Yafeu Akiyele Fula (October 9, 1977 - November 10, 1996), better known by his stage name, Yaki Kadafi, was a rapper who was one of the founding members of the American rap group Outlawz, who are best known for their collaborations with Tupac Shakur. Kadafi's parents, Yaasmyn Fula and Sekou Odinga, were both members of the Black Panther Party. The mothers of Kadafi and Tupac Shakur shared a close friendship, this made Yaki Kadafi and Tupac Shakur close childhood friends until their untimely deaths in 1996. He was not in the public eye until he and the late rapper Tupac Shakur created the rap group Outlawz. The Outlawz, along with Kadafi, went on to have much success and recognition in their field. Even after Fula's death in 1996, his recordings continue to be released in the many posthumous Tupac Shakur albums, or end up being leaked online.
Yafeu Fula was born to Sekou Odinga and Yaasmyn Fula on October 9, 1977. When Fula was 4 years old, his father was arrested on political crimes. Him and his 7 siblings were raised by a single mother. Growing up Fula was a large fan of movies like A Christmas Story, Star Wars and Bruce Lee martial arts movies. Fula attended George Washington Carver Institute elementary school. The mothers of Tupac Shakur and Yafeu became close friends, making Tupac and Yafeu best friends.
In 1994, Fula ran into his childhood friend Mutah "Napoleon" Beale. Yafeu's mother introduced Napoleon to Tupac Shakur, and all three created Dramadycidal. Yafeu, only 16, took on the stage name of Young Hollywood. The group appeared on Tupac Shakur's album Me Against The World.
When 2Pac was in prison in 1995 on sexual assault charges, Kadafi visited him daily, at one of these visits, 2Pac and Kadafi decided to form the rap group "Outlawz". Bringing many members from Tupac's earlier groups, Dramacydal and Thug Life to form a super group. Also, Fula teamed up with fellow Outlawz member Hussein Fatal to record material under the name "Fatal-N-Felony". A album was planned but it never materialized, however some songs by them appeared on Son Rize Vol.1. That same year, upon Tupac's release from prison, Kadafi met with Shakur to sign with Death Row Records. He guest starred on Tupac's 9 times platinum album titled "All Eyez On Me" (#1 on the U.S. Billboard 200) and featured on 3 songs. At this point Fula began his entry into the public eye, appearing in Music Video's, going to award shows, and appearing on stage performing.
Death of Tupac:
On September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur died after being shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip on September 7. Yaki Kadafi was in the car directly behind Shakur, and claimed to have seen the white cadillac pull up alongside Shakur and open fire. Kadafi said that he could identify one of the shooters. Fula never followed up on these claims, and was never interviewed again.
His Plans and Final months:
It has been revealed that Tupac was starting his own record label, "Makaveli Records". It is safe to assume he would end up making solo albums on this label. However, after the loss of Tupac, he immediately returned to New Jersey to live with his girlfriend Lavie Johnson. In these final months Fula discussed going to college, and becoming a record producer with his mother.
On November 10, 1996, two months after Shakur's death, Kadafi was found slumped in the third-floor stairwell of an apartment building at 325 Mechanic Street, in Orange NJ. According to the news report in the Las Vegas Sun, Fula was found by New Jersey police at 3:48 a.m. Fula had been shot once in the head in a dispute over money. The news report names him a witness in the shooting of Tupac Shakur. It has been reported that he was visiting his girlfriend in New Jersey when he was struck dead by a bullet.
The Washington Times named Fula in their List of Rappers gunned down, which looks at 20 notable rappers gunned down. His death has been written about in numerous printed publications including the book, The Killing of Tupac Shakur, by Cathy Scott and several others.
Fula grew up with his 7 brothers and sisters, and a single mom. Fula was dating Lavie Johnson at the time of his death. Johnson became pregnant with Fula's two daughters, Valencia and Nyasia, before his death. He was murdered before he could meet them. Their voices are featured in many songs on Son Rize Vol. 1.
Son Rize Vol.1 (2004) (Havenotz Entertainment),
Still I Rise (1999) (with Outlawz) (Death Row/Intercope),
All About U,
Me Against The World (Tupac Shakur album) ("Me Against the World"; "Outlaw"),
All Eyez on Me (Tupac Shakur album) ("All Bout U"; "When We Ride"),
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (Tupac Shakur album) ("Hail Mary"; "Just Like Daddy"),
Gang Related (soundtrack) (Film Soundtrack by Various artists) ("Staring Through My Rearview"; "Made Niggaz"),
R U Still Down? (Remember Me) (Tupac Shakur album) ("Enemies With Me"),
Greatest Hits (Tupac Shakur album) ("Hail Mary"; "Me Against the World"; "Hit 'Em Up"; "All Bout U"),
Suge Knight Represents: Chronic 2000 (Compilation album by Various artists) ("Who Do U Believe In"),
Until the End of Time (Tupac Shakur album) ("M.O.B."; "Runnin' On E"; "U Don't Have 2 Worry"),
Better Dayz (Tupac Shakur album) ("Fuck 'Em All"; "Late Night"; "Fame"; "There U Go"; "Who U Believe In"; "They Don't Give a Fuck About Us"),
Tupac Resurrection (Tupac Shakur album) ("Secretz of War"; "Starin' Through My Rear View"),
Pac's Life (Tupac Shakur album) ("Don't Sleep"; "Soon As I Get Home"; "Don't Stop"; "Untouchable"),
The Missing D.R Files (O.F.T.B album) ("World Wide")