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  13th July 06: Family of Notorious B.I.G. Wants to Expand Lawsuit
  The family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. has asked a judge for permission to expand their wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, contending police Officer Rafael Perez was on duty at Petersen Automotive Museum the night of the killing.

  The request was included in a 94-page motion citing a list of incidents, which the family contends show a pattern linking police to crimes involving rap stars, including Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur. Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was fatally shot in 1997 in a sport utility vehicle shortly after a party in Los Angeles.

  The Wallace family's attorneys alleged that Vincent Marella, a private attorney defending the city, admitted in a court hearing July 5 that Perez was in uniform and involved in the rapper's shooting.

  The full transcripts from the hearing, however, show that Vincent Marella was only repeating an informant's allegations.

  Perez is not named as a defendant in the proposed new suit, nor are other alleged participants, including former LAPD officer and convicted bank robber David A. Mack, Death Row Records owner Marion "Suge" Knight or the alleged triggerman, Amir Muhammad. All four men have denied involvement in the slaying. The city remains the only defendant.

  Still unsolved, the killing has fueled conspiracy theories. Attorneys for the Wallace family promised allege that officers, working for a rival rap label, Death Row Records, played a role in the killing.

  After four days of testimony last summer, U.S. District Judge Florence Marie Cooper declared a mistrial. Cooper said an LAPD detective had hidden statements by a jailhouse informant linking the killing to Mack and Perez.

  Cooper ordered the city to pay the family's attorney fees and costs as sanctions for withholding evidence.

Source: RapCentral.co.uk

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  4th July 06: Biggie, Tupac and Jay-Z Are Crowned Hip-Hop's Best
  Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. were crowned the top three artists in a poll conducted by Remy Martin as part of the company's second Black Music Month initiative.

  Part of the June initiative included a poll on Remy Martin's website where the popular cognac maker invited visitors to vote for their favorite songs and artists in hip-hop soul history. The site maintained a regularly updated leaderboard displaying the top 17 artists and 38 songs until the polls closed last week on June 30th.

  Over 10,000 votes were cast in the poll, which was limited to visitors age 21 or older who were allowed to vote for as many as five artists and/or songs each. The late Tupac Shakur scored both top-artist and top-song honors, leaving his mark with his hit song "Hail Mary." Jay-Z and Biggie were voted #2 and #3 in the artist category but 14 of the top 38 songs overall were recorded by these three artists.

  Rappers Nas and Eminem closely followed in the top artist category, claiming the #4 and #5 spots, while Mary J. Blige represented for the ladies in hip-hop soul by finishing in the #6 spot. Three of Mary hits were also recognized amongst the top 38 songs "Be Without You" was #21, "My Life" was #24 and "Real Love" was #26. R&B chanteuse Mariah Carey was the only other woman to finish among the top 17 artists, although Keyshia Cole and Lauryn Hill made appearances on the top song list.

  While both top artist and top song lists were dominated by veteran musicians, artists T.I., Jadakiss and Lil Wayne also had their hits finish among the top ten songs, with "What You Know" finishing fourth, "Why" landing in the #9 spot and "Hustla Muzik" closing out the #10 spot. For the final list of the top 17 artists and 38 songs visit: www.1738.com.

Source: 2pacWorld.co.uk

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  30th June 2006: Hip-Hop Cop Claims He Can Solve Biggie & Tupac Murders
  After helping launch the NYPD's hip-hop task force, retired detective Derrick Parker is the focus of a new DVD, Black and Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop. In this SOHH exclusive, Parker claims being able to solvethe murders of Biggie, Tupac and Jam Master Jay. He also reveals the rap artists he has beef with.

  Years after the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur and Jam Master Jay, family, friends and fans have yet to find closure. Thus far, police forces in Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas have been unsuccessful. Yet, one man contends that he knows the answers so many are dying to know.

  "I'm not gonna say I'm 100% positive. My percentage rate is very high probability of solving those cases," Parker told SOHH exclusively. "The Biggie murder, the Tupac and Jam Master Jay cases -- they can all be solved. The Jam Master Jay case, I've already solved."

  Interestingly, the veteran cop isn't running to the aforementioned cities' precincts to share his theories.

  "I will [help] if they ask me to," Parker offered. "But before I do any of that, I have to make sure that they're gonna bring the right people on board and they're gonna listen to what I tell them. If they're not gonna listen to me, then I don't wanna get involved."

  Considering emcees' long-standing disdain of law enforcement, it is no surprise that Parker is likely detested by many. In fact, he's had his share of conflicts over the years.

