Search For Notorious B.I.G. Murderer Continues

An outpouring of sympathy for the Man.

The search for the murderer of East Coast rapper Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher

Wallace) continues. The outpouring of sympathy and shock at the parallels

between the drive-by shooting of Wallace this past Sunday (March 9) in Los

Angeles and Tupac Shakur's similarly violent demise last September in Las Vegas

has added new fuel to the seemingly retired talk of an East Coast-West Coast


A statement from Wallace's label, Bad Boy Entertainment, reads,

"We are overwhelmed with grief by the death of a great artist, a family member

and our friend, the Notorious B.I.G."

And in a show of unity, a statement

released from supposed rival Death Row Records reads: "Suge Knight and the

entire Death Row Records family are shocked and saddened by the death of Mr.

Christopher Wallace, a.k.a Notorious B.I.G. We would like to take this time to

express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of


Details about what happened last Saturday night, following a party

thrown by VIBE magazine at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in

honor of the 11th annual Soul Train Music Awards, are starting to emerge.

According to reports, L.A. Police Department Lt. Ross Moen said that one of

three vehicles in Wallace's entourage tried to follow the suspect, described as

a black man in his 20's driving a dark sedan, but were unable to catch the car

or get the license plate number...

The Associated Press report that the LAPD hope to

release a sketch of the alleged gunman soon. Moen also said that the police

were "not overlooking any possibilities of a pay-back or gang-related type

shooting, or we're not overlooking the fact that this was possibly a hit, a

direct target, coming out of possibly New York. It could come out of L.A. It

could come out of Atlanta."

Moen described the gunman as "lying in wait"

for Wallace, who was shot several times in the upper body by the unknown

assailant while his GMC Suburban was stopped at a light. The 24-year-old

Wallace was later pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Police are

interviewing many of the 200 witnesses to the shooting, although, as in the

Shakur murder, police told the AP that many witnesses are afraid to talk

for fear of retribution.

With the talk of the coastal rivalry, which some

have suggested was merely a publicity stunt all along, renewed in light of this

latest violent incident, everyone from Public Enemy front man Chuck D. to Soul

Train's Don Cornelius have something to say about the murder of Wallace aka

Biggie Smalls. "I think that it's time that the authorities got serious about

recognizing that the East Coast-West Coast thing is dangerous, and it's

legitimate," said Cornelius, creator and executive producer of "Soul Train."

Chuck D released a statement on Monday (Mar. 10) which reads: "We have to be

careful about hysteria and over-hyping of the term of East coast and West coast

confrontation that is being projected in the media." He added that, in light of

the murders of Shakur, Smalls and a member of Shakur's posse, Yafoo Foola,

"It's a terrible fact that we've had three casualties connected to this

concocted situation that's much bigger than rap and hip-hop. It shows how the

problems of the black community, black-on-black crime, that has been in

dialogue in the art form for so long, has floated to the top and is out of


Phyllis Pollack, a publicist with the Def Press organization in

Los Angeles, a PR company that has represented several top hip-hop artists,

cautioned not to assume the murder was the result of the cross-country feud.

Pollack told the AP, "Sure, there's been this competition, but that's

been since day one. We don't have artists on the West Coast saying, 'Let's kill

off all of those East Coast rappers so we can sell more records on the East


C. DeLores Tucker, chairwoman of the National Political Congress

of Black Women and an outspoken opponent of gangsta rap told Reuters:

"The death of Notorious B.I.G. is a tragic reminder of the real impact of

gangsta rap on our lives. Gangsta rap glorifies violence. Unfortunately,

Notorious B.I.G. died an untimely death. We hope his death will serve as a

wake-up call to everyone." MTV News reported that Wallace's mother had been

flown to L.A. to identify the body, but that no funeral arrangements had been

made yet. MTV also reported that Wallace's new double CD, Life After

Death...'Til Death Do Us Part (March 25) features an all-star cast of

guests, including Mary J. Blige, Lil' Kim, Bone Thugs N' Harmony, R. Kelly,

Run-DMC, and guest producers Clark Kent and RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan.