Rap impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs vehemently denied a report that his associates were responsible for an ambush on rival rapper Tupac Shakur in 1994. (Newsday) The Los Angeles Times reported online that new evidence supported claims by Shakur, who survived the attack but was killed two years later, that Combs and rap star Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G., were behind the attack, which launched a hip-hop war between East and West coasts. (Los Angeles Times)
What the commentators say
“The tale is complicated,” said Robert VerBruggen in National Review Online’s Media blog. But clearly the Times reporter, Chuck Philips, is completely convinced that one of the many theories about who beat and shot Shakur, and who killed him two years later. The L.A. Times has yet to print the piece in a print edition, yet it has a pretty strong position. “For crying out loud, the piece claims superstar Puff Daddy knew about a plan to shoot one of the world's most famous rappers.” You’d think they’d put it in the paper if they had the goods.
The only thing shocking about the Times’ scoop is that they printed it anywhere, said the blog Soulbounce. Until his death, Shakur himself implicated Combs, Wallace, and talent manager James Rosemond, and promoter James Sabatino in the shooting, and that’s what Philips’ new information does, too. But after “lengthy investigations” by the FBI and the L.A. Times, “there have been no arrests.” If Phillips is so sure, why aren’t the police?
Philips’ story “might be a bit fictitious,” said Kevin Powers on First Showing, but it’s “a fascinating read.” And “how coincidental” that it emerged ahead of Notorious, the Christopher Wallace biopic from Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment and Fox Searchlight. The film will surely surely go easy on Wallace and omit much of the controversy and mystery that Phillips raises in his article. Whatever happened on that night in 1994, “it's a bit hard to enjoy a story like this when you realize so much isn't being told.”
It’s impossible to know what happened on that night, anyway, said Juan Perez on Hybrid Nation. In a story this convoluted and this old, you can’t believe anything you read or hear.