We’ve officially wrapped up a big year for the genre we all love– new albums from Jay Z, Kanye West, Pusha T, Mac Miller, Drake, Juicy J (and the list goes on), only made 2013 that much sweeter. Mix in a new-found competition brought on by, you guessed it, “Control,” and all the free mixtapes we’ve received in 2013, and this past year was definitely a good one. Apart from the usual rap antics, 2013 was significant as it marked 40 years since hip-hop’s inception, starting out in the Bronx borough of New York City and spreading across the world. Now that we entered a new year, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of the biggest moments throughout the last four decades of hip-hop.
Rapper Lil Wayne believes that Pusha T’s new track, Exodus 23:1 is a diss against Young Money. Pusha T dropped the track Wednesday (May 23) night from his forthcoming solo album. Shortly after, Weezy took to Twitter (@liltunechi) and tweeted, “Fuk Pusha T and anybody that love em.” The track samples Notorious B.I.G’s What’s Beef? and has a ton of subliminal lines throughout it. “Throwing that flag up, runnin around like you hot sh–, taking half of everything you get,” the G.O.O.D Music rapper’s chorus goes. The song also features the lyrics, “Contract all fucked up. I guess that means you all fucked. You signed to one nigga, then signed to another niggaa. Then signed to three niggas. Now that’s bad luck.”
A man has admitted to being involved in the attack on rap star Tupac Shakur in 1994, inside Manhattan’s Quad Studios in November of 1994, after allegedly being paid $2,500 dollars by James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond.
Dexter Isaac, a former friend of Rosemond, is an inmate currently serving life in prison for murder, robbery and other offenses.
Isaac came forward Wednesday (June 15th) with the information on the eve of what would be Tupac’s 40th birthday.
He confessed to his involvement in the November 30th, 1994 robbery of Tupac Shakur to AllHipHop.com, after Jimmy Henchman identified him in a statement, relating to Henchman’s indictment for dealing numerous kilos of cocaine.
“I want to apologize to his family [Tupac Shakur] and for the mistake I did for that sucker [Jimmy Henchman],” Dexter Isaac told AllHipHop.com from prison. “I am trying to clean it up to give [Tupac and Biggie's] mothers some closure.”
Henchman, who is currently on the run from Federal officials, claimed that Dexter Isaac, along with other incarcerated inmates were cooperating with the government in an investigation of his alleged drug dealing activities.
“If the government is relying on informants like Winston “Winnie” Harris, a convicted drug dealer and Jamaican deportee, who came to me and motioned via hand signal that he was forced to wear a wire and begged me to skip town or Dexter Isaac who is serving life in prison plus 30 years, then I’m sure I will not be offered a fair trial,” Henchman said in a statement released to AllHipHop.com in May of 2011.
Dexter Isaac told AllHipHop.com that he decided to confess to the robbery to prove Jimmy Henchman’s involvement, in addition to clearing his conscience for his role in the robbery.
Isaac said he was comfortable going on record relating to the robbery and shooting which resulted in Pac being reportedly shot, five times.
Since the statute of limitations had expired, legally, no one can be prosecuted for the assault at this time.
Isaac was a lifelong friend of Jimmy Henchmen, who helped the former mogul set up his first company, Henchman Entertainment, in 1989.
Isaac claims he never cooperated with the government in any investigation, and Jimmy Henchman’s allegations infuriated him.
Isaac, who is also from Brooklyn, has long been suspected of being involved in the Quad shooting of Tupac Shakur, along with an associate name Spencer “Scooter” Bowens, who is also serving a life sentence and another man named George Roland Campbell.
According to the confession below, Dexter Isaac not only knows what happened to Tupac Shakur’s jewelry, but he claims he is also in possession of the Hip-Hop star’s chain that was taken during the altercation on that infamous night on November 7, 1994.
The shooting on November 30th, was the start of a deadly feud that resulted in the murders of both Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.
Their murders have never been solved.
Isaac was indicted by the government in 1998 and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison for murder, robbery, fraud and witness intimidation charges.
Boston, Celtics’ Center Shaquille O’Neal claims that had he been with Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace on the night he was shot four times in the chest, the rapper might be with us today.
Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, was gunned down on March 9th, 1997 in Los Angeles, California, just after a party held at the Peterson Auto Museum for the Soul Train Music Awards in 1997.
Shaq, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Sunday (March 6th), said that the day is bitter-sweet, due to his friendship and fond memories of the late rapper.
During an interview with “Outside the Lines” on ESPN, Shaq revealed that he met Sean “Diddy” Combs and Biggie around 1993, after B.I.G. agreed to record on the basketball star’s record “You Can’t Stop The Rain.”
The pair developed a close kinship that lasted up until the night of B.I.G.’s death.
Shaq said he saw B.I.G. at a tattoo parlor on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, just two days before he was gunned down. B.I.G. invited Shaq to the infamous after party, where the rapper would lose his life.
According to Shaq, he was supposed to meet B.I.G. at the after-party, but he fell asleep in his condo while waiting for his head of security, Uncle “Jerome” Crawford, who could not get past the front desk.
“I was in my condo. I had on a cold white suit, white hat and all that,” Shaq told Outside the Lines. “I was on my way. I was dressed. Usually Uncle Jerome will just come up, but I guess he tried to call and the front desk wouldn’t let him through. I just fell asleep. I woke up about 4 o’clock from a call from my mother.”
The news Shaq’s mom Mrs. Lucille O’Neal delivered was shocking. Her son’s friend had been gunned down just hours earlier, by unknown assailants.
“She said ‘Did you go to the party?’ I’m like, ‘No, what’re you talking about?’ She said, ‘You know, your friend was shot and killed.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ So then I hung up with her and called some people and they told me what had happened,” Shaq told Outside the Lines.
