.

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)


(Los Angeles Times Photo By Ken Hively)

XXL: What’s the reason for making this documentary?
Lloyd Lake: Suge Knight was trying to set me up all throughout my Reggie Bush situation, and I just got tired of knowing that this guy is an informant, and watching him still continue with violent acts on a different artist out there and still shaking down rappers and producers. And the government letting him do it. The government gives him a permit or pass to extort artists or shake them down and that’s not right. So I decided to speak up on it, because it puts everyone in a bad situation. That’s how Petey Pablo ended up catching his 3 years [for gun possession]; he was petrified of Suge. He didn’t want to leave without that gun.


LL: Back in 2008, when Lil Wayne was doing a show in San Diego, we was on the bus with Wayne, and Suge had asked me [if I wanted] to ride to Yuma [in Arizona]. With Lil Wayne and all of them. I thought It was a little strange, and I told him I got things to do. But on the bus, everything is visible; it’s Suge Knight, nobody is going to hide anything. So later that night, Wayne’s bus got pulled over. And you know what happened after that; they found the guns and drugs on the bus. Same thing happened with Scott Storch the night we were in the studio with him in Vegas when they raided his [hotel] room for cocaine. I’m positive Suge Knight is playing a part with the government, collecting information and giving it to them to conduct their investigation.


Reggie Wright: The instances that I know of that he cooperated with the government [were] when he tried to turn in his [former] attorney David Kenner to get a lighter sentence. He wanted me to contact the U.S. attorney, then the U.S. attorney told me to have [Suge's new] attorney contact me. When I contacted his attorney, he told me he wasn’t representing [Suge] if he’s going to do any type of snitching. So that’s where it dies down there... He always tries to portray that he’s not a rat, but he’s always telling. He just used other people to work as operatives to get people incarcerated.


The reason behind the documentary is to identify Suge as a government informant?
LL: Yeah. It's basically, why does the government let him do this if he puts people in bad situations? He’s running around still beating up little guys—he beat up Akon's brother, like, three weeks ago. Then at the marijuana dispensary, he punched a guy. How come he didn’t go to jail? Anybody else with strikes would have went to jail for that. Even if they didn’t have no strikes with his record. Let's go to Vegas where he assaulted Melissa Isaac in front of police. How could he not go to jail for that one? Let's talk about when he supposedly sent someone to Akon’s road manager's house and robbed [producer Detail] and said, "This is for the debt you owe Suge Knight."


LL: During the Reggie Bush situation, if you look at USA Today or the L.A. Times, they said Reggie Bush and his attorney went to the FBI because of a 3-way call that me and Suge made with him. They said they were afraid when Suge's name came up, so that made him run to the FBI. But during the Reggie Bush situation, Suge's name never came up. My mom went in front of the Grand Jury, my sister and my ex-girlfriend. Suge was the one that had him so scared that he went to the FBI. How come his name never came up in the Grand Jury one single time? Not one single time did they ever ask anything about Suge Knight. How is that even possible? That’s not possible.

reggie bush

When did Suge Knight's relationship with the government begin?
LL: I can't give you exact details, but the way it seems like he’s afraid of jail, it might have started from the first case he ever copped. I can't put a date on it. He tried to get me to kill Reggie Bush’s mom. Now, for what reason does Suge have any concern about that case to pump me up to do something to Reggie’s mom? Other than that it was just a setup from the FBI? He only bothers little guys. They’re afraid to say anything. He picks the guys that he bullies and that’s it. How does he continue to get away with it?


Where do the Tupac and Biggie cases come into play?
LL: Tupac comes in because [of] all the evidence that Suge was involved in it. I'll give you an example. You see OJ [Simpson] beat his case, but if they catch you doing anything wrong they are going to slam you for it. Just like they did to OJ in Vegas. They had plenty of other chances to prosecute [Suge], but they chose not to. How come he never goes to jail? How come they let him continue to beat up other rappers and they don’t do anything? It’s almost like he’s the government's bully. They use him to control the rap industry.


RW: We stand by what’s in the book by Greg Kading [Murder Rap: The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations] with both Biggie’s murder and Tupac’s murder. Tupac was killed mainly because of the beatdown that happened in the hotel [in 1996, three days after the MTV VMAs, on the night Tupac was shot]. And the guy from the Southside Compton Crips retaliated for two reasons. One, mainly, because of the beating. And two, is because Puffy put out a bounty for Tupac's death prior to that, to those particular guys that the beating happened to. Actually, the uncle of the guy that ended up doing the shooting was actually in the car, one of four guys [who] admitted to being in the car at the time of the shooting. I'm talking about Keith "Keffe D" Davis. And he also admits that Puffy offered him, I had heard, $100,000. On the Biggie situation, I believed what’s in the book is what happened, that [Suge] orchestrated it from prison.


Are those some of the points that are touched on in the documentary?
LL: No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, [based on] Kading's theory, there was enough evidence to indict him. The documentary is going to show the reason why nothing happens. He’s an informant and we’ll show all the different violent acts that he’s been committing with no charges and we’re going to have lawyers and judges and everybody saying that this is not legally possible [that] a guy with these crimes does not get prosecuted for these cases... I know for a fact that he was tried to set me up and he’s working for the government. That’s what I want out there and for rappers to be aware of.