Why is the Conservatarian Press covering the murder of a thug rapper like Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac? Although many perceive the murders of the world’s most revered hip-hop artists as just another gang-related shootout, the reality of what occurred paints a more complex picture. Ultimately, we find that when one truly examines the history of the two figures and their eventual demise, we find two things: the impact both musicians had on American society and culture was seismically huge. Second, the investigative work and research completed by former LAPD detective Russell Poole and Randall Sullivan, among others, has shown that the LAPD likely worked with Death Row Records producer Suge Knight to kill Christoper “Notorious BIG” Wallace. We will not be examining the facts of the murder, I have stated my conclusions and suggest that everyone does their own research. We will be examining the facts surrounding the controversy of Johnny Depp’s film, “City of Lies,” and the web of corruption that forced its shelving.
Recently, the controversy surrounding the murder of Biggie unearthed itself again when it was announced Johnny Depp would star in a film originally titled “LAbyrinth” (like the book it was based on) which was later renamed to “City of Lies.” Shockingly, the film that focused on Biggie’s murder and the interworkings of the Los Angeles Police Department was shelved 1 month prior to its scheduled release. The film had actually been shelved twice prior, and twice after the original release date. Supposedly, this was all due to Johnny Depp’s dispute with former girlfriend Amber Heard and his alleged assault of the location manager of the film. All allegations Depp has fervently denied and many crewmembers and actors have come to his defense. We now know that it is not the full story. In fact, Depp’s personal life may have served as the perfect scapegoat. Director Brad Furman has stated his suspicions as to why the film was shelved and told the Daily Beast that he believed it was possible that “darker forces were at work to kill his movie.” The Daily Beast article goes into full detail about the unprecedented move to shelve the movie and the odd circumstances behind the decision to do so. Furman also revealed that “They were being warned, even threatened, with the consequences of releasing a film that pointed such a large and sharp finger at the LAPD, and that would put the City of Los Angeles at risk of tremendous liability.”
“They were being warned, even threatened, with the consequences of releasing a film that pointed such a large and sharp finger at the LAPD, and that would put the City of Los Angeles at risk of tremendous liability.”
Then, in a shocking development, the film was released in Italy in January of 2019, with a limited Blu-Ray release. I found this circumstance to be an interesting revelation in itself. A film starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker was shelved, and then forcibly released in another country. As a historian and film nerd, I found this to be something America has truly never experienced before. Now, not even big-name actors are exempt from censorship.
That is when I became obsessive over both the Biggie and Tupac assassinations. They were not murders. They were targeted, planned assassinations with kill teams. From a historical perspective, these killings are Gen X and millennials’ “JFK.” I already had followed the murders closely, and was aware of Russell Poole’s original investigative work from the 2004 Documentary “Biggie and Tupac: Unsolved.” So, when I saw the “City of Lies” trailer, I was very excited to see it. And so was Biggie’s mom and family. At the time this movie was slated for development, she was still working on her lawsuit against the LAPD for their possible involvement in the murder. Once I saw the movie was shelved, I did more research, and my observations still lead me to believe that Poole’s work was the most accurate.
Then, I see that the USA cable network had their TV series that focused on the Biggie and Tupac murders, with one of the main characters being Russell Poole. I immediately found the timing of the release to be interesting. Why did this show full of b-list actors get approved, while Depp’s film was shelved? Knowing the Depp brand and the fact that “bad boy” has always been part of his reputation, I find it hard to believe a few issues with the ex and some alcohol warrants a movie being shelved. I get not wanting to hire him in the future for a while, but most studios will aim to recoup some of their costs.
After watching the series (not knowing that C.O.L. had already been released in Europe) I immediately saw that the series’ main objective was to discredit Poole’s character and his investigative theory on Biggie’s murder. They chose an actor in Jimmi Simpson who has always played quirky, oddball characters, like the crazy mad scientist or psychopath. As an avid film fan, I was immediately put off by this casting and the show was immediately predictable for me. I do believe Simpson did his best to play Poole admirably, but at the end of the day, he has to speak the lines he is given. Greg Kading, the detective hired to discredit Poole’s work, was of course cast with handsome headshot Josh Duhamel. Trust me, Kading is not that handsome in person.
After watching both Depp’s film and the TV series, I can now see why the movie was shelved. The film dives into the “Rampart/Death Row/LAPD scandal” much more than the series. In fact, there is purportedly new information in the film regarding the scandal concerning certain redacted documents that prove Death Row Records had an “army of LAPD” working for them. Where USA’s series makes excuses for obvious assassination coordination in the Amir Muhammad character, “City of Lies” paints an honest picture. Unlike the USA series which portrayed Poole has a schizophrenic conspiracy theorist, Depp did a respectable job of his representation of Poole, who carries himself with a calm, inquisitive demeanor. In my mind, the USA series was intentionally planted to thwart the release of the film and to serve as a perverted correction of the historical record. If the film had been released, the series would have served as a suitable counterargument for those trying to protect the Los Angeles Police Department and the criminal underworld that works hand in glove with it.
After seeing the film, the documentaries, reading the books, you will see that dark forces did, in fact, work to shelve the movie “City of Lies.” Why cover up the murder of Biggie to protect a few corrupt cops? Well, in reality, it was not simply a few bad apples. The corruption in the LAPD was systemic then just as it is now. The Rampart scandal involved hundreds of LA police officers working with the city’s criminal networks. And, as Poole and Sullivan’s research has shown, the Rampart label could surely be swapped for “Death Row Records.” So there we have incentive number one. With the Black Lives Matter movement still relevant, I suspect those in high places are fearful of another massive riot, a LA Riots 2.0. I do not think the black community would be the only ones angry either. People will explode if it is confirmed that the LAPD helped kill the Notorious B.I.G.
Incentive number two involves Christopher “Biggie” Wallace’s recently withdrawn $400 million lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles. The city would stand to go bankrupt if Volleta Wallace’s lawsuit was successful. Technically, she can still file the lawsuit. If there is enough public outcry, she could easily move forward with it.
Incentive number three is the fact that Biggie’s mom believes, as do I, that there are those that were directly involved that are being protected. These people likely sit in powerful positions. Consider the fact that the FBI halted their investigation into the murder and likely the LAPD themselves for unknown reasons.
I highly recommend this film. Both Depp and Forest do a great job and fall into their roles.
Which film will you trust: the highly endorsed USA TV series? Or the film that was banned and forcibly released in Italy, unavailable to the country depicted, and actually starred Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace?
The film has been pirated online and is available on multiple free viewing sites (m4ufree.tv, and others.) This film is likely to be erased from the memories of most Americans. It is not available anywhere but on the dark web.
- The LAbyrinth book by Randall Sullivan is available on Amazon.
- Biggie and Tupac Documentary
- Murder Rap: Inside the Biggie and Tupac Murders
- Biggie Bodyguard Gene Deal Youtube.He has offered his views on the murder, and who believes is involved. He is a supporter of Poole’s research.
Movie: City of Lies
TV Show: Unsolved, USA Network.