According to Hackie, the Feds suspected Suge Knight and company of carrying out criminal activities through his then dominant Death Row Records empire. Hackie funneled information to the FBI as he was already positioned inside of Death Row through his security services.
The presence of off-duty Los Angeles police officers working hand in hand with known gang members would lead many to believe that law enforcement corruption was a major hurdle in closing the case.
With all this heat on Death Row, former general manager and head of security Reginald Wright steps up to address all the accusations stemming from the new documentary.
In a candid interview Wright goes over the videotape and gives his side of the story on Pacs rumored monetary gripes with the label, the lack of security in Vegas and the motives behind the shooting.
AllHipHop.com: Can you give the AllHipHop.com community a run through of your background?
Reginald Wright: First off, my name is Reginald Wright. I was a police officer for the city of Compton up until January of 96 when I retired. I had a traffic accident that messed up my ankle and I got a medical retirement. However, prior to that I opened up a security company in May of 95 where I started providing services for Death Row Records and different movie production studios. I was the head of security for Death Row and a vendor of Death Row where I supplied a company which is called Wright Way Protective Services. When Suge was incarcerated for the probation violation in 97 I started operating and doing the day to day business for the record company for Mr. Knight up until his return. I then stopped working for Death Row in January 2002 and started working as a consultant for two to three years.
AllHipHop.com: I know your main reason in getting in touch with us was to respond to the recent statements from your former employee Kevin Hackie. At a recent screening of Tupac Assassination Kevin admitted he was working with the FBI during his time at Death Row. The movie is headed by another one of your former employees Big Frank Alexander.
Reginald Wright: Thats true. Suge and I have taken a lot of criticism over the years. Out of respect for Pac, we didnt really care what people think, just as long as Afeni Shakur, members of the Outlawz, and people that were close to him at the time knew our relationship with him. Ive worked hand in hand with Miss Shakur and her staff on putting out the Tupac items while they were in custody and everything like that. I was instrumental in putting out the greatest hits album of course with Suges blessings. As long as I knew they didnt believe any of these theories and all the false stuff out there in the media, we didnt care. But now when I see guys keep popping up, keeping their fame, going on and making money and exploiting him for their own personal gain and believing their own lies you get tired of seeing that.
Once I saw the tape and read the things online, I said, Hey these guys cant get away with this because some people really believe this stuff. Over sixty to seventy percent of the accusations in the film are outright lies. Kevin Hackie was not an FBI implant he was a school district police officer that I knew from being a Compton police officer. Hes an FBI informant, not an FBI implant. He was a snitch who had some jail time that [he] wanted to try to work off and Im sure the FBI wanted an implant in there. Either he was a bad informant or we didnt do anything wrong. We have never been indicted. So if he was an informant or this and that, either we werent [doing] anything wrong or he was a bad informant.
We didnt care about informants; thats why Suge hired police officers. We knew these guys were police officers. I didnt do a good enough background check as I should have on guys like Frank Alexander who represented himself as a retired Orange County sheriff and had a badge and ID that I can supply you copies of and stuff like that. Then I find out later he was nothing but a marine on steroids. Kevin Hackie was a cop but I didnt know he was being investigated where he ended up doing federal penitentiary time and is still on probation. Hes a convicted felon who is trying to portray himself as a security officer or a FBI [agent]. Those are all the bad guys. Suge Knight did jail time for an alleged kick. Ive never been to jail but everyone wants to make us the bad guys.
AllHipHop.com: So you have viewed the Tupac Assassination film?Reginald Wright: I did see it. AllHipHop.com: When I spoke to Kevin Hackie he basically explained to me that he was a cop but was moonlighting as security for Death Row. FBI agents approached him about working with the FBI because he was already working within Death Row. Kevin Hackie stated that they were keeping an eye on you and believed you were carrying out criminal activities for Suge Knight.
Reginald Wright: I dont know that to be true or not. I know that by an article in the LA Times he backtracked on saying all of that stuff with [LA Times writer] Chuck Phillips. He can tell you that right before the trial he backtracked from all of that. That it was all lies and said it was [Former LAPD] Russell Poole said all of that. Trust me, this is a guy who ended up doing jail time during the period we talking about.
AllHipHop.com: Lets get into Tupac Assassination. Why was there only one bodyguardFrank Alexanderassigned to Tupac and the entire Death Row entourage that night of the boxing match in Vegas?
Reginald Wright: To be honest there was only one bodyguard assigned to him and that was because Kevin Hackie was supposedly on his way to the event. Kevin Hackie was the second bodyguard that was assigned to him. He informed me that he was on the highway and he was on his way, but what happened was, Tupac that particular day said he was tired of coming to the fights late and he and Frank left before the entourage got ready and caught a cab over to the fight. Thats how upset Tupac was about always showing up to the fights late.
