A New Video Shows Tupac’s Death Through The Eyes Of His Killer
Nearly 23 years ago, on September 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight watched as Mike Tyson defeated Bruce Seldon in the 1st Round by technical knockout. Moments after the fight ended, the superstar rapper who had become Death Row Records’ flagship act and the record label’s CEO were caught on Las Vegas MGM Grand surveillance cameras, kicking Orlando Anderson. Like Knight, Anderson (aka “Baby Lane”), hailed from Compton, California with affiliation to the Southside Crips—a rival of Death Row’s allegiances with the M.O.B. Piru and other Blood sets in Compton and neighboring areas. As authorities arrived, Shakur and Knight fled the scene, off to await Tyson’s post-fight arrival at Knight’s recently acquired Vegas lounge, Club 662.
Documentaries, television shows, video clips, and books have been made about those few seconds and the hours that followed. Later that evening, Shakur and Knight were ambushed in a drive-by shooting while in the mogul’s black BMW sedan. Eyewitnesses, including security staff and members of Tha Outlawz have said the shooter was in a white Cadillac sedan. Approximately one week later, Shakur succumbed to the wounds in a nearby hospital. Knight, who was on parole, violated with the evidence captured on the casino cameras. He would spend the rest of the ’90s behind bars, as his empire crumbled to a parody of its mass success with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Shakur.
Despite the growing plethora of media, Tupac’s death has never been solved. Retired LAPD Detective Greg Kading published a 2011 book, Murder Rap. The officer who investigated the 1997 killing of Biggie Smalls (aka Christopher Wallace) which took place almost six months to the day after Pac’s killing, wrote about getting a confession from Duane “Keffe D” Davis, who was facing unrelated charges. What began as a probe into Biggie’s attack led the investigation to new information related to September 7, 1996. Keffe D also told Kading about past dealings with Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Records, including providing a lowrider for a music video. In his Kading confession, he said that he was in the white Cadillac, and that his nephew, Orlando Anderson fired upon Shakur and Knight (who survived a wound to the head). At least in part, it was relation for the MGM lobby beating.
Anderson, known around Compton and Southside Crips as “Baby Lane,” was killed in 1998. Ahead of his death, Anderson—who has been confirmed as an associate of rappers including MC Eiht and B.G. Knoccout—testified on behalf of Suge Knight related to the incident, even after Shakur had died. The man Knight kicked allegedly took payment to try to keep Death Row’s leader on the streets—an effort that ultimately failed.
Rapper Glasses Malone is a product of the same streets that birthed Suge Knight, Orlando Anderson, and Keffe D—the same parts of Los Angeles that Shakur touted in lyrics just before his death. Malone, a former Cash Money Records artist who also dropped a full project with Mack 10, tells Orlando Anderson’s story in the controversial new video, “2Pac Must Die.”
“For over 20 years, you’ve heard one side of the story. Now hear mines,” begins the song that makes Anderson the speaker. In a POV, the video contextualizes the Vegas retreat for the hustler and his friends, with G Malone in the passenger seat of the rental car as “Keffe D.” According Kading’s book, the other men, besides Keffe and Baby Lane, are driver Terrence Brown and Deandre Smith—both of whom have since passed on. From the rear-view mirror of the Caddy hangs a gold Death Row medallion chain. As a flashback sequence shows, that chain was snatched from a member of the label staff. Investigations (as well as DJ Quik) have alleged that Row affiliate Trevon “Tre” Lane lost his jewelry in a 1996 scuffle at the Lakewood Mall. The sequence is recreated in the music video. Malone raps, “Now my trophy, ass-whippin’s how you win it at, man / To keep it real, I look better in it, and / Ain’t no price you could pay to get it back.”
Moving to the casino, Anderson spots Trevon in the casino lobby, talking to Shakur moments after the Tyson fight. “Turn around, see a rapper unapproached, but I ain’t shook / Mobbin’ with that ni**a from the mall that we bucked / Number one can get the jab, number two can get the hook / But Suge right behind, alone, and four more opps / Ni**as jumped me like rope, and kicked me like rocks / Casino guards made ’em stop / But I pray the law don’t end the act / ‘Cause I ain’t goin’ out like that,” describes the footage eventually seen around the world.
The video continues with what happened next, including a meetup with the others a plot for revenge. The song mentions Keffe D’s report that the Cadillac idled in the parking lot of Suge Knight’s club, awaiting the arrival of the men who had just attacked Orlando minutes ago. Eventually impatient, the car left only to pass Knight’s BMW, with Shakur in the passenger side, in the opposite lane, talking to some women. “‘This is them in the Bimmer, I think them h*es seen us’ / ‘I don’t give a f*ck, there’s too much smoke between us’ / Since ‘Freak’ ain’t shootin’, I’ll reach right across / This gang-bangin’ sh*t is so costly.” The scene graphically recreates the ambush, while playing back the MGM lobby beatdown.
The Cadillac speeds away into the Vegas night. Glasses Malone’s first-person lyrics as Orlando proved to forecast his on demise. Sources report that Baby Lane’s May 29, 1998 death was also gang related.