“The 24-year old Brooklyn rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, had attended the annual¬† Soul Train music awards and was sitting in his GMC Suburban after leaving a post-ceremony party thrown by Vibe magazine at Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum. Police say an unidentified gunman riddled the vehicle with bullets, and Wallace was then rushed to Cedars Sinai, where he was pronounced dead. The killing of B.I.G. was the second in the last six months, the first coming with the shooting death of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas last September.¬†Despite the fact that the shooting occurred outside a party that reportedly boasted 1,000 guests, police told reporters they have few leads in the case …Biggie Smalls was a central figure in the alleged ongoing feud between the East coast and West coast rap camps, and particularly between Bad Boy Entertainment and Suge Knight’s Death Row Records. Despite the fact that Bad Boy head Sean “Puffy” Combs and Death Row rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg made a very public statement recently announcing that there is no feud, Smalls’ death led many to speculate that the shooting could have been related to the perceived ill-will between east coast and west coast rappers. However, sources close to Bad Boy and Death Row quickly dismissed the speculation in a Los Angeles Times report:¬†“This was a professional hit,” an unidentified source told reporters for the newspaper.
Law enforcement officials and the media speculated that the shooting was the culmination of a supposed East Coast West Coast rivalry. But Phyllis Pollack, a publicist with Def Press in Los Angeles offered that the “feud” was but a publicity stunt. “It’s unfair to speculate that the deaths were the result of a coastal feud,” she insisted.¬† “Sure, there’s been this competition, but that’s been since day one.¬† We don’t have artists on the West Coast saying, ‘Let’s kill off all of those East Coast rappers so we can sell more records on the East Coast.”‘ Jesse Washington, managing editor of Vibe magazine, noted there was some enmity between the rappers, but cautioned against writing off the murder as a result of it. “It’s too early to attribute this to a coastal rivalry, Tupac revenge or anything else because there [are] just so many different possibilities and aspects to this whole situation,” he said.¬†“The saddest thing about all of this is they have¬† literally generated tens of millions of dollars in sales of records, magazine sales and ratings,” he said. “I mean, these were two popular artists.”¬†…Once again, there were no suspects and police were reportedly stymied. But Mutulu Shakur lived with political assassinations his entire adult life, and looked elsewhere for the identities of the culprits in a letter to the Wallace family under the heading, “The Shakur Family Extends Our Sympathies to Ms. Wallace, Sister Faith, and Brother Biggie’s Son and Daughter.” (This been copied from¬†American-Buddha¬†Site.)