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The unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls are undoubtedly two of the biggest mysteries in Hip Hop and pop culture. The vicious rivalry between the East and West Coast rappers came to an end with the drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur in 1996 and the shooting of the Notorious BIG aka Biggie Smalls, who died in similar circumstances in 1997.
With no strong leads or suspects over the last two decades, fans and conspiracy theorists have run wild with their own suspicions on who killed the two most iconic figures in rap history. Hip Hop mogul, Biggie’s best friend and Bad Boy Records label boss P Diddy has found himself to be at the centre of the latest theory.
In the documentary Murder Rap, former Los Angeles police detective Greg Kading, who published a book in 2011 of the same name, alleges that Diddy, real name Sean Combs, paid a member of the Crips gang to kill Shakur and Death Row Records boss Suge Knight, who escaped the shooting unharmed.
This is just one of the many theories out there on the murders that shook Hip Hop so from the outrageous to the most popular, Hip-Hop Universe takes a look back at the biggest theories on who killed Tupac and Biggie…
Russell Poole theory
The former detective involved in the investigation of Biggie’s murder claimed to have discovered that several members of the LAPD also worked as security for Death Row Records and were dirty police officers. According to Poole, these officers conspired to cover-up the fact Suge Knight was behind Biggie’s murder. The ex LAPD detective said in Nick Broomfield’s 2002 documentary, Tupac And Biggie: “You got to think to yourself, ‘Who could do this and get away with it?’ Cops.”
The FBI killed both to put an end to violent rap culture
Author John Potash explored this theory of Tupac’s death in his book The FBI War On Tupac And Black Leaders, which took 12 years of research. According to Potash, Tupac was being monitored by the Federal Bureau due to his ties with the Black Panther Party. Explaining his idea behind the theory to All Hip Hop, Potash said: “He had very close relationships with his extended Black Panther Party family, who acted as his mentors, not to mention that he was trying to do more positive things. [The government] orchestrated his assassination.”
Biggie paid a gang to kill Tupac
In an explosive piece published by the Los Angeles Times, a reporter alleged that Biggie offered gang members $1m to shoot his rival Tupac and even lent his own gun to carry out the murder. However, this theory has been widely discredited over the years.
Orlando Anderson killed Tupac
According to Tupac’s former bodyguard Frank Alexander, Crips affiliate Orlando Anderson orchestrated the rapper’s murder after the pair got into a fight in Las Vegas. In an interview, Alexander said: “On the night of the Tyson/Seldon fight, a friend of Suge Knight’s came up to Tupac and whispered that he had spotted Orlando Anderson in the arena.
“Tupac ran over and that’s when they got into it. I ran over and saw Tupac throw a couple of blows. Anderson tried to throw one back, but ended up going down, and that’s when a ton of Death Row guys jumped on him. If you get into a scuffle and you get you butt whupped, whatcha gonna do? You’re going to tell your friends, ‘Hey I just got into a fight and guess who it was with? Tupac!’ And someone’s going to say, ‘You know what, let’s go get some payback’. I can see that happen.”
Voletta Wallace knows Puff Daddy and Suge Knight “had some responsibility” in the murder of her son, The Notorious B.I.G., according to retired LAPD detective Greg Kading.
While on the visit, Kading says that he “sat down with her and explained to her what we had discovered in the police investigation.
Kading’s findings led him to conclude that Puff Daddy hired Crips gang member Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis to kill Shakur and Suge Knight. The bounty was $1 million. According to Kading’s work, Keffe D’s nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, shot Tupac in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996. The rapper died September 13.
Kading says that Knight hired Bloods gang member Wardell “Poochie” Fouse to kill The Notorious B.I.G. as retaliation. Biggie Smalls was shot to death in Los Angles March 9, 1997.
Kading says that when he presented Wallace, who had believed Poole’s findings, with his information that she had a new perspective regarding the murder of her son.
“I think she knows that all of these guys,” Kading says during the Murder Master Music Show interview, “Puffy and Suge, all had some responsibility in the murder of her son.”
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