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Record Labels' Rift Probed in Rapper's Shooting

September 11, 1996|FRANK B. WILLIAMS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Investigators in Las Vegas continued Tuesday to seek information from police in New York and Los Angeles, trying to determine whether a rivalry between two record labels may shed light on the drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur.

Shakur, shot Saturday night after attending a boxing match in Las Vegas, remained in critical condition Tuesday.

Reports have circulated that police in New York want to interview popular rapper Notorious B.I.G. about the shooting. Shakur, who records for Death Row Records, and Notorious B.I.G. (Chris Wallace), who records for Bad Boy Entertainment, have a well-known and long-standing feud. It began last year when Shakur was shot five times near a New York recording studio. Shakur subsequently accused Wallace of somehow being involved in the shooting.

Earlier this year at the Soul Train Music Awards, the two rappers faced off, with reports that some members of Shakur's entourage pulled guns on Wallace's camp.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sgt. Kevin Manning said Marion "Suge" Knight, chief executive officer of Death Row Records, failed to show up for a scheduled afternoon interview with detectives Tuesday. Knight, who received minor injuries in the shooting, has been uncooperative about providing details to police about what happened that night.

After the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon heavyweight fight Saturday night, Knight and Shakur were traveling in a BMW 750 near the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled alongside their car and opened fire. Shakur was hit four times, including twice in the chest. Doctors at University Medical Center removed his right lung Monday.

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