Hip-Hop Fridays: RapCOINTELPRO X - Getting To The Top And Bottom Of The Murders Of Biggie And Tupac
When the Los Angeles Times article came out implying that Biggie was the mastermind behind the murder of Tupac I immediately recognized that some force(s) was attempting to use the murder of both rappers to divide the Black community, in particular, in a manner similar to how the murder of Malcolm X had been used, for over 30 years.
When reading the special two-part series that supposedly places Biggie behind Tupac's murder, I could not help but go back in my mind to early 1995 when it was announced that the FBI had foiled a murder-for-hire plot. Malcolm X's daughter, Qabilah Shabazz, had allegedly hired a Jewish hitman to kill Minister Farrakhan. Ridiculous. But designed to get the family, followers and supporters of Malcolm X and those of Minister Farrakhan to fight one another in a way that would leave the Minister dead at the hands of someone Black, not Jewish.
Interestingly, like was the case in the murder of Tupac for 6 years, it took over twenty years before Minister Farrakhan's name ever came up in the list of those supposedly responsible for the murder of Malcolm.
Who has the power to do that, in both cases?
Remember what I included last week of the contents of a letter Lt. Col. Fletcher Prouty, author of the book JFK, wrote to me. He wrote of his covert responsibilities in the U.S. government as well as what was really involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, beyond the murder itself:
"...you will recall that I view the whole assassination process in a much different way than others.
From my experience and point of view the whole thing was an elaborately planned conspiracy to accomplish a Coup d'etat. To do so it was necessary to kill JFK, among other things. This is why there has never been any prosecution or trial for anyone since that crime. A coup d'etat of such dimensions is carefully planned, is the consensus decision of many powerful people, and then the work of pure professionals who are highly skilled.
For such a plan, the most important part is the 'Cover Story.' The murder took a bit of deft work and then a terrific load of cover story all the way from Oswald to books and media collaboration and the masterful scenario of the Warren Commission Report. We live with a 30-year old story today."
That after nearly two years of no arrest in his murder, a prominent effort would begin in the Los Angeles Times to pin Biggie's murder on Suge Knight; and then 3 years later the same would be done to place responsibility for the murder of Tupac into the hands of Biggie, is not an accident but by design, to serve a purpose greater than financial profit or the fulfillment of journalistic responsibility regarding the killing of two celebrities. This is true, in my view, whether the individual reporters whose pen names are on the Los Angeles Times articles, published over the past few years concerning the Biggie and 'Pac murders, are aware of a greater design or not.
While comedian Chris Rock once made a joke lampooning the idea of speaking of Biggie and Tupac's murders in terms of political assassinations, I honestly think that the only way for the Black community and Hip-Hop to side-step an obvious effort to use these two murders to foster division and violence is to view the murders of Biggie and Tupac in terms of the assassinations of Malcolm X and even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The only way to get to the top and bottom of both murders is to find out once and for all what the United States government knows about them. Since it is a fact that Death Row and Bad Boy Records and Tupac and Biggie were under FBI, ATF and IRS, NYPD, LAPD and IRS surveillance and/or investigation at the time of both murders; their exist, at this very moment files that have not been made public. Especially in the case of the government agencies involved, these files should be opened. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows anyone - a family member or journalist - to obtain such files. There do exist files and dossiers on both Biggie and Tupac within the federal government. Efforts should be made to obtain the de-classified and still classified files pertaining to Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace.
When the FBI's ridiculous charge in 1995 that Malcolm's daughter was the mastermind of a plot to kill Minister Farrakhan became public, it was Malcolm's wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz who decided that enough was enough and took the initial steps to meet privately with Minister Farrakhan, first in an airport, to discuss what could be done to help her daughter and heal the rift in the Black community that was the result of an unsolved murder that had been used for over 30 years to divide the Black community through innuendo. The Minister offered his assistance in helping to raise money for Malcolm's daughter's legal defense telling Dr. Shabazz, "we have to help Bro. Malcolm's family" and both Minister Farrakhan and Dr. Betty Shabazz agreed that a public demonstration of unity was necessary in order to combat the government and media efforts to divide the Black community over the murder and the real and perceived tensions between the Nation Of Islam and Malcolm's family, helpers, followers and students. That public demonstration took the form of a public meeting between Betty Shabazz and the Minister in May of 1995 at the historic Apollo theater in Harlem.
