Tha Rap Critic

Friday, December 02, 2005

Rolling Stone Magazine Revisits The Notorious B.I.G Murder

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"What I need from this lawsuit is that the person or persons who murdered my son are brought to justice," Voletta Wallace, The Notorious B.I.G's mother says. "What I need from this lawsuit is honesty. What I need from this lawsuit is to show that humans have integrity, show that they're not cowards, show that they're not liars, show that they care about the truth."

Voletta Wallace is steadfast in her mission to bring her son's murderer(s) to justice. And in the December 5, 2005 version of Rolling Stone Magazine, they look deep into the still unsolved murder of the late, great Notorious B.I.G's murder, and the circumstances that surrounded it. This comes just weeks before the release of the new B.I.G album "Duets: The Final Chapter" in which contemporary artists rap over existing B.I.G tracks.

The rolling Stone article looks at the ongoing battle between Biggie's estate and the City of Los Angeles. Before her son's murder, Ms. Wallace says, "I trusted everyone. I trusted the Los Angeles Police Department. I had to believe that they wanted to find out who the murderer of my son was. I had no idea there were such powerful forces involved in all of this." And those forces that Voletta Wallace is talking about had shown their head very early in the B.I.G murder investigation. The LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide Division was absent for the most part, a month after Biggie's death. "They were there that first night," notes Sergio Robleto, a former LAPD lieutenant who would eventually join Sanders on the case as a private investigator. "But they were gone by the next morning and didn't come back to the case until an entire month had passed. In thirty years, I had never seen that: a murder case involving a major celebrity that wasn't taken over by Robbery-Homicide right out of the gate."

"To me it was obvious this wasn't a gang shooting," says Detective Russell Poole, who, with partner Fred Miller, would become a lead investigator on the case when it was finally assigned to Robbery-Homicide in April 1997. "Biggie's murder was much more sophisticated than anything I've ever seen any gangbanger pull off. This was professionally executed."

Detective Poole was immediately ordered to pursue the case as a gang reataliation murder that happened because Bad Boy records had failed to pay a debt to some Crips that were protecting Biggie and company while they were in L.A. Poole began to suspect that the link between Biggie's death and Death Row Records was becoming more and more real after an off duty LAPD officer was shot and killed by an undercover LAPD officer on the side of the highway. The man, who was murdered, was a former security guard for Death Row Records and the then boyfriend of Suge Knight's estranged wife at the time, Sharitha. Immediately thereafter, the cellmate of one of Suge's MOB Piru affiliates stated that Knight's "goon squad" had B.I.G killed.

Two weeks after Suge Knight was found to be in violation of his probation, The Notorious B.I.G was gunned down leaving the Vibe Party. Ironically, in his probation hearing, Orlando Anderson was there to testify on the behalf of Suge Knight. "I seen him pulling people off of me," Anderson swore on the witness stand. Anderson was also at the Vibe Party the night Biggie was killed.

Detective Poole began to amount masses of clues that could provide enough of a link between Biggie's death and Death Row Records that some formal investigations could commence, however, every time Poole presented clues or evidence, he was told to go in another direction with the investigation, which was the gang retaliation theory. This was all baffling to Detective Poole especially after it was found that David Mack, a former LAPD officer, and known associate of Suge Knight, had a black Impala SS, the same vehicle type implicated in the murder of Biggie. Although Poole asked for forensic tests to be run on Mack's Impala, the request was denied.

Several witnesses and informants began to give sworn testimonies regarding Biggie's murder; however as an impeding civil suit against the LAPD loomed, most of these witnesses and informants were either dead or began to recant their stories in fear of their lives. However, one witness’s statements would come to cause this whole case to take a turn for the better for the Wallace Estate. Kenneth Boagni's testimony of confessions regarding Raphael Perez and his knowledge of the Notorious B.I.G's murder was purposefully hidden by lead detective since 1999, Steve Katz. This was the cause of the mistrial, and this could be the most devastating blow to the City of Los Angeles, as they could pay as much as $362 million if found to be responsible for the murder of The Notorious B.I.G.

Kenneth Cole Friends and Family Discounts

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From now until Monday December 5, 2005, Kennethcole.com is offering an unpublished "Friends and family" discount of 25% on all merchandise. There are some items that have already been marked down so when the "Friends and Family" discount is applied, there may be savings of greater than 50%.

Go to Kennethcole.com and use promotion code 31257 at checkout

Jamie Foxx a Busy Man in Hollywood

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With “Jarhead” doing well in theaters, Jamie Foxx also has several upcoming projects that will be sure to keep his pockets nice and phat. Foxx just recently signed on to star in a political thriller called "The Kingdom." In the Universal Pictures film, Jamie Foxx plays a counter-terrorism investigator that is attempting to find the perpetrators who bombed some American workers in the Middle East.

Foxx also has other projects coming soon, including his role as Tubbs in Michael Mann's big screen adaptation of "Miami Vice." Foxx also has to begin shooting for another movie entitled "Dreamgirls," co-starring alongside Beyonce' Knowles and Eddie Murphy

Oprah Visits Dave Letterman

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What Dave Letterman jokingly dubbed "the television event of the decade," for the first time in sixteen years, Oprah Winfrey has visited Dave Letterman on his "Late Show." Oprah Winfrey, who has been the butt of several Letterman jokes over the years, has been less than enthusiastic about appearing on the show, until now.

