(AllHipHop Features) In the final installment of AllHipHop.com’s interview with Lloyd “TaTa” Lake and Reggie Wright, the longtime Death Row Records associates share their thoughts on a number of reports and rumors that have been associated with the murder cases of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
Lake gives more details about the documentary, Justice for Tupac and Biggie, he has in the works. He also talks about whether his ex-friend Suge Knight played a role in Pac’s death as well.
Wright, a former Los Angeles police officer and 2Pac bodyguard, answers questions about the LAPD’s alleged involvement in the shootings. He also discusses if James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond orchestrated the 1994 attack on 2Pac in New York City, why Pac was killed in Las Vegas, and who fired the gun that ended Biggie’s life.
On what other aspects of the Pac/Biggie cases the documentary will cover
Reggie Wright: We’re going to explore some of the things that they found out during the Greg Kading investigation. I helped a lot with that investigation. We’re going go through the film and talk about the different situations with Puffy putting the bounty out for 2Pac’s murder, and how they and South Side Crips got into it. And that’s why they were making threats on Lil Cease phone as they indicated in the [Notorious] movie.
In the movie they said Biggie ran downstairs with the gun in his back pocket. They had it like he was coming out there having 2Pac’s back when he got robbed when Jimmy Henchman had Pac set-up. We’re going to explore that to show if Biggie did all of that, Biggie would have went to jail for a gun case. You never heard anything about him having a gun case. So we’re going to touch on stuff like that. We did the LAPD investigation of the two matters which was talked about in Murder Rap by Greg Kading.
Lloyd Lake: It’s going to explain the government’s role in Hip Hop. Including the whole Haitian Jack situation. It’s like what they did with Malcolm and Martin. They try and split the community a part and fight against each other. Suge’s known to play both sides. He does it all the time. For example, he went to Boosie and said, “You should diss T.I.,” and then if Boosie had done it, Suge would go to T.I. and say, “Boosie out here dissing you.” If the government isn’t involved then why do they let this continue to happen? Is it fair for the government to do this to these guys who are just trying to make a living? You can’t run the stop the bullying campaign, and then pay the bully.
On James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond’s alleged involvement in the Quad Studios Ambush in 1994
RW: That info we only know from what was said and later written that said he had something to do with that. So we’ll touch on it, but we’re going to get with the correct people to find out how much of that we can explore and go into. We believe for most of that to be true – that Jimmy Henchman did that just to show Puff and Biggie his street credibility. To get his name out there is the reason that was done.
On whether any Los Angeles Police Department officers including David Mack, Nino Darden, and Rafael Perez were involved in the murders of 2Pac or Biggie
RW: No, like I said almost everything that pretty much came out in the investigation and the book Murder Rap by Greg Kading I believe is 98-99% accurate. All that’s untrue. It’s all untrue. I never met any of those guys. I didn’t know any of those guys.
On reports Wardell “Poochie” Fouse was the person who shot Biggie
RW: I know that he was around. He grew up in the same neighborhood that we all grew up in. Everything that you read in the book or heard in the book Murder Rap I believe to be true, and they name him as the shooter in the book.
On rumors Suge Knight was directly involved in 2Pac’s murder
LL: Absolutely not.
RW: No, that’s not true. My whole thing is that people always want to put it out there that [Suge] didn’t want to pay [2Pac]. We hadn’t even did the accounting yet. Interscope was the one that was paying us. Most deals don’t require you to get paid until 120, 180 days. His album didn’t come out until February of the year that he got killed. To say that he owed him money and all that, that’s crazy.
The second reason is if you wanted to silence someone or keep someone at your record label, you’d put them back in the situation that they were in. The attorney that we hired, David Kenner, was handling [Pac’s] appeal, so if [Suge] was having a problem, his appeal would be revoked. Or he’d threaten he could lose your case. Or even just threaten the man that your case is not looking good.
Pac had always made it clear to us that he was not going back to jail no matter what. What he meant by that was, he was going to take his own life if he had to go back to jail. He wasn’t going to do it, but he was going to have one of the Outlawz shoot him in the head if he had to go back to jail. My point is Suge would have had him institutionalized instead of having him killed if all the accusations are true about the money, and he wanted to leave.
