The November 1994 robbery of Tupac Shakur was the flashpoint that turned the entire East Coast/West Coast hip-hop feud into an all-out war, and eventually led to the deaths of both Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a Christopher Wallace. Accusations have flown since the incident's immediate aftermath over who actually held up Shakur at Manhattan’s Quad Studios then shot him five times, leading to Shakur pointing fingers at Wallace and his Bad Boy associates and saying they'd set him up, and many years of violent back-and-forth both in song and on the streets. And now, after nearly 15 years, one man has come forward to claim responsibility: According to a confession letter sent to AllHipHop.com, Dexter Isaac says he was hired by Czar Entertainment president and hip-hop mogul James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond to rob Shakur, a job for which he says he was paid $2,500.
Isaac, who is currently serving a life sentence for murder, robbery, and other offenses, says he is coming forward now because Rosemond—currently on the run from a federal warrant—recently named Isaac in a statement protesting his charges for alleged cocaine distribution, saying that he was being denied a fair trial because the government was relying on the statements of prisoners like Isaac. Angered by Rosemond’s allegations (he claims he’s never cooperated with the investigation and is not a "rat"), Isaac wrote the letter in order to expose him, noting that the statute of limitations on prosecution for the robbery of Shakur has expired, so he has no problem with being honest about his involvement. He even claims to “have as proof the chain that we took that night in the robbery.” (Meanwhile, Rosemond is alleged to have taken one of Shakur’s rings and put the stone into a new setting for his then-girlfriend.)
If Isaac’s account is accurate, it’s the most specific answer we've gotten yet to one of hip-hop’s longest-running arguments—and Isaac even insinuates that he also knows something about the fatal outcome of that argument, adding that he would like to bring “some closure” to the deaths of Shakur and Wallace by speaking to their mothers “at a different time.” Meanwhile, he further suggests that Sean “ Puffy” Combs is not as “innocent” as he claims to be when it comes to the matter, while asking Rosemond if he plans to “flip on Puffy” when he’s finally caught by federal agents.
Obviously, this is all just one man’s word, but it is worth noting that Rosemond has long been a suspect in the shooting, with the L.A. Times publishing (then retracting) a story that implicated both Rosemond and Combs in the shooting, and Shakur even calling “Jimmy Henchman” out by name in the song “Against All Odds.” Tomorrow would have been Shakur’s 40th birthday, by the way. If this is true, he certainly would have waited a long time to find out he was right.