Letterman stated, "I've been sort of gruff, I've made jokes, and generally been a nuisance... so of course she wasn't eager to come" on the show, adding that he was surprised and pleased when his son was born to receive a gift from Oprah: a box of books – "Harry's Book Club" – for the baby.

Oprah told Letterman that "I have never for a moment had a feud with you" and asked him to tell her "what had transpired" if there were some kind of feud she did not know about. "I can't believe you're this serious," said Oprah, who hadn't expected the opportunity to discuss one of her favorite topics.

Although Letterman and Oprah had some serious moments, Dave still had to make jokes, this time, a comparison of the two television hosts' accomplishments, "Oprah formed her own media empire, Dave makes his own hairpieces," he intoned, in a list of comparisons between the two. "Oprah's studio audience leaves with cars, Dave's leaves with hypothermia... Oprah was once honored as TV Guide's performer of the year, Dave was 23 down in the TV Guide crossword."

To end Oprah's much anticipated visit to the show, Dave cordially walked Oprah out, and over to the premiere of the Broadway Play she is executive producing, "The Color Purple" a remake of the film that she starred in.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gotti Defense Short Lived, Closing Arguments Begin

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In the federal money laundering case against The Inc. (Formerly Murder Inc.), it took the Gotti defense team of criminal lawyers Gerald Lefcourt and Gerald Shargel one witness and a little over two hours to present their case. The lone witness in the defenses' case was former IRS special agent, and forensic accountant John Ryan.

Ryan was hired by the Gotti defense team to examine the Gottis' financial records and bank statements for their personal and business accounts. However, Carolyn Pokorny, the prosecutor in this case, countered Ryan's examinations, and accused Ryan of just examining the records provided by the Gotti defense team. "The bottom line is you did not analyze every single deposit of cash," Pokorny said, before asking Ryan whether he noticed strange patterns in Chris' account deposits.

"Did you not see notations in their own books to the effect that Chris was cashing checks?" she asked Ryan. He said he had; over the course of three years, Pokorny said Chris cashed, on average, more than $100,000 in third-party checks, using his accounts.

The case is expected to be handed over to the jury today, November 16, 2005 after both sides give their closing arguments.

Simon Cowell to Return to American Idol

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What turned out to be a boost for Fox Television to justify charging between $600,000 and $705,000 for 30 second ads running during American Idol this season, Simon Cowell, the hard nosed British judge, has decided to return to the show. Cowell has been embedded in a legal battle with longtime friend, and Idol creator Simon Fuller, which was a threat to jeopardize his return to the hit reality series. Cowell and Fuller subsequently reached an out of court settlement that led to Cowell's decision to return.

"It is a personal thrill for me to play a role in giving the best young singers in America a shot at realizing their dreams," Cowell said in a statement Tuesday. "I'm also happy to be working with my good friend Simon Fuller for the foreseeable future and I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Fox network and the phenomenal success that is American Idol."

"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with FremantleMedia, Simon Fuller and 19 Entertainment on television's number-one series," Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori said in a statement. "And that news is only bettered by knowing Simon Cowell will bring his unique talents to American Idol for years to come."

Last year, American Idol's Tuesday-Wednesday schedule averaged 27 million viewers a week. This year, Fox is contemplating a Wednesday-Thursday schedule in an effort to draw more viewers.

Rolling Stones Will Headline Superbowl Halftime Show

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Superbowl XL (40), which will be held on Sunday February 5, 2006, will feature legendary Rock n Roll band The Rolling Stones for the highly anticipated halftime show. The NFL came under some harsh scrutiny after an incident with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake at the 2004 Superbowl, which caused for time delays and stiffer FCC regulations.

"We are thrilled to perform for millions of fans at one of the most exciting and highly anticipated sporting events of the year," the band says in a statement.

"We are excited to welcome one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands in history to the Super Bowl," says Steve Bornstein, the NFL's executive vice president of media, and the man in charge of the event. "As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl this season, it is fitting we work with the Rolling Stones whose music has thrilled audiences around the world for years."

The Superbowl performance will cap a season long cross promotional campaign between the NFL, ABC, and The Stones. Mick and the boys have created several intros and segments for this entire 2005-2006 season of Monday Night Football. This marks the second year in a row that an act from the UK will headline the halftime show for America's unofficial holiday, Superbowl Sunday. Last year it was Paul McCartney.

Donald Trump and The Apprentice Move to L.A.

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The recently added sixth season of the hit reality series "The Apprentice" will be shot in Los Angeles rather than New York City. In a recent statement, Donald Trump said, "While I love shooting in New York City, I look forward to filming season six in Los Angeles."

"Donald has so many recent West Coast projects that it made perfect sense to change locations and along with it changes the flavor of the weekly tasks," Mark Burnett said, the show's creator. "Seeing Donald operate in Southern California will provide yet more insight into his remarkable world."

In a recent interview with ABC radio, Trump also addressed concerns about Martha Stewart's Apprentice having an ill affect on his show. "I think there was confusion between Martha's Apprentice and mine," he told ABC Radio in October. "And mine continues to do well and, as you know, the other one has struggled very severely." It was reported recently by NBC that they will not be picking up Martha's version of "The Apprentice" for a second season.