Death Row Records founder Suge Knight paid a hitman from the Nation of Islam to kill rapper Notorious B.I.G. as revenge for the killing of Tupac Shakur even though the intended target of the 1997 murder was Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, it has been alleged.
The claims were made by a retiredagent who also alleges that corrupt cops from the Los Angeles Police Department helped cover up the murder.
Those claims were backed up by two filmmakers who said they’ve read court papers corroborating the allegations.
The rapper, who was also known as Biggie Smalls and whose legal name was Christopher Wallace, was gunned down inon March 9, 1997. He was just 24 years old.
No charges were filed in the case.
The killing was believed to have been the result of a feud between LA-based Death Row Records and its bitter rival, Bad Boy Records, which is based in New York City.
The 1997 murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. (left) was planned by Death Row Records founder Marion ‘Suge’ Knight (right), according to a retired FBI agent
Phil Carson, who worked on the case for two years when he was with the FBI, believes Knight paid Amir Muhammad, also known as Harry Billups, to kill the Notorious B.I.G. in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. The rapper was shot and killed while riding inside an SUV (above)
Carson alleges that Notorious B.I.G., whose legal name was Christopher Wallace, was killed as part of the ‘East Coast-West Coast’ rap feud. Wallace’s funeral procession is seen above in Brooklyn on March 18, 1997
The former FBI agent also claims that the actual target of the hit on Wallace was Bad Boy Records founder Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (seen above in 2000)
Knight, who is serving a 28-year prison sentence after his 2018 conviction for murder in a hit-and-run case, founded Death Row Records, while Smalls was under contract with rival Bad Boy, helmed by Combs.
Phil Carson, a retired FBI agent who worked the case for two years, told thethat the man who pulled the trigger is Amir Muhammad.
Muhammad, who was originally known as Harry Billups, changed his name when he joined the Nation of Islam. He has reportedly reversed his identity and is now known as Billups.
Billups is said to be working in real estate in Georgia.
Knight is alleged to have ordered the hit on Wallace as revenge for the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur (pictured right with Knight in Los Angeles in 1996)
‘All the evidence points to Amir Muhammad,’ Carson told the Post.
‘He’s the one who pulled the trigger.
‘There were plenty of others who helped orchestrate it [and] allowed him to pull the trigger.’
Carson’s claims are not new. Muhammad has long been suspected of involvement in Wallace’s death.
The retired agent tells the Post that the alleged cover-up ‘was the biggest miscarriage of justice in my 20-year career at the FBI.
‘I had evidence that LAPD officers were involved and I was shut down by the LAPD and city attorneys inside Los Angeles.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to the LAPD and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office seeking comment.
Don Sikorski, the executive producer of the 2018 film City of Lies, says he and director Brad Furman have seen sealed documents from a civil lawsuit filed by Wallace’s family against the LAPD nearly 20 years ago.
He told the Post that the unsolved murder is not a riddle.
‘All the answers are in black and white,’ the filmmaker told the Post.
The Post reports that it obtained a 2003 report by the FBI which supports allegations made by Carson, Sikorski, and Furman.
‘Amir Muhammad, AKA Harry Billups, the godparent to LAPD Officer David Mack’s two children, has been identified by several sources as the trigger man,’ Carson’s formal FBI request for an investigation reads.
‘Mack is a registered owner of a 1995 Black SS Impala with chrome wheels, the exact description given as being driven by Wallace’s shooter.’
Mack has denied any involvement in Wallace’s murder. He was never charged.
In 1997, Mack, who had a distinguished career as an LAPD officer, was arrested on bank robbery charges. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Film director Brad Furman (left) and executive producer Don Sikorski (right), who collaborated on the 2018 movie City of Lies, which is based on a book about the Wallace killing, say they have seen sealed court documents that back up Carson’s claims
Carson also claims that Combs, the founder of Bad Boy Records, was the intended target of the hit.
Combs, a friend of Wallace, was riding in the vehicle ahead of the SUV that was carrying the late rapper on the night he was shot.
Carson said that when he told Combs of his findings, ‘Diddy’ was ‘pretty freaked out.’
Wallace’s murder took place six months after another unsolved killing – that of rapper Tupac Shakur.
Shakur was a star hip-hop artist on the Death Row label. He was gunned down in Las Vegas in September 1996 just hours after he attended a Mike Tyson boxing match.
His murder was also thought to have been linked to the ‘East Coast-West Coast’ feud and fueled security worries that Wallace and the Bad Boy entourage from New York would be targeted in a revenge hit.
Just six months later, Wallace was in LA where he attended the Soul Train music awards. After the show, he left a party in a black GMC Suburban – the middle car of a three-vehicle convoy.
Soon afterward, his car stopped at a red light on the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard near Carthay Circle.
According to witnesses, a black Chevy Impala pulled up next to Wallace’s vehicle. A man inside the vehicle wearing a blue suit and bow tie fired several rounds into the car.
Wallace was shot four times. The first three shots were not fatal, but the fourth damaged vital organs. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Carson tells the Post that Wallace’s driver, Greg ‘G Money’ Young, did not have much security experience.
According to Carson, instead of stopping at the red light, Young should have sped through, especially at that late hour – 12:47am.
‘Biggie became a stationary target,’ said Carson.
Carson said that eyewitness testimony points to Muhammad, a friend of Mack, as the killer.
City of Lies stars Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker. Depp (right) plays a real-life LAPD detective, Russell Poole, who pursues the Wallace murder investigation but is frustrated by his superiors. In the film, Poole joins forces with a fictional reporter played by Whitaker (left) in search for answers
Though he was briefly considered a suspect, he was never charged. Sikorski agreed with Carson that Muhammad was responsible.
‘When you read those [sealed] documents there is overwhelming evidence that paints for you exactly who did the murder and why [the LAPD] covered it up,’ Sikorski said.
Carson believes Suge Knight paid Muhammad, Mack, and another cop, Rafael Perez – all of whose names were mentioned in the Wallace family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
‘Suge Knight financed the murder,’ said Carson.
‘Suge was ticked off that his cash cow Tupac was murdered.
‘Suge had an accountant that was part of Death Row Records who helped do the financial side of things to pay for the murders.’
It is not known how much money Knight allegedly paid to have Wallace murdered.
According to Carson, Knight was motivated to target Wallace and his entourage because of a lingering suspicion that a bodyguard for Combs, Anthony ‘Wolf’ Jones, shot and killed a friend, Jake Robles, at a party in Atlanta in 1995.
No charges were brought in the cast. Jones was fatally shot in Atlanta in 2003.
In 2018, Knight was sentenced to 28 years in prison after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter.
He was arrested in 2015 after killing a man in a hit-and-run during filming of the movie Straight Outta Compton.
City of Lies stars Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker. Depp plays a real-life LAPD detective, Russell Poole, who pursues the Wallace murder investigation but is frustrated by his superiors.
In the film, Poole joins forces with a fictional reporter played by Whitaker in search for answers.
The film was initially slated for release in the United States in September 2018, but the distributor pulled it from the schedule.
Saban Films eventually acquired the film and released it in March 2021.