  "I've had a few run-ins with a few artists," he said. "Some of them have tried to bully their way into different clubs or make threats. But I think after we sat down and we saw eye to eye. We sort of ironed out our differences and then everything is .

  "I had problems with a few people -- Jim Jones is one," added Parker. "I had problems with Loon back in the days. Loon and I are actually good friends now, so is Jim. Jim and I are pretty cool."

  Rappers don't only view Parker as Public Enemy No. 1; he can also be their savior. When Loon was charged with attempted murder back in 2004, the "hip-hop cop" ironically helped clear his name.

  "Loon was in L.A. when he had an incident and there was a stabbing at a night club," Parker told SOHH. "I was at the House of Blues in L.A. and the first guy who grabbed Loon was me. Loon was running from the altercation. His attorneys asked me, 'Loon didn't do this. Loon wasn't the person that stabbed this guy.' And everybody said it was Loon. Loon just happened to be with guys that were out there that were getting into a melee and of course people are gonna see him because he's a rap artist and they're gonna say he's the guy responsible for it. I grabbed Loon and Loon knew me and he felt kinda relieved. I had to talk to his attorneys. I sort of helped him out."

Source: 2pacWorld.co.uk

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  29th June 2006: Incarcerated Lil' Kim Gets Free Next Week
  Lil' Kim is set to be released from Philadelphia's Federal Detention Center next week. As RapCentral.co.uk previously reported, Kim (Born Kimberley Jones) was sentenced to a one year and a day sentence in the aforementioned facility, after she was found guilty of perjury and conspiracy for lying to a grand jury in relation to a 2001 shooting involving Capone-N-Noreaga and Kim's crew in front of New York radio station Hot 97.

   James J. Leonard Jr, Kim's lawyer, revealed to the Philadelphia Inquirer that his client will leave the FDC on Monday (July 3) between 6 and 10 a.m.

   Kim will then be taken to an undisclosed New Jersey location for processing and will begin serving a month's house arrest at her North Jersey home.

   The Brooklyn bred rapper was initially scheduled to be released in August but was granted an earlier release due to good behavior. According to Leonard, Kim has been a model inmate and is humbled by the outpouring of support she's received in letters from local fans and radio station shout-outs.

   Barely a week after checking into prison, Lil Kim released her fourth album, The Naked Truth . She was also the main focus of a BET reality show this spring titled "Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown". The 6 episode series captured the rapper's final days of freedom before reporting to jail.

Source: RapCentral.co.uk

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  23rd June 06: Limited Action Figures Of B.I.G. Coming This Fall
  Toy company Mezco Toyz has announced a set of new action figures honoring slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. as well as rap icons Public Enemy with 9" replicas of the rappers. Mezco, founded in 2000, has produced the first Notorious B.I.G. figure ever released. B.I.G., was gunned down in front of the Petersen Automotive Museum in March 1997.

   The rapper is featured in the trademark white cloth suit worn in his last hit video "Hypnotized," along with a removable hat, replicated jewelry and a cane, which he was using due to an accident that shattered his leg shortly before his untimely demise. Public Enemy also has been embodied in a 9" action figure. Chuck D. comes with a gold chain, signature jacket and hat and is featured posing with his fist in the air. Public Enemy hypeman and rapper Flavor Flav is featured showing off his signature gold teeth, along with various accessories including his sunglasses and jewelry.

   The new dolls come on the heels of Mezco Toyz' worldwide success with their 2002 run of licensed Run-DMC dolls that featured Run, DMC and the late Jam Master Jay.

   Notorious B.I.G. and Flavor Flav dolls are expected to begin shipping in fall of 2006 on Mezco Toyz' official website, www.mezcotoyz.com.

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  20th June 2006: Notorious B.I.G. Retrial Postponed Until '07
  The federal judge overseeing The Notorious B.I.G. wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles postponed the retrial of the case yesterday (June 19). The case will now return to court in January of next year.

   According to The Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper moved the retrial to January 16, three months after the October 16th date she set on June 8, in order to give attorneys for the slain rapper's family more time to obtain information from the defense.

   B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace) was shot and killed on March 9, 1997 after a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. His murder remains unsolved.

   The lawsuit brought by Wallace's family has alleged that the LAPD had some involvement in the killing. Last July Judge Cooper declared a mistrial after learning that an LA detective covered up statements from a jailhouse informant that linked the killing to ex-LAPD Ramparts Division Officers David Mack and Rafael Perez. At that time the judge also ordered the City of Los Angeles to pay $1.1 million dollars in legal fees and expenses to the victim's family.

