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Hip-Hop Fridays: Rap COINTELPRO Part VII: The VH1 Biggie Documentary


To those who have been following our RapCOINTELPRO series, it should not have come as any surprise the direction taken and innuendo dropped during the VH1 documentary, aired last Sunday, on the Notorious B.I.G.

Basically, the documentary was the video version of the Rolling Stone article that we wrote about in part 6 of this series, where the murder of Biggie was concerned. We won’t revisit our numerous questions regarding the Rolling Stones article, which you can review via our search feature, except to emphasize one very important point.

That point is: Why are VH 1, Rolling Stone Magazine and the primary source of information, former LAPD detective Russell Poole, not focusing their investigation at the scene of the crime? We have spoken to some of our BlackElectorate.com viewers, individuals who work in law-enforcement, who totally agree with our assessment that it makes absolutely no sense to center an investigation into Biggie’s murder around who attended the party that he was at before he was murdered. This is especially true since it is a known fact by the LAPD, Rolling Stone magazine and members of the mainstream and Hip-Hop media that at the very moment that Biggie was murdered, he and Puffy’s vehicles were being trailed by federal agents and members of the NYPD. Russell Poole knows this as well. Why didn’t VH1 spend even as a little as one second on that fact?

Members of Biggie’s entourage were shown photographs of vehicles trailing their cars by law enforcement officers and were shocked to know that at the time of Biggie’s murder they were being followed by federal agents and undercover cops. None of this was explored during the documentary.

Instead, VH 1 worked, even harder than Rolling Stone reporter Randall Sullivan to link Amir Muhammad and David Mack to the murder of Biggie. But their presentation was so weak. All they could muster was that someone saw both of the men at the party before Biggie was murdered. That is all.

And more importantly, VH 1, like Rolling Stone, did not mention the fact that an L.A. Times reporter and Brill’s Content magazine impressively argued against the Amir Muhammad theory last year. We wrote about that as well in our series.

The Hip-Hop community should really be pondering some serious questions in light of this VH1 documentary. Here are a few just for starters:

1) Why has it taken VH 1 5 years to do a documentary on Biggie? Why now?

2) Isn’t there something peculiar about the fact that the Rolling Stone Magazine issue that centers on the murder of Biggie has the enormously popular WWF superstar, the Rock, on the cover? The Rock is incredibly popular among Black and Latino youth and the Hip-Hop generation as well as several rappers. Those who are familiar with COINTELPRO should know that all types of work went into positioning and marketing planted articles. It is obvious that the Rock on the cover, just below the bold headline about Biggie’s murder was designed to attract the attention of a slew of Hip-Hop fans.

3) Why is all of this attention into Biggie’s murder, which feverishly works to implicate Suge Knight, dropping in the public only months before the scheduled release of Suge from jail? Does the LAPD, NYPD, FBI and ATF, all of whom had Death Row and Bad Boy under surveillance over the last 6 years have something planned upon Suge Knight’s release? Are they deliberately creating an atmosphere, at least, that will result in harm being done to Suge, in the name of a rap feud?

Maybe the saddest thing about all of this is that now the grief of Biggie’s beautiful mother, is being used to provide a boost to the theories offered by Rolling Stone and VH 1.

It is obvious that the NYPD and federal government, who were following Biggie, the night he was murdered, are being “protected” by the angle offered by Russel Poole, VH 1 and Rolling Stone magazine. Their hand is being hidden. It is as if the LAPD and Death Row are being used as a buffer to keep people from following a trail that leads back to New York City and the FBI and ATF. Why?

Hopefully, we will lean the lessons of history so that we don’t have to repeat them.


Cedric Muhammad

Friday, July 13, 2001

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