According to an FBI agent who worked the case and sources who have seen sealed court documents, Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight financed the hit on Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G. — an execution carried out by Nation of Islam convert and hired hitman Amir Muhammad with the help of corrupt Los Angeles cops.
“Everything points to Amir Muhammad. He was the one who fired the gun, according to former FBI agent Phil Carson, who handled the case for two years. “There were a lot of other people who helped coordinate it and let him pull the trigger.”
According to Carson, the alleged cover-up was “the largest miscarriage of justice in my 20-year career at the FBI.” “I had evidence that LAPD officers were involved, but the LAPD and municipal attorneys in Los Angeles shut me down.”
Christopher Wallace (aka the Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls) was 24 years old when he was shot and killed in the early hours of March 9, 1997, on a Los Angeles Street.
For nearly a quarter-century, the events that followed his murder have enraged fans, onlookers, and the Wallace family, with claims of an official and broad cover-up floating around them.
The murder itself, however, is not a mystery, according to Carson and film producer Don Sikorski, whose film “City of Lies” covers the murder, its investigation, and its aftermath.
“All the answers are in black and white,” Sikorski claimed, alleging that he and “City of Lies” director Brad Furman are among the few who have reviewed the sealed court files surrounding the unsolved murder.
The accusation Carson and the filmmakers make today is supported by a 2003 FBI report obtained by The Washington Post that presents the case for prosecutors.
The formal FBI request, submitted by Carson, requesting the investigation be given a Los Angeles case file number says, “Amir Muhammad, AKA Harry Billups, the godparent to LAPD Officer David Mack’s two children, has been identified by many sources as the trigger man.”
“Mack is the registered owner of a 1995 black SS Impala with chrome wheels, which is identical to Wallace’s shooter’s car.”
Sean “Puffy” Combs, who was in the vehicle ahead of Biggie’s SUV on the night of the murder, was the original target, according to Carson.
Carson said he told Combs about the knowledge, and the record label executive was “very scared out” to find he was the planned hit.
Sikorski and his production team are now pleading with California authorities to reopen the inquiry and solve what the director refers to as “the JFK assassination of the rap industry.” Carson joins them in their endeavor.
Much of the evidence surrounding the murder is contained in the civil complaint filed by the Wallace family against the LAPD in 2002, however, it is sealed due to a federal judge’s order.
According to the LAPD, the criminal investigation into the murder is still ongoing. However, according to Sikorski and Carson, the case has seen little to no activity in recent years.
Biggie was born in Brooklyn in 1972 and fell into a life of crime as a youngster, including charges for gun possession and crack selling.
His rap skills, on the other hand, were legendary in the streets. Biggie was featured in a 1992 issue of The Source magazine as an unsigned artist.
After reading the piece, upstart Hollywood executive Combs met Biggie for the first time at Sylvia’s, a Harlem soul-food landmark.
When he signed with Combs’ Bad Boy Records in 1993, he began his spectacular journey to prominence.
Biggie’s first album, “Ready to Die,” was released a year later and yielded a string of hits, including “Juicy,” a legendary hip-hop track with more than 388 million YouTube views despite the fact that it was published more than a decade before YouTube existed.
More than 6 million copies of the record have been sold. “Life After Death,” his second and final album, has sold over 11 million copies.
He’s still bigger than life over a quarter-century after his assassination. Both Rolling Stone and Billboard named him the best rapper of all time, and street vendors in New York City still sell T-shirts with his image on them.
West Coast music mogul Knight was one of many who didn’t like Biggie.
Biggie’s meteoric rise fueled the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry of the 1990s, putting Knight’s Los Angeles-based Death Row Records against Combs’ New York-based Bad Boy label, which had signed Smalls.
Death Row superstar Tupac Shakur was shot dead after witnessing a Mike Tyson bout in Las Vegas in September 1996, sparking a bloodbath. Shakur’s assassination, like Biggie’s, is still unsolved.
Biggie exited a party six months later after the Soul Train music awards in Los Angeles.
When his vehicle stopped at a red light at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, he sat in the rear of a black GMC Suburban, the second of a three-car entourage.
According to witnesses, a dark Chevy Impala came up to Biggie’s automobile, and the shooter, dressed in a blue suit and bow tie, fired several rounds into the vehicle.
Biggie was shot four times and proclaimed dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with the final shot piercing many important organs.
The driver of Biggie’s car, Greg “G Money” Young, had no security experience, according to Carson.
