The Hit List is an original Shortwave RADAR series that explores deaths in the hip hop universe.
Bad Boy Records
Bad Boy Records defined the mafioso hip hop sound that captivated the 90’s East Coast scene and eventually the world. A path of destruction soon followed their success, bringing a series of incidents that ended with depletion of Bad Boy Record’s once all-star roster.
Their roster of artists once included:
The Notorious B.I.G.
TIMELINE OF VIOLENCE
Sean “Puffy” Combs started Bad Boy Records and hit it big with Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” and signed The Notorious B.I.G.
(Sean “Puffy” Combs)
November 30, 1994, Tupac Shakur was shot and robbed while attending a recording session at Quad Studios, where at-the-time Biggie, Puffy, and others were also recording. Tupac blamed the shooting on Bad Boy Records since he had turned them down on a record deal.
(Tupac Shakur after the Quad Studios shooting)
In the spring of 1995, Sean “Puffy” Combs used a cell phone to assault rapper & producer Positive K over unpaid royalties.
September 23, 1995, Sean “Puffy” Combs and bodyguard Anthony “Wolf” Jones are connected to the shooting death of death row records associate Jai Hassan-Jamal Robles also known as “Big Jake” at an Atlanta, GA nightclub.
Puffy allegedly threatened his business partner Kirk Burrowes with a baseball over his 25% ownership. Kirk signed over his part of the record label.
Six months after Tupac’s death, on March 9, 1997 – while leaving an after-party in Los Angeles, CA at the Petersen Automotive Museum – a black Chevy Impala stopped alongside the GMC Suburban Sean “Puffy” Combs and B.I.G. were riding in. An African-American male, wearing a blue suit and bow tie fired a 9mm into the GMC – resulting in 4 shots hitting and killing the hip hop artist known as the Notorious B.I.G., Frank White, Biggie, Big Poppa, etc.
Puffy and Bad Boy artist Shyne is involved in a shooting that took place at a Manhattan nightclub known as “Club New York”. Three patrons are shot and witnesses claimed that both individuals fired into the crowd after a patron elbowed Puffy for spilling a drink.
(Shyne on the cover of VIBE magazine)
THE HIT LIST
On October 18, 1993, 19-year-old Trevell Coleman shot John Henkel during an attempted robbery in Harlem, New York. John Henkel’s murder isn’t connected to Bad Boy Records directly as Trevell Coleman was not yet a rapper. Trevell Coleman is known as “G. Dep” and signed to Bad Boy Records in 1998, providing a gangsta mentality to a Bad Boy roster that had just lost The Notorious B.I.G. G. Dep is best known for hip hop single “Special Delivery” and for turning himself into law enforcement in December, 2010 for the cold case murder of John Henkel.
(Jamal Robles “Big Jake”)
Jamal Robles “Big Jake” attended a party with Suge Knight at an Atlanta nightclub.
Big Jake was part of Death Row Record’s marketing team and had just been released from prison. Also in-attendance were Sean “Puffy” Combs and his bodyguard Anthony “Wolf” Jones. Following the party at Platinum City Club, a shooting busted-out and “Wolf” Jones had shot Big Jake three times. Big Jake died a couple of weeks later from his injuries.
The death of Tupac Shakur immediately cast a shadow over the hip hop industry and Bad Boy Records became the main suspect. Theories from the LAPD, online sleuths, associates, rappers, and media personalities have all featured Sean “Puffy” Combs as the ringleader behind the assassination.
The first attack on his life took place at Quad Recording Studios on November 29th, 1994. Tupac was robbed at gunpoint and shot five times in the studio lobby. This would be his inspiration for the album “All Eyez On Me” and for the single “Hit ‘Em Up,” a vicious diss song aimed towards the Notorious B.I.G., Bad Boy Records and their affiliates.
The west coast/east coast rap beef was at its height and tensions were boiling from both sides already when Tupac was released on bail from Prison in October 1995; the bail was submitted by Suge Knight in exchange for three albums from Tupac. Before his death on September 7th, 1996 – Tupac set up a record/film company “Euphanasia Records” since his three-album contract with Death Row had been fulfilled and he planned on focusing attention to projects away from music.
Tupac was gunned down while leaving the MGM Grand after the Mike Tyson vs Bruce Seldon fight. He passed away on September 13th from his wounds. His legacy lives on. You can find out more about the conspiracy theories surrounding his death here.
(The last photo of Tupac alive)
The Notorious B.I.G. captivated the world with the release of his debut album “Ready to Die” – paving the way for future of hip hop artists. His friendship and eventual feud with Tupac Shakur would spark a hip hop war that would cost them both their lives. The Notorious B.I.G.’s death on March 9, 1997, is still an unsolved crime. New clues and evidence have surfaced that adds to the theory that his murder could be tied to Death Row Records.
While leaving an after-party in Los Angeles, CA at the Petersen Automotive Museum – a black Chevy Impala stopped alongside the GMC Suburban Sean “Puffy” Combs and B.I.G. were riding in. An African-American male, wearing a blue suit and bowtie, fired a 9mm into the GMC – resulting in 4 shots hitting and killing the hip hop artist known as the Notorious B.I.G., Frank White, Biggie, Big Poppa, etc.
Biggie’s established on the MT. Rushmore of hip hop and Puffy lives with the memories of that night, similar to Suge Knight; mortal enemies loses their best friends. Neither Suge or Puffy was shot during the incidents, providing theories that Suge Knight ordered Biggie killed, Puffy ordered Tupac to be killed, Suge Knight ordered Tupac to be killed, etc.
November 11, 2003, Puffy’s former bodyguard Anthony “Wolf” Jones and friend Lamont Girdy was gunned down at a nightclub in Atlanta, Georgia. Wolf engaged in an argument with BMF’S (Black Mafia Family) Big Meech over a woman.
Big Meech and a BMF member were also shot. No one has ever been charged in their murders.
(Big Meech and Wolf)