Biggie & Tupac – The Documentary

Biggie & Tupac is a 2002 documentary movie by Nick Broomfield. The movie claims to have solved the murder mystery of two great rappers of the last century – Christopher Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. Nick is also the producer of the film along with Michele D’Acosta.

Tupac and the notorious big
Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G

In the documentary, Broomfield leaves nothing to the imagination as he accuses Suge Knight, the then CEO of Death Row Records to be the man behind both the killings. Broomfield also indicates that several LAPD officers were involved in the murder of the two celebrities. However, the film remains inconclusive in the face of the paltry evidence presented by Broomfield.

In the documentary, Broomfield produces two evidences. One is an eyewitness account, who goes on to name one of the Tupac’s killers. Another evidence is the word of a bag man, who apparently delivered the money marked for the murder of Wallace. In a daring claim, Broomfield uses the witness accounts to conclude that both of the murders were the work of Broomfield. What’s more interesting is that the film indicates that the hitmen were actually off-duty Los Angeles police officers.

B.I.G. and Tupac used to be friends
B.I.G. and Tupac used to be friends

As part of the documentary, Nick meets Suge Knight in California prison, where Knight is serving sentence for a murder charge. Funny (or scary) enough, the millionaire former owner of Death Row Records is quite a feared man. Nick’s photographer Joan Churchill simply refused to be part of the prison interview, and Nick had to take help from a freelancer to do the job, and the results are mediocre at best. However, the interview is a thought provoking scene. Nick tries to get Knight in good mood initially, and then questions him about Tupac, with no success whatsoever in bringing out any truth. Not that anyone was expecting it to happen anyway.

Biggie-and-pac
‘Biggie’ and ‘Pac’

As for the motive for the murder of Tupac, Broomfield claims that Knight had to pay huge sums of money to Tupac in royalties, and that Tupac was planning to jump to a rival record company. Supposedly, Knight killed Tupac to prevent either of them from happening at all. The use of off-duty police officers may also have some credibility. The documentary observes that Knight had about 30 to 40 LAPD officers on payroll as bodyguards, among other duties. Once Knight had killed off Tupac, he decided to divert any possible attention that might come his way by getting B.I.G. killed. This way, the murders were made to look like a result of an East Coast – West Coast rap rivalry.

The movie explains the dynamics between the two Hip Hop Artists
The movie explains the dynamics between the two Hip Hop Artists

This version of Tupac’s murder motive was a theory by a former LAPD officer Russell Poole. Poole was forced by LAPD to resign from his job after he began to conduct an independent investigation into Tupac’s murder. Poole claims that he faced massive resistance from LAPD against any of his attempts to investigate the murder. As for the theory behind B.I.G.’s murder, the documentary does not present any proof.

Apart from these, the documentary sheds light on many things that could have played a role in the two murders. But, most of it is, as New York Times nicely puts, is “largely speculative” and “circumstantial”. You can watch this movie online when you sign up with a reliable Internet service provider.