To protect the passengers from a potential drive-by attack, he should have continued driving through the red light, especially at that hour of the morning.
Biggie and the rest of the East Coast crew arrived in Los Angeles that week already worried about a Tupac retaliation strike.
“Biggie became a static target,” Carson explained.
According to Carson, Muhammad, a friend of corrupt LA police David Mack, fired the rounds, citing eyewitness testimony and financial proof to prove his involvement in the murder.
Muhammad was a suspect for a brief time but was never charged. He is now 61 years old and works as a real estate broker in Georgia under the name Harry Billups.
All evidence “points to Amir Muhammad as the killer,” according to Sikorski.
“There is overwhelming evidence in those [sealed] records that create the picture for you of who committed the murder and why [the LAPD] covered it up.”
Investigators assumed Mack and Rafael Perez, a corrupt LA police on Death Row’s payroll, was involved in the murder, he said.
According to Sikorski, their names appear on the Wallace family’s court documents in their civil complaint against the city, and he believes that if this information is made public, the family will be awarded hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Post attempted to contact Billups and Mack several times, but they did not answer.
Carson stated, “Suge Knight financed the murder.” “Suge was furious that his cash cow Tupac was assassinated. Suge had a Death Row Records accountant who assisted with the financial side of things in order to pay for the murders.”
The cost of the assassination remains unknown. Knight was also enraged by the allegation that a Combs bodyguard, Anthony “Wolf” Jones, murdered his friend Jake Robles at a party in Atlanta in 1995.
In the case of that homicide, no charges were filed. Jones was also assassinated in Atlanta in 2003.
Knight is presently serving a 28-year jail sentence after pleading no guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the aftermath of a 2015 hit-and-run death while filming “Straight Outta Compton.”
“City of Lies,” Sikorski’s film on Biggie Smalls’ murder, stars Johnny Depp as distinguished former Los Angeles police investigator Russell Poole, who died in 2015 after years of being frustrated by superiors in his quest of answers in the Biggie Smalls murder.
Forest Whitaker portrays fictitious journalist Jack Jackson, who is based on real-life novelist Randall Sullivan, whose book “LAbyrinth” detailed the murder and the ensuing scandal in 2003.
The film premiered at an Italian film festival in 2018, but it was delayed due to controversy, including a complaint alleging Depp abused location manager Gregg Brooks.
According to “City of Lies,” Knight planned the murder from prison, was protected by Mack and other corrupt LA officers on his payroll, and hitman Muhammad was the one who fired the bullet.
It’s the same theory as the late investigator Poole and the novel “LAbyrinth.”
According to Carson, the film “nailed it.”
In the early 1980s, Mack and Muhammad, then known as Billups, were both students at the University of Oregon. Mack was a track star, while Billups was a football player.
The police were ultimately convicted of stealing $722,000 from a Los Angeles Bank of America branch in August 1997, just five months after Biggie’s death, which informants told the FBI was meant for Muhammad.
The funds were never found. In 2010, Mack was freed from prison. He has publicly denied any role in the assassination of Biggie Smalls.
“The LAPD itself had stated that Mack and Perez were implicated in the Wallace homicide,” according to a portion of the data seen by CN News, and “the City [of LA] attempted to suppress all discovery into who had been aware of the [internal investigation] and/or laid finger on it.”
Carson maintains that he took his case to the local US attorney’s office with the consent of his higher officers, but that they declined to prosecute for fear of repercussions for the city of Los Angeles and its police force, or for other reasons unknown to him.
The Los Angeles Police Department was still trying to rehabilitate its image, which had been tarnished by the recorded 1991 beating of Rodney King and the huge riots that followed the acquittal of four officers in 1992.
The former FBI agent told The Washington Post that he is speaking up now to finally seek the justice he was denied while working for the agency.
“I knew I was going to speak the truth one day,” Carson stated. “What I went through with the LAPD at the time was just hell.”
Sikorski believes that important law enforcement authorities, including former New York City and Los Angeles police commissioner Bill Bratton and current LA top policeman Michael Moore, are aware of the contents of the FBI findings.
According to Carson and the producers, there is enough evidence to put Biggie’s killer to justice and solve the case once and for all.
“We demand to know the status of the ongoing investigation,” Sikorski explained, “as well as for Acting US Attorney Tracy Wilkison of the Central District of California and Assistant Director Kristi Koons Johnson of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office to open an investigation, examine the evidence, and file the appropriate charges.”
Moore, Wilkison, and Johnson’s offices all declined to comment.