An explosive new expose in the LA Times alleges that the mastermind behind the killing of Tupac Shakur was none other than his East Coast rival, Biggie Smalls. (aka Notorious B.I.G, nee Christopher Wallace.) Biggie allegedly supplied the murder weapon and the bounty for a member of the Crips (now deceased) to pull the trigger on Shakur, who was shot in car on the Las Vegas strip. Biggie himself was murdered six months later.

The story is so startling because it provides the first new evidence about the case, which has remained unsolved for six years. As time has passed, suspicion about the killer has centered around Death Row Records founder Suge Knight, who some suspect called for Shakur’s death because of outstanding royalty bills owed to Shakur and rumors that the rapper was going to leave Knight’s label. Furthermore, due in part to the saintly crusading of Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, who has sued the LA police department for not solving her son’s murder, many in the rap world believe that Biggie was a victim of Shakur’s aggression. The two had been feuding with allegations that Shakur slept with Biggie’s wife. The new story presents a far more sinister portrait of Biggie.

The LA Times article is coming out at a time when the killings are receiving a new round of scrutiny. Earlier this summer, author Randall Sullivan published a book called Labyrinth, which peddles the theory that Knight was behind Tupac’s death. And on September 27, a new documentary from Nick Broomfield called “Biggie and Tupac” will debut in theaters nationwide with a thesis close to Labryrinth’s. These two competing perspectives will reignite the mystery behind music’s ultimate whodunits.

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