The World Was Definitely Robbed of a Visionary Artist with the Murder of Tupak
The death of Tupac is one that’s shrouded by mystery and controversy. Many believe that Shakur's death was the result of a gang-related feud. Others think that good friend and Death Row CEO Marion “Suge” Knight set up a hit because “dead rappers—particularly rappers with legal problems that cost their companies money—are more profitable than live rappers” (Court TV online). But the unfolding events surrounding this murder guide us to an obvious conclusion. Tupac Shakur was killed by members of the Crips gang under the order of Notorious B.I.G.
On September 7th, 1996, Tupac was attending the prizefight between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon. On his way out, Orlando Anderson, a friend of Bad Boy records and also one of the Crips responsible for a mugging of a Death Row member, was spotted. The Death Row entourage (including Tupac and Suge Knight) began to beat this Crip member. The mob was broken up and Orlando decided not to press charges.
After leaving the MGM Grand, the entourage departed for Club 662. Knight was driving his BMW with Shakur in the passenger seat. At 11:18 pm, while both Knight and Shakur were preoccupied by a car full of women on the left side of the BMW, a white Cadillac pulled up on the right side and opened fire on Knight’s car. While Knight escaped the attack with minor injuries, Shakur wasn’t as lucky. “He had been shot in his right hand, right hip and right chest just under his right arm” (Scott online). Suge sped away and crashed into a median at the Vegas strip. Medics took Shakur to the University Medical Center and after two surgeries and six days of agony, Tupac Amaru Shakur passed away.
Both Bad Boy and Death Row records are connected to gang activity. Bad Boy being an east coast label, affiliates with the Crips while Death Row associates with the Bloods, which is a west coast gang. Shakur and former headlining Big Boy rapper Christopher Wallace or Notorious B.I.G. used to be close friends. However they soon found themselves in the midst of the gang rivalry. Each began to slander one another through song and interviews. It’s rumored that B.I.G. was at the match in Vegas; however police have not been able to confirm his whereabouts.
Six months later, Mr. Wallace was presenting an award at the Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles. When attempting to give the award, the crowd booed him off stage due to his possible ties with the murder. After the award show, Biggie was gunned down on the way home from a party. The driver of the gunman’s car was identified as Officer David Mack LAPD. “As well as being a police officer, Mack was a member of the Mob Piru Bloods and had a close association with Death Row founder Suge Knight.” (Court TV online). Suge Knight was also arrested in this case. His car “matched the description of the shooters car” (Findadeath.com online). Suge was not found guilty due to “his friends in high places” (Court TV online). Mack is still in jail; however his good friend and accused shooter Amir Muhammad simply vanished and has never been heard from again.
Some still argue that Suge arranged the death of Tupac. He certainly benefited in the surge of record sales after Shakur’s death. However, it’s unlikely that Suge Knight would put himself at risk and retaliate in this manner unless he believed that Biggie and the Crips were responsible for the death of Tupac.