Los Angeles Times journalist Chuck Philips has more surprising allegations concerning musical icons Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace) and Sean "Diddy" Combs. In an article that the Times will be publishing Monday morning (March 17), Philips alleges that Combs and Wallace were aware, a week in advance, that Tupac would be ambushed in the 1994 shooting at New York's Quad Recording Studios, two years before he was shot and killed in Las Vegas.
"They were advised in advance of what was going to happen," Philips told reporters on Saturday. "They did not know the assailants were going to be shooting. In fact, [the assailants] were told no shooting. But Tupac pulled a gun, and it went haywire. It was supposed to be a severe beating."
Shakur was at DJ Ron G's home laying down raps for a mixtape on November 30, 1994. He was called to Quad Studios to rap on a song by Uptown artist Little Shawn, for which he was to be paid $7,000. When Pac got to the studio, he was robbed, beaten and shot a reported five times by the assailants (although some reports say he shot himself twice accidently).
Philips' article also alleges that the main mastermind behind the Shakur setup was Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond who currently manages a slew of artists such as The Game and Gucci Mane.
Philips said he arrived at this conclusion after years of delving into the incident. He has talked to men who he believes were directly involved in the shooting and has uncovered papers documenting an FBI investigation whose findings coincide with his research.
"The FBI talked to some criminals that said Jimmy Henchman was involved," Philips said.
When reached for comment on Saturday, Rosemond said Philips' story is so ridiculous, he refused to dignify it with a remark.
As Tupac's fans know, Shakur himself accused Henchman of being a part in the scheme in "Against All Odds": "And did I mention/ Promised a payback, Jimmy Henchman/ In due time/ I knew you b---- n---as was listening/ The world is mine/ Set me up/ Wet me up/ N---as stuck me up/ Heard the guns bust/ But you tricks never shut me up."
In interviews, Rosemond has gone on record saying that he played no part in the scheme.
After the shooting, Shakur considered Combs and Wallace bitter enemies, and their feud continued all the way until Shakur's murder in 1996. But prior to the incident, Pac was supposedly friends with the Bad Boy camp.
In another shocking allegation, Philips said that the 1994 incident might have been meant to strong-arm Shakur into officially coming to the Bad Boy camp.
"What I believe is that Bad Boy, who was very young then they had Craig Mack and Biggie back in '93," Philips explained. "They were a brand-new company. Puffy was trying to start his company, and they wanted other artists on this label besides those two. One of them might have been Tupac. Tupac told them no. He told a number of other people no. ... You have to remember, Puffy got a lot of money to start up Bad Boy from Arista. A lot of people wanted to get their hands on some of that money. A lot of people he hung around would do things to try to impress him."
This is not the first bombshell Phillips has dropped concerning Shakur and Wallace. In 2002, he wrote an article alleging that Wallace had offered the Crips $1 million to murder Shakur. In fact, he said Biggie was negotiating the hit on September 7, 1996, the night Tupac was shot in Las Vegas.
That article was immediately refuted by Wallace's family and friends and shown to have some holes in his theories.
"We are outraged at the false and damaging statements," Wallace's family said in a statement in 2002. "For the record, Wallace was at his home in New Jersey on the night of Tupac Shakur's murder, with friends who will continue to testify for his whereabouts, since he is unable to defend himself. Both men will have no peace as long as stories such as these continue to be written."
Philips still stands behinds his previous story.
"Yeah, I do," he maintained Saturday. "I think the story was misinterpreted. ... What I wrote in that story was that the Southside Crips were in Las Vegas, and so were the Bloods. Tupac punched a Southside Crip, and Suge's guy piled up on that guy. Those guys made a decision the minute this happened that they were going to kill him. ... You don't punch a gang member in a public place, where you're humiliating him. They were going to kill him. And they did kill him. ... Prior to this time, in the month ahead of this, the people I talked to said Biggie had asked the Southside Crips as had other people in their crew to kill Tupac. Southside Crips didn't take it seriously. They thought he was just talking. On this night when they decided they were going to kill Tupac, they said, 'Let's make some money out of this.' Then this transaction went down. It's almost like extortion."