This guy Michael Moore [Former Death Row security] who said he was assigned; he was originally assigned to Tupac only when they went out of town to Paris because he is a fireman. He didnt have a gun permit. He wasnt supposed be carrying a gun. He was only allowed to carry a gun exposed. Thats why he only worked at the studio and stuff like that where we wore the guns exposed. But he wasnt allowed to have a gun concealed at any time. The two people that were supposed to be assigned to Tupac that night were Frank and Kevin Hackie.
Kevin Hackie didnt show up until later that night because he had learned I was upset because I had caught him stealing. What I mean by that is I was paying him and he was billing the production company for Gang Related because Tupac was working on that movie. He was getting paid by them directly and Im supposed to be billing them directly then I pay the guards but he was double dipping. He had found out about that and he was basically hiding and not showing up until it happened. So thats why it was only one guy assigned to Pac that night.
Frank didnt call me and tell me Kevin Hackie didnt show up yet or that they had left. They went to the fight in a cab; we didnt even know that until later on until Suge got to the fight. Thats when we learned he only had one bodyguard but by that time, the incident had happened. But at no point when they were at Suges house, they were there and other people had walkie talkies and everything, Frank had never called and informed us that they had the incident at the hotel nor did he ever inform me that he was the only bodyguard with Tupac.
Our main focus that night was to get Club 662 together because we were trying to have our liquor license and our business license. Thats why I didnt even go to the fight with Suge because getting everything together for the club was my concern. Not saying we didnt have the concern of Pac on mind, but thats where I was at.
AllHipHop.com: One thing that Frank Alexander stated was that you held a security meeting earlier that day and told everyone that no one on the security team was to have any protection on them.
Reginald Wright: And thats a true statement for the people working inside the club because we didnt want any problems. But never would I tell a bodyguard not to do that. In Franks book I Got Your Back he refers to not having his gun because at the last minute Tupac told him to drive the Outlawz because none of them had their drivers license. Suge told Pac to ride with him and Pac told Frank to drive the Outlawz. Frank said that his gun was in his car and he left it in the car because he had ,right quick, jump into Pacs car and drive the Outlawz. That statement is in his book, now he changes his story because its convenient to what he is saying this time. You can find [it] in the book. But never was any personal bodyguards ever told that.
AllHipHop.com: Another thing that was presented in the movie was that the use of the walkie talkies which was pretty much standard for your staff at the time were not available for Alexander.
Reginald Wright: Frank had been on vacation the week prior. The thing is Pac hated Frank, thats why he shook Frank at the casino. Pac called and said Reggie, why the f***, I told you I dont want this dude with me no more, I told you the one I want is Hackie. I told him all the other guys are at the club. He didnt care, he really liked Kevin. I cant say he didnt like Kevin. He liked dealing with Kevin and all of that.
AllHipHop.com: One thing that has been stated in other documentaries and in the media was that former LAPD officer David Mack performed security for Death Row as well.
Reginald Wright: I didnt know David Mack. I didnt know a Rafael Perez or any of them. Ive done had FBI, LAPD, and Internal Affairs investigate me and go through my books, my records, my payroll records and all of that. Even David Mack and all of them have told them that they dont even know who the hell I am or even worked for me. These guys were allegedly friends of the guy (LAPD Officer Kevin Gaines) [who] was killed who knew Suges ex wife; you think hes going to have somebody working for him that knows his ex wife? Thats crazy. Those are Hackie lies, thinking he saw them around. Again when he is getting questioned about it in a grand jury or when he about to go before court its I didnt say none of that.
AllHipHop.com: When I spoke to Kevin Hackie he stated that there is no doubt that Orlando Anderson pulled the trigger on Tupac. He also mentioned that there is a paper trail, as there was an arrest warrant that was filed then coincidently, twenty four hours later he was shot dead. The fact that your father Reginald Wright Sr. was still working for the Compton police unit at the time adds some more suspicion to that aspect of the case.
Reginald Wright: He got shot in a drug buy where the guy that was in the car with him is in jail for murder. It was a big shoot out in front of Compton High School two to three years later.
AllHipHop.com: Doesnt that seem too coincidental though?
Reginald Wright: I just know he was shot at a carwash by Compton High School and his co-conspirator is now in jail for murder and none of our names came up in the trial for that.
AllHipHop.com: The most shocking moment in the film is when one of your former security officers Michael Moore said that he was taken off to guard Tupac and to work security at Club 662 where the after party was being held. He said he heard someone on the Death Row walkie talkies say “got him” that night of the shooting. Minutes later he says he heard someone on the Death Row walkie talkies say “don’t talk about business over the walkie talkies.” The producers of the film even get a statement from an employee at Sprint saying during that time those phones didnt have the capability of talking in group; implying got him came from your phone.
