Dexter Isaac, an associate of a hip-hop mogul James Rosemond, has confessed to shooting rapper Tupac Shakur in a Manhattan robbery, two years before the singer was murdered in Las Vegas, a crime that is still unsolved.
The Tupac shooting, from which he recovered, heightened tensions between East Coast and West Coast rappers and may have led to a retaliatory shooting in which rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, was gunned down.
“I want to apologize to his family [Tupac Shakur] and for the mistake I did for that sucker [Rosemond],” Isaac said from prison in a statement to the Web site AllHipHop.
“I am trying to clean it up to give [Tupac and Biggie's] mothers some closure,” he said.
Rosemond, also known as Jimmie Henchman, heads Czar Entertainment, which manages The Game, Sean Kingston and other artists.
Isaac has been in prison for 13 years on a life sentence, and kept his secret until Rosemond named him a government informant in a lengthy statement in which he defended himself and professed his innocence.
That prompted Isaac to come forward on his own.
“In 1994, James Rosemond hired me to rob 2Pac Shakur at the Quad Studio, he said in the AllHipHop statement.
“He gave me $2,500, plus all the jewelry I took, except for one ring, which he wanted for himself. It was the biggest of the two diamond rings that we took.
“He said he wanted to put the stone in a new setting for his girlfriend at the time, Cynthia Ried. I still have as proof the chain that we took that night in the robbery.”
Isaac also suggested, without going into detail, that he had information on the death of Wallace and Shakur, but said he would do so “at a different time.”
He also named rap impresario Sean Combs, also known as “Diddy” and before that “Puff Daddy” or “Puffy,” suggesting he was complicit in the shootings, but offered no further details.
“Jimmy, you and Puffy like to come off all innocent-like, but as the saying goes: You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
On Sep. 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in the Las Vegas by two assailants and died six days later.
In Nov. 1994, the rapper was shot five times and robbed after entering the lobby of Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan.
He would later accuse Combs, Andre Harrell, and Wallace for the attack.
Wallace was gunned down on March 9, 1997 by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. A rogue police officer has since been implicated in the shooting.
His shooting was believed to be in retaliation, but the case also remains unsolved.