A new documentary doubles down on the claim of a controversial theory regarding the murder of rap icon Tupac Shakur. “Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton” asserts that not only was Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight the intended target, but presents key information in an alleged “Confession Letter” that may match an eyewitness description of an individual to the involvement of the killing that happened Sept. 7, 1996 in Las Vegas.
The “Confession Letter” was given to former Fox TV news reporter Chris Blatchford in 1998, where it remained in his sole custody until 2012, when he presented a copy of that letter to the film’s directors, Richard “R.J.” Bond and Michael Douglas Carlin, and former Los Angeles police Det. Russell Poole, (whose story is about to be told in the upcoming 2017 Lionsgate release “Labyrinth,” with Johnny Depp in the role as Poole).
The “Confession Letter” alleges that there were at least three individuals in the vehicle used to commit the “drive by” shooting of Shakur at the intersection of Flamingo and Koval Streets in Las Vegas. One or two of those individuals dictated the letter to a friend’s sister and the letter was given to Blatchford when one of the individuals who had agreed to an on-camera interview with Fox had a change of heart and did not appear for the interview.
Poole and Bond approached the LAPD with the letter in early 2013, only to see it leaked publicly online by the law enforcement agency (there is an investigation ongoing by LAPD) and branded as “paranoid” by naysayers and supporters of a “gang-related” theory regarding Shakur’s death. It has been online since that time.
The person bringing the letter to Fox is now in prison and still stands by his story.
The Shakur and Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace murders have become even more difficult to solve in recent years; Poole and eyewitnesses/Shakur bodyguards Frank Alexander and Michael Moore all died within a one year period (the other eyewitness, Yafeu Fula, was shot “mob style” just weeks after the Shakur incident) so it is virtually impossible for anyone to confront their accusers at this point. But the cases can still be closed without prosecution specifically because of that condition. Yet they remain open, with many questions left unanswered, such as:
What appears to be the former police narrative? Why is it so important to blame Southside Crip Orlando Anderson as Shakur’s killer? What truth is there to that allegation? Who benefits from the false narrative? LAPD reports claim certain LAPD officers with ties to Death Row Records were in Las Vegas that weekend on “special assignment.” What was that special assignment?
“Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton,” now available worldwide on all retail and On Demand platforms, purports to get to the bottom of this and much more.
CLIPPETTES: Tyra Banks was the surprise choice to replace Nick Cannon as host of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” …
RZA as Bobby Digital with Stone Mecca perform on March 21 at the Belasco Theater …
Michael K. Williams is entering the Star Wars universe with the announcement that he’s been cast in the young Han Solo movie …
MTO is reporting that Cynthia Bailey was fired from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” with one more to get the axe to make way for the return of NeNe Leakes …
Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., AKA Common, celebrated his 45th birthday by signing on to star in “Quick Draw,” an action film from the producers of “The Transformers.” He performs at Anaheim’s House of Blues on March 23 …
Also that evening, Wu Tang Clan hit the Hollywood Palladium.
TC ON TV: March 17 – “Marvel’s Iron Fist” (Netflix): The critics have been savaging this adaptation of the comic book, but star Finn Jones says it is for the fans. Judge for yourself. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Taraji P. Henson, Pitbull, Run the Jewels
March 18 – “Being” (Centric): Elise Neal (who is enjoying a comeback with her role in “Logan”).
March 19 – “Into the Badlands” (AMC): The action-packed kung-fu drama starring Daniel Wu returns for a second season.
March 20 – “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC): Mr. T, Charo, the NFL’s Rashad Jennings and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan and Simone Biles are among the cast members for the 24th season. “For My Woman” (TV1): a new true crime series spin-off of “For My Man,” flips the script with stories of those who have been arrested for a crime they committed in the name of loyalty and love for their woman.
March 21 – “Dave Chappelle” (Netflix): The comic releases two stand-up specials from his vault. “The Age of Spin” was taped in 2016 at the Palladium. “Deep in the Heart of Texas” is from a 2015 show in Austin. “Being Mary Jane” (BET): The fourth season ends just as things were revving up with Gabrielle Union and Michael Ealy’s characters. “Cosplay Melee” (SYFY): Actress and self-described “super fan girl” Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”) hosts this new hour-long competition between fantasy role players for $10,000.
March 22 – “Shots Fired” (Fox): Film duo Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (“Notorious”) are executive producers of this compelling event series with an all-star cast: Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Mack Wilds, Stephen Moyer, Helen Hunt, Will Patton, Aisha Hinds, Edwina Findley, Jill Hennessy and Richard Dreyfuss. “Empire” (Fox): Rumer Willis guest stars in the third-season spring premiere that finds Cookie and Lucious waging war and Andre continuing to try to take over. “The Comedy Jam” (Comedy): Actors and comedians try their hands making music. The premiere episode features Tiffany Haddish performing Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” and Chris Hardwick and Richie Sambora performing Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
TASTY QUIP: “There are not very many human beings participating in the music process anymore. You get a producer who can play keyboards who has a library of sounds. One or two cats come in and do live stuff for guitar, drums, sax or something like that. But in terms of the tradition of recording, that doesn’t happen very often anymore and I think the music suffers for it. You can’t take the human element away. If you can groove to perfect time, you’re not human. You’re a droid.” – Singer PHIL PERRY (“Breathless“) to Tasty Clips
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.