A few years ago, there was a series of stories in the Los Angeles Times by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chuck Philips suggest that it was the Notorious B.I.G. who had 2Pac “assasinated” in Las Vegas, back in 1996.
At the time, I’ll admit I found the story fairly ridonkulous. According to Philips’ account, Biggie was in Vegas the night of the Tyson fight and paid some crip $1 million cash to ether ‘Pac, but only if he did it with Biggie’s gun. Which sounds like some shit right out of the Sopranos, if you aske me.
A gang of prominent hip-hop figures, including P. Diddy and Russell Simmons, who seemed especially incensed, came out of the woodwork to dispute the claim. P. Diddy even brought a sheet of paper from the studio (his own, I should mention) that would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Biggie couldn’t have been in Vegas that night.
Who knows what actually happened that fateful night in 1996, but the new book Notorious C.O.P., about the NYPD’s first hip-hop cop, Derrick Parker, suggests such a scenario might not have been as far-fetched as you’d like to think. Indeed by 1996, Biggie is alleged to have already had his share of blood on his hands.
While ‘Pac was showering with guys up in Clinton, he would swear up and down that Biggie and Puff had something to do with his infamous shooting at the Quad Studios, in Times Square. Come to find out, there may actually be some truth to that. Biggie was connected to some notorious killers in Brooklyn named King Tut and Nubbs and ordered them to kill ‘Pac.
According to the [confidential informant], the Quad incident was a contract shooting coming from Biggie. I suspect that’s true because Tupac and Biggie had a war brewing. [...]
There were a bunch of theories floating around, but after putting together all the information I’d received, the most plausible one for me was that the order came from Biggie; the streets were talking, and word was that it was him. Biggie surely knew Tut because of his Brooklyn ties. Biggie associates like Lance “Un” Rivera hailed from Brooklyn’s criminal underworld, so it’s clear the rapper could’ve accessed figures like Tut and Nubbs without much difficulty.
I’ve heard my share of theories about what happened that night, and I’m not sure this one is any more or less plausible than any of the others. Where it makes sense, though, is that it helps explain why ‘Pac would always suggest Big was involved. To hear Biggie’s mother tell it, in Nick Broomfield’s Biggie & Tupac, this was just a ruse to sell records.
Similarly, I’m sure we’ll be hearing stories about the infamous ’95 Source Awards for the rest of our lives, but have you heard the one about some kid from Bad Boy getting his chain snatched? Supposedly, Biggie had someone off the cat that did the snatchin’.
According to this [confidential informant], there was a robbery at the Source Awards in Manhattan that never got reported to the police: a guy named Zack with Biggie and the Bad Boy camp had his gold chain stolen. I received word that Ben O’Gara–aka Killer Ben, the notorious gunman from Myrtle Avenue in North Brooklyn–had something to do with that. Not soon after, Killer Ben was shot with a .40-caliber handgun while talking at a pay phone in his Myrtle Avenue stomping grounds.
Informants in the street tell me Ben’s death was payback for that robbery, with Biggie commissioning the hit.
Old school rap heads will recall Killer Ben from “What’s on Your Mind?” off Don’t Sweat the Technique. “Next stop was mine, a familar scene / I was meeting my friend, Killer Ben in Ft. Green.” Does this mean Rakim is going to cap Diddy? We can only hope.