None of that was true. Him, Snoop, and Hammer were all about to start a record label up under Death Row. Death Row was going to be their distributor. Back then it was six distributors. Now there are only about 4. Suge was trying to become the seventh, and they were going to be called the “Lucky 7.” They were going to try to distribute all the Black, urban music at the time. That’s where they were thinking. They weren’t small minded or always being controlled by the majors. I remember we would joke about calling the label Lucky 7 – “you motherf**kers lucky to have a deal.” [laughs] It was stuff like that going on back then. It wasn’t stuff going on about worrying about this check or that. That was far from the truth.
On former Tupac bodyguard Kevin Hackie’s past claims that Wright was involved in Pac’s murder
RW: Yeah, we spoke several times since then. He called me and apologized to me for making those accusations. He said he was duped into it by Frank Alexander and the filmmaker [Richard Bond]. He was trying to help him, because he said he was upset with me for terminating his services. So he pretty much just lied and made up all that information. I could call him right now on the phone, and he’ll tell you all that information and pretty much that he was working for the government. I think he said he was an undercover agent, but a federal informant is what he was. He pretty much admits it and apologizes for making those false accusations.
On the suspected suicide of former Tupac bodyguard Frank Alexander who accused Wright of being involved in Pac’s murder
RW: Yeah, he was a coward. He always was a coward. He’s one of the reasons, as a retired police officer, that Pac’s not here today, in my opinion. As far as [him] not handling the situation at MGM correctly. That’s how I know he committed suicide. That was a suicide, because when you tell so many lies, and God is not in your heart, that’s what you do. If God’s in your heart, you won’t commit suicide.
On the reason Pac was killed
RW: The Bloods and Crips assault at MGM. Of course [Keefe D] was trying save his life, but you don’t go implicate yourself and your nephew to a murder that you’re already suspected of. Then you implicate yourself to it? Keefe D’s statements are accurate to what happened. That’s just what happens out here in the L.A. life and Vegas. Bloods not scared of Crips. Crips not scared of Bloods. Their mentality: you do something against them, then they gonna do something back against you. Orlando [Anderson] was from the Crips side, and the guys that did that in L.A. were from the Bloods side.
On if anyone will ever be prosecuted for the murders of Pac and Biggie
RW: Unfortunately, I don’t believe any prosecution can or should be done – only if Suge Knight and Puffy Combs are prosecuted. The reasoning for that is for Suge Knight – I believe everything that was found to be in the book Murder Rap is accurate. And for Puffy Combs, I did an article back in ’97 where I said that a bounty was placed on 2Pac by Puffy Combs – which turned out to be accurate – to the South Side Crips. I believe that’s one of the motivating factors that made them get in the car and decide to go ahead and try to kill 2Pac that night for the beating of Orlando Anderson which was confirmed by one of the guys that was inside the vehicle. Keefe [“D”] Davis said his nephew [Anderson] was actually the shooter of 2Pac that night.
On what they hope viewers take away after seeing Justice for Tupac and Biggie
RW: I have different motivations than Lloyd for being a part of this project. Mine is setting the record straight. I know there are some things that’s about to come out there in upcoming movies, and I just want to get my version out, so it can be the accurate version than the other people’s version. My kids will know my version of this matter, so they won’t have to be explaining some things as they get older. Then also just because of my disappointment in my childhood friend Suge Knight for even attempting or allowing someone to… I mean that’s the lowest thing to be a rat. Even allowing someone to go and try to go to court against me, and then being a part of that. That’s the lowest thing you can do to a person beside spitting in his face.
LL: What I want the viewers to get, and mainly the kids, is never follow in anyone’s footsteps because you look at them in a certain matter. Always be your own man and realize that it’s traps out there people have set for you. And to see the scope of the government’s involvement in the Hip Hop community and just how much the cost is for these rap wars they start.
If someone’s working for the government, and they keep doing something over and over, it must lead you to think that the government wants you to do that, because they’re not stopping him. They’re not telling [Suge], “Hey you gotta stop doing what you’re doing. You gotta stop hitting people. You gotta stop sending people in people’s houses.” So they must want that to happen. It’s basically to let the rappers know what’s going on. Who this guy is. That he’s a coward and not who he’s claiming to be.
For more information about the Justice for Tupac and Biggie documentary visit kickstarter.com.
Follow Lloyd Lake on Twitter @Lloyd_TataLake
Watch the teaser for Justice for Tupac and Biggie below.