   Following the mistrial, an investigation of the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division discovered statements given to the department by a former cellmate of Perez claiming Perez had confessed to aiding Mack in killing B.I.G.

   Perry Sanders, an attorney for the Wallace family is currently seeking information from 27 Los Angeles employees who he believes had contact with the statements.

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  11th June 2006: Judge Sides With B.I.G. In Wrongful Death Lawsuit
  In the latest twist in the saga surrounding the slaying of rap star Notorious B.I.G., a federal judge Friday sided with his family in their wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. U.S. 2nd District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper said the family of the rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace and was also known as Biggie Smalls, had not tried to deceive the court about their knowledge of a prison informant who had contended that former Los Angeles Police Officer Rafael Perez had talked to him about the killing.

   Moreover, Cooper said the city had deliberately concealed "hundreds of documents" regarding the prison informant. Cooper set an Oct. 16 trial date for the family's lawsuit.

   Wallace, 24, was shot to death March 9, 1997, at a music-industry party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The killing remains unsolved.

   In 2002, his family sued the city, alleging that the Los Angeles Police Department covered up the participation of officers in Wallace's death in particular Perez and Officer David Mack, both key figures in the Rampart scandal.

   The case went to trial last year but quickly ended in a mistrial after a lawyer for the family said he received a tip that the Los Angeles Police Department was withholding information that the informant had provided about Perez's alleged involvement in the slaying. In January, Cooper ruled that the city had concealed evidence, and ordered it to pay $1.1 million in sanctions.

   The case took another turn last month when the city produced a report contending that the family had known about the informant long before the trial began, showing, in effect, that the city had concealed nothing. They argued that the family had deceived the court, and Cooper initially agreed.

   But on Friday Cooper ruled that there had been no deception and set the trial date.

   Brad Gage, an attorney for the Wallace family, said Cooper's decision "confirms that the city of Los Angeles intentionally concealed documents about the murder of Christopher Wallace," in particular an internal affairs investigation that alleged that Mack and Perez participated in the Wallace killing.

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  7th June 2006: L.A. Accuses B.I.Gs Attorneys of Going To 'Odious Lengths' For Money
  Lawyers representing the city of Los Angeles accused the family lawyers of slain rapper Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, of going to "odious" lengths to get money from the city, via a court filing on Tuesday (June 6). As RapCentral.co.uk previously reported, the city attorneys accused the Wallaces' lawyers of lying to the court - specifically when they claimed they had never seen a jailhouse informant's report detailing allegations that ex-LAPD Rampart Division Officer Rafael Perez had been implicated in B.I.G.'s murder.

   Voletta Wallace, B.I.G.'s mother, and his widow, Faith Evans, sued the city of Los Angeles and others four years ago, alleging wrongful death, and accused convicted corrupt cops Rafael Perez and David Mack of conspiring to kill Biggie with Death Row CEO Marion "Suge" Knight.

   The case would end in a mistrial last year, after Perry Sanders, one of the Wallaces' attorneys, would reveal that he had received an eleventh-hour tip that the LAPD had withheld evidence. U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, who declared the mistrial in the suit, would also award the Wallace family with $1.1 million in legal fees.

   Last month, city attorney Vincent Marella would show Judge Cooper an informant's report showing that Sanders had knowledge of the eleventh hour tip as early as 2002. Cooper would react by saying "the court had been totally deceived" and described herself as "outraged". She would then give the Wallaces' attorneys seven days to explain themselves.

   Last week, the Wallaces' attorneys would respond through a court filing saying the city "gave a really incomplete view of what happened" and "defendant had woven fact in a desperate attempt to prevent additional discovery of LAPD misconduct."

   In their filing yesterday, the city lawyers countered saying "when the rhetoric and ad hominem are stripped away, plaintiffs' response is revealed as no response at all." Dorothy Wolper, one of the city's attorneys, suggested that the plaintiffs introduced the claim of an eleventh-hour tip because "plaintiffs were not happy with the way the trial was developing."

   She asked that the judge to stop discovery and allow a new trial to begin "as soon as its calendar will allow." Sanders would respond by saying he never misled the court and that he had issued significant information about the informant's report to the city's attorneys in 2002 and 2005. "The record speaks for itself," said Sanders.

   Notorious B.I.G.'s murder still remains unsolved. He was killed on March 9, 1997, after a party at the PetersenAutomotiveMuseum in Los Angeles.

Source: RapCentral.co.uk

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