Rapper’s family offers alibi in Shakur slaying

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The family of Notorious B.I.G. released documents and an audiotape Tuesday that they contend place the late rapper in a New York recording studio on the night that rival Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, met with members of a Compton gang in Las Vegas on the night Shakur was shot, provided the murder weapon and promised to pay the gang $1 million for the assassination.

Wallace’s family said the audiotape and studio paperwork show that the rapper could not have been in Las Vegas that night, Sept. 7, 1996.

Also Tuesday, the family of Orlando Anderson, identified in The Times report as the gang member who shot Shakur, issued a statement denying that Anderson played any role in the crime.

“Orlando Anderson did not murder Mr. Tupac Shakur,” the statement said. “He did not accept money nor was he offered any money from Notorious B.I.G., nor anyone else, to perform such a heinous crime.”

The family said Anderson was not a member of the Southside Crips but rather a “kid” who went to Las Vegas that weekend to have some “innocent fun.” Anderson was killed in May 1998 in a drug-related shooting at a Compton carwash.

Lawyers for Wallace’s estate provided the studio documents to MTV-News in New York.

The computer-generated invoices indicate that Wallace booked time in a studio at Daddy’s House on the night Shakur was attacked.

Daddy’s House is owned by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, owner of Bad Boy Entertainment in New York, Wallace’s record label.

Someone who saw the documents said they suggest that Wallace reserved the studio from 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 7, 1996, until 4 a.m. on Sept. 8, 1996. The invoices indicate that Combs, who was known then as “Puff Daddy,” and another producer were present, along with a few engineers. Such records are widely used in the music business to bill artists for studio time.

Lawyers and other representatives of the Wallace family declined requests from The Times to review the invoices. Combs declined to be interviewed.

The lawyers also gave MTV-News a digital tape of a song called “Nasty Girls,” which they contend Wallace recorded that evening. The tape, previously unreleased, bears a sticker indicating that it was made on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

Wallace’s family issued a statement quoting the rapper’s former manager, Wayne Barrow, as saying that he was with Wallace in the studio that weekend.

“No way was he in Las Vegas,” Barrow said in the statement.

According to the same statement, Wallace took a break from recording and went to his home in Teaneck, N.J., where he and a friend, rapper Lil’ Cease, watched a cable telecast of a heavyweight boxing fight in Las Vegas.

The statement quoted Lil’ Cease as saying: “After his recording session, I was with him later on in his home watching the championship boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand Hotel. He was with me all the time.”

Shakur attended the Tyson-Seldon fight and was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting several hours later, on a crowded street a block from the Las Vegas Strip. Wallace was killed six months later in Los Angeles, also in a drive-by attack. Police have made no arrests in either case.