Reginald Wright: Thats a lie but I dont even know why the guy from Sprint would say that. Of course Sprint didnt own Nextel at the time so I guess a guy from Sprint wouldnt know that back in 96. We used to talk on group all the time, direct and you could also hit the private button and talk privately. But thats not true, thats ludicrous. Then we going to say we got him but we going to graze Suge in the head; what type of sense that make? We could have had Tupac meet us in the middle of the Mojave Desert if we wanted to but we going to conspire to have him shot on a Las Vegas strip right after he gets into a fight? Thats crazy.
Michael Moore is lying. Hes another convicted felon, hes trying to represent himself like he is still a fireman but he got fired. He got fired for failing a steroid drug test from the fire department. Hes been arrested two or three times for beating up his wife! These guys want to come out and get their fifteen minutes of fame, so let them have it. But thats an outright lie.
AllHipHop.com: Some of Suges associates were in a car that was ahead of Suge and Tupac actually followed the killers car after the shooting but no information came back from that chase. Frank Alexander says he saw the car that was used to follow the assailant a couple of weeks later and said there were bullet holes in the car? Care to comment on that?
Reginald Wright: Whoever was in that car followed the car and they shot up that Cadillac. Later on Compton police find the shop where that car was repaired at and everything. The white Cadillac was shot up, but not by Frank who was supposed to be security. Im not saying anything new, all of that was in the affidavit. They didnt want to solve that case, they try to make it seem like Suge wasnt cooperating. I took Suge to the Las Vegas police department the next day. He gave an interview of what happened.
AllHipHop.com: The question really is did you ever get the story from the people that chased the assailants after the shooting?
Reginald Wright: All I know is that it was reported that shots were fired and this is what Im reading from reading affidavits later; that the white Cadillac was found. An informant told the police that that was the car they used to shoot Tupac and that they repaired the holes and they took it back to the car rental. Thats something that was in the LA Times and thats something that is in the affidavit.
AllHipHop.com: Where do you think all these theories implicating you and Suge as the culprits behind Tupacs death stem from?Reginald Wright: I think the only people that believe that is people trying to profit from it by telling a story. I know his mom doesnt, I know the Outlawz dont. They wouldnt deal with me if they really felt that way. His moms attorney, I speak to him daily.
AllHipHop.com: The main theory is that Tupac was owed over ten million dollars in royalties by Death Row and he was about to leave the record company. Can you comment on that?
Reginald Wright: Suge at that time wanted to be more of a distributor like an Interscope [Records]. He got with his three or four main players at the time. MC Hammer was going to have his own label distributed on Death Row. Snoop was going to have Dogg House Records distributed by Death Row and Pac was going to have Makaveli Records. Suge was paying for all this stuff. He brought Eric B. in and they were going to do the Death Row East. When they were talking about the masters, Pac wasnt trying to leave. Masters back then were big old reels. Pac wasnt trying to leave with those! You would have to have a two wheeler! Pac was trying to leave with DATs and cassettes. Suges whole thing was that we had to get permission from Suge for anyone to leave with any music. The engineers couldnt even make a copy in the studios. My security would pat down anyone coming in and out.
AllHipHop.com: Back to the question though, was Tupac owed that money?Reginald Wright: I didnt know what the financial business was. I know they were all happy. I know the only person he was mad at was Snoop. Snoop went on the radio and said that he didnt have a problem with Biggie and he would do a song with Biggie
AllHipHop.com: Has Suge Knight viewed the film as well?
Reginald Wright: No he has not.
AllHipHop.com.com: A new theory in the case is that the fight involving Death Row and Orlando Anderson at the MGM casino was staged. Orlando Anderson didnt even have tickets to the fight that night.
Reginald Wright: You ever been to a fight? A Mike Tyson fight back in the day was like going to All-Star Weekend! I mean Bad Boy [Records] was giving parties then, everyone was having parties! It was parties all over, it was like All-Star Weekend! So everyone hung out just to watch but the fight being staged? Tupac was the one who initiated that! Suge was really trying to break that fight up because he knew about cameras and stuff like that.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think really went down in regards to Tupacs death?
Reginald Wright: Puffy had a reward for anybody who would bring him a Death Row chain. He was going to give them five thousand dollars.
AllHipHop.com: Do you actually believe that?
Reginald Wright: Back then there were some things going back and forth. Tupac was going hard on them and they had the Southside Crips with them. Thats how the incident happened at the Lakewood Mall at the Foot Locker. There was a fight at the MGM the night of the shooting. What happened was you had some LA nias used to doing what LA nias do. They got beat up and they retaliated for one of their boys being beat up. Thats all it was; retaliation for the beating of Orlando Anderson.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have any closing statements?
Reginald Wright: I hope people dont support this documentary because theres a bunch of lies in there and you have people out there for greedy and make a little buck as easiest as they can. If its about truth lets see Frank Alexander donate some of his portion of the money to any of Pacs foundations or anything like that. I bet you he wont do anything like that.