On March 9, 1997 one of the greatest rappers of all time, Christopher Wallace AKA The Notorious BIG, was shot and killed in Los Angeles, CA.
Almost 2 decades later the Los Angeles Police Department has solved both this murder and the murder of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, according to a controversial documentary available on Netflix this spring, which features a retired Los Angeles police detective named Greg Kading.
Kading was the leader of a special police task force that investigated both shootings.
The Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur will forever be linked together not only for being 2 of the greatest rappers of all time, but also for being killed about 6 months apart at the peak of the now infamous East Coast- West Coast hip-hop rivalry.
Kading investigated these murders for 3 years and claims that the investigations resulted in the discovery that Sean “P. Diddy” Combs paid Crips gang member Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis $1 million to kill Tupac Shakur and Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight.
On the night of September 7, 1996 Kading claims that Keffe D’s nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson shot and killed Tupac Shakur and injured Knight.
Kading then believes that in retaliation Knight hired Bloods gang member Wardell “Poochie” Fouse to kill the Notorious BIG for $13,000. Knight is currently in jail awaiting trial after running over two men outside a Compton, California, burger stand in late January 2015, killing one and seriously injuring the other.
I’m seeing body after body and our Mayor Giuliani / ain’t tryin’ to see no black man turn to John GottiNotorious BIG
Through his investigation Kading says that he was able to trap Keffe D into a position where he was forced to provide a verifiable confession about the events involved in the murder of Shakur or face charges in another unrelated crime.
Kading claimed, “If his intention was to just get away with it, so to speak, it would have been very easy for him to not include all the details that he did.”
Civil Lawsuit Prompts Investigation
If the game shakes me or breaks me/ I hope it makes me a better man/ Take a better stand/ Put money in my mom’s handNotorious BIG
In 2006, after the Notorious BIG’s mother Voletta Wallace sued the Los Angeles Police Department for wrongful death in federal court, Kading was assigned to lead a task force to reinvestigate the murders. Ms. Wallace’s case was based on a popular conspiracy theory that the Los Angeles police had covered up police officer involvement in BIG’s murder. Ms. Wallace’s suit was seeking $500 million claiming that was the loss of BIG’s earning potential. The Kading investigation was aimed at disproving the lawsuits theory of a police cover up.
After the task force was able to find enough evidence to disprove the theory, Kading claims the investigation was dropped. Documents show that Kading was removed from the task force in 2009 related to an internal affairs investigation about an unrelated matter. He was cleared by internal affairs and retired from the department in 2010.
Biggie Smalls is the illest/ Your style is played out/ like Arnold wondered/ ‘What you talkin’ bout Willis?’ Notorious BIG
When asked why formal charges were never made as the result of the investigation Kading claims that nothing was pursued because of Combs celebrity and the fact that the two killers, Anderson and Fouse, were already deceased.
The Los Angeles Police Department will not comment on Kading’s allegations and Combs is not currently talking either according to the HuffPost.
In 2010, a year before Kading’s original book was released, Kiss FM’s DJ Jojo surprised Combs with questions about the Notorious BIG murder. Combs answered in a way that seemed to admit that he had knowledge of what happened stating, “Those are street issues.”
After Kadings book was released the next year Combs told LA Weekly the claims were “pure fiction and completely ridiculous.”
You might not be surprised that Kading disagrees. “You want to believe you are a good enough investigator to rise to the occasion,” he stated.
Getting Out to the Public
Excellence is my presence/ Never tense/ Never hesitant Notorious BIG
Over the years the cases have grown even colder. People who may have information have since died. There is a small likelihood that anyone will ever be charged or go to court.
When asked if he is worried about being sued by the people he is accusing, like Combs or Knight, Kading said, “I don’t think any rational person looks forward to getting sued. But if I did, I would not shy away from it. I am very, very confident in the case. I’m confident in the evidence.”
Before getting picked up by Netflix filmmaker Mike Dorsey expressed frustration with getting distribution and press for the documentary. “I think it’s one of the 10 biggest stories in hip-hop of the entire year, and it’s almost complete silence in the hip-hop media world,” said Dorsey.
Kading’s 2011 book suffered a similar fate after a major book deal was canceled due to legal concerns. Since that time the story seems to have gone nowhere.
Dorsey and Kading believe their documentary will change that.
“It’s been the worst-kept secret in Compton,” Dorsey said. With wider distribution of the documentary they think maybe someone else with additional information may come forward.
“There’s still some loose ends that should have been addressed by law enforcement,” said Kading. “But I don’t see that happening. I don’t see them proactively investigating these cases ever again.”
“I have absolute closure in the case already. There is no doubt in my mind that we’ve discovered the truth and we’re presenting the truth. So as far as the murders go, they’re solved.”