Shaq addressed the murder in his 2001 autobiography Shaq Talks Back, when he wrote: “If I would have been standing by his truck, would the killer still have shot? I’ve always asked myself that question.”
Junior M.A.F.I.A.’sLil Cease also believes if Shaq had came to the party that evening, B.I.G. might still be alive.
“One dude in the car by his self,” Lil Cease revealed. “He just didn’t say nothing. He rolled up on the car, pulled his hand out the window and started firing the gun into the car, into biggie’s door. Big was just slumped over with this shocked look on his face, like he couldn’t believe what just happened.”
“I think that may would have changed things,” Lil Cease told ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “If Shaq would have said ‘you know what, I’ma come with y’all.’ I’m sure him and B.I.G. would have rolled together, because that’s the type of person B.I.G. was…I’m sure Shaq would have had security and I’m sure B.I.G. would have had enough security to come with him that day to make sure Shaq was alright. So I definitely think if Shaq would have been there, it definitely would have changed, definitely would have changed.”
While B.I.G.’s murder has never been solved, new hope has arisen in the pursuit for justice.
Hundreds of new documents were recently unsealed by the L.A.P.D. linking two former officers to the 1997 murder.
According to the new evidence, former L.A.P.D. officers-turned-criminals Rafael Perez and David Mack were involved with the murder of B.I.G., along with a man named Amir Muhammad, at the orders of Marion “Suge” Knight.
None of the men implicated in the rapper’s murder have ever been charged.
“I am fortunate enough to say that I knew him. Fortunate enough to say that he blessed me with 32-bars on my album and I’m blessed enough to say he knew me and I knew him. So I don’t really think about the bad times, I just good times, and he is the greatest rapper.”
On Wednesday (March 9th), B.I.G. will be honored by Junior M.A.F.I.A. and other close friends during a celebration of his life.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Christopher Wallace Foundation, to directly benefit the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, and their unwavering efforts to make a difference in the lives of the youth.
C.W.M.F. representative Jan Jackson will be on site during the event, and will be scheduling interviews upon request.
Also in honor of Biggie’s memory, the tribute celebration will feature artists who were inspired by Biggie’s music, and who will pay homage to him through live performances.
Raekwon has been added to the lineup, which also includes Easy Mo Bee, DJ Premiere, Esquire, 50 Grand, Pharoahe Monch and Lady Luck.
Ice Cube is teaming up with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster in the new film Rampart.
The film, which is centered around the scandals that took place in the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1990s, showcases police misconducts in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) anti-gang program including unprovoked shootings, beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury and covering up evidence.
Ice Cube is set to play a LAPD officer alongside Foster, who are colleagues with Harrelson’s character, an LAPD officer on a redemptive journey who finds himself embroiled in scandal.
The LAPD, which has widely been criticized for the mishandling of the murder cases of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac, have denied allegations that they have ever hired criminals to work as officers in the division.
But according to retired robbery-homicide detective Russell Poole in the critically acclaimed book “Labyrinth”, the police knowingly hired gang members David Mack and Rafael Pérez who were well known throughout the Blood community.
According to the book “Labyrinth”, Mack and Pérez were also employed by former Death Row CEO Suge Knight, along with other police officers from the Rampart division, to serve as security at various Death Row events. Poole also states that the officers witnessed and participated in illegal activities while working events.
Mack, who was suspected to have played a role in the murder of Notorious B.I.G., was later arrested for bank robbery, while still employed as an LAPD officer.
Adding to the scandal was the shooting death of corrupt LAPD officer Kevin Gaines by fellow officer and undercover detective Frank Lyga in 1997. The shooting, which was ruled self-defense, uncovered evidence of Officer Gaines’s corrupt behavior.
According to reports, Gaines filed a bogus claim against the city of Los Angeles for “mistreatment” against him during an arrest while he was off duty. After the ruling in Gaines favor, it was later discovered that the suit was filed to secure his officer pension. Police also state adding to growing suspicion was the fact that Gaines was dating and living with Suge Knights ex-wife and the then manager of Snoop Dogg, Sharitha Knight.
According to published police files, Poole, who was assigned to investigate the Lyga-Gaines shooting, recovered evidence that Gaines’s lifestyle did not match the $55,000 a year salary he was paid as an LAPD officer.
The published reports show that at the time, Gaines drove a Mercedes and wore designer suits. Detectives also found nine credit cards as well as a receipt for a $952 restaurant tab at Monty’s Steakhouse, a Westwood hangout for members of Death Row Records.
At the time, Death Row Records was under investigation by the FBI since 1993 for its strong ties to Compton’s Mob Piru Bloods gang.
Rampart, a film based on James Ellroy’s screenplay, has been developed at Light stream Pictures is slated to be released sometime in 2011.
A judgment has finally been reached in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the late Notorious B.I.G. against the LAPD.
The decision occurred on April 5 after an eight year battle as Federal Judge Jacqueline Nguyen dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Voletta Wallace in 2002, blamed the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD for her son’s death after LAPD officers Rafael Perez and David Mack were discovered to allegedly be involved in the late rapper’s murder.
Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was gunned down in March of 1997, after attending an after party during the Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles.
Over the past eight years, the case has definitely had its ups and downs. In March of 2006, U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled in favor of B.I.G., awarding the family a $1.1 million dollar judgment against the city, but in May of the same year, Judge Cooper dismissed the previous ruling in the case, after discovering the family had information they told the court they did not have access to.
In June of 2006, the city of Los Angeles claimed B.I.G.‘s attorneys went to “absurd lengths” to “satisfy their ambition to extract hundreds of millions of dollars from the city.”
SMH, Biggie’s words still hold true to this day, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.