I was among those honored to have been present. The energy and electricity surrounding the event was powerful as anyone who was present can attest, and in a significant way, a 30-plus year old wound had begun to heal as a result of the efforts of two parties who placed their personal hurt aside for the benefit of an entire community who in one form or another had been affected due to a personal agreement and the U.S. government's manipulation of such.
In some way, something similar has to happen where Tupac and Biggie's murders are concerned, if healing is to take place and manipulation is to be ended. It would be helpful, if Tupac and Biggie's families and Suge Knight and Sean Combs with the help of their supporters, spiritual leaders, advisers, and East and West Coast artists and music executives, were one day able to put their personal hurt aside and recognize and understand that their pain and emotions are being used to divide whole communities. P. Diddy was present that night in the Apollo when the Minister and Sister Betty began to publicly reconcile. Before, during, and after that Apollo meeting, Minister Farrakhan called for the government to open the files on the assassination of both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. Puffy's relative public silence on the matter of the Los Angeles Times story on Biggie should be studied. It has had both a positive and negative affect on the situation.
Among other things, the community should also encourage, and hope and pray that Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur and Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, eventually meet with Dr. King's late wife, Coretta Scott King, who can be a source of wisdom and strength to them as they navigate not only the pain and grief of loss, but also the possibilities that very powerful individuals in government and without, know more about the murders of Biggie and Tupac than has ever been reported. This may be especially helpful to Biggie's mother who is persuaded by the work of a White investigator that the LAPD is covering up Biggie's murder (Afeni Shakur has been clear in her statements that she does not trust the government, local police, or media where her son is concerned). This is bigger than the LAPD. The fact that Biggie and Puffy's cars, that fateful night in March of 1997, were under surveillance by the ATF, FBI and undercover NYPD; and that members of Biggie's entourage were shown pictures of cars and individuals who were near them at the time Biggie was shot provides evidence that more than an LAPD cover-up is involved. Coretta Scott King can be an invaluable resource of insight into dealing with the federal government's knowledge of what happened in September of 1996 in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles in March of 1997.
It is good that both mothers have made at least one dramatic public appearance together, at the MTV music awards. Now, if they are able and willing, more should be asked of them, in order to prevent the wicked designs of those who continue to drop innuendo regarding both murders.
It would also be helpful if the leaders of the sets of Bloods and Crips who find themselves mentioned in connection to these murders could make a similar recognition that their personal disagreements and the entire street organization culture is being used by external forces to not only divide the Black and Hip-Hop communities but to prevent youth from organizing and developing leadership and unity among themselves and broader organizations in the Black and Latino communities. It would be very helpful if someone, through the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) could get to the bottom of how many of the gangs in Los Angeles and Chicago, in particular have been manipulated by the government and local police departments into committing acts of violence upon one another. Street organizations should know by now that the federal government and local police department task force and street crime units have placed informants and agents within their ranks to cause problems.
Finally, members of the Hip-Hop journalist community - publishers, editors and reporters - have to move beyond their superficial fascination with the creativity of Hip-Hop artists, their social lives and commercial success and do some hard reporting on serious stories affecting the community and industry.
To our knowledge, not a single major Hip-Hop magazine has done a cover story on 1)The fact that the NYPD in 2001 openly admitted that it has the New York Hip-Hop community and industry under surveillance 2) The DEA and Houston Police Department's investigation, use of informants, and COINTELPRO-like tactics in the investigation against Scarface and Rap-A-Lot Records in 2000 3) The federal investigations - FBI, ATF and IRS pertaining to Tupac, Biggie, Death Row and Bad Boy or the fact that both artists were under surveillance in the general time period or night of their murders.
Finally, as we have written before, people really don't know what COINTELPRO was all about or to what extent it has been documented that the mainstream media has been used by the government to foment discord, foster the shedding of blood and cover-up its own hand in creating mischief in the Black community. Until people truly understand COINTELPRO and read the files pertaining to it, and make parallels to what happened with Biggie and Tupac, we will never move past what began over six years ago.
Friday, September 20, 2002