CHRIS CONNELLY: Just six weeks after his death, Tupac's
mother Afeni Shakur filed suit against Death Row Recrds to
stop the label from selling unlicensed Tupac merchandise. She
would later file another suit against the label, charging
that it was withholding millions in royalties from the Shakur
estate. Death Row responded that Tupac actually owed them
money to re-pay cash advances that the label claimed he had
squandered on cars and jewelry. Suddenly, it seemed everyone
wanted a piece of Tupac, from his natural father -- who had
abandoned the family when he was four and nevertheless sued
for half of his son's money -- to his chief critic, C.
Delores Tucker, who claimed just one reference to her in one
song was worth $10 million in emotional damage.
DYSON: As one other rapper, Whodini said, "The Freaks
Come Out At Night." And in the midst of the dark night
of his soul, many people have come forth to claim this legacy
who honestly just don't deserve it.
SERGEANT KEVIN MANNING, Las Vegas Police: Essentially, we
have two to four black males who were inside the vehicle and
we have no further description.
MTV: The Las Vegas police investigation into Tupac's
murder never got much further. In March, MTV News reported
that Shakur's murder touched off a gang war in Compton,
California, and that Compton police informants had heard that
Orlando Anderson -- the same man who was beaten by Knight and
Shakur at the MGM Grand -- was the triggerman in the Shakur
killing. The day after our report aired, Anderson spoke
briefly to CNN.
ORLANDO ANDERSON: I just want to let everybody know
that... I didn't do it.
MTV: Las Vegas police did briefly consider Anderson a
suspect, but have since all but closed down their
investigation, saying officially that they think they know
who killed Tupac, but don't expect to get enough evidence to
ever make an arrest.
TREACH: Look, they could kill somebody else and they find
the person the next day. You got two of the biggest hip
hoppers and don't nobody know nothing.
MTV: The March murder of the Notorious B.I.G was instantly
and unavoidably compared with Tupac's murder six months
earlier. Both were drive-by shootings after high profile
events, and both left police with few leads. But where
Tupac's death sparked little public sentiment from his label
mates, Biggie's friends rushed to memorialize their man
quickly and openly.
SEAN "PUFF DADDY" COMBS (at 1997's "MTV
Video Music Awards"): First, I would like to say, I wish
we never had to make this record and I wish we didn't have to
make this video. But that's our reality... and B.I.G., we'll
never forget you.
TREACH: That's how you're supposed to put it down. Your
homey go, you're supposed to put it down for him. Keep his
name on the streets. No doubt.
MTV: Sadly, it took a full year for the first major
dedication to Tupac to hit the airwaves.
TREACH: It's like, the purpose behind this record, I
really didn't see him sent off just right, the way I thought,
you know what I mean?
MTV: Besides paying tribute, Treach and the other keepers
of Tupac's flame hope that Tupac will be remembered as a
communicator, and not just an instigator.
TREACH: People got to listen to Pac. There's so much that
he said and was saying that touched, and like really hit
emotions that a lot of us go through every day. No matter
what you're doing, no matter what you're doing, either you
thought about it, ain't know how to say it, but when you hear
it from him, you like, I'm feeling that, I'm feeling that.You
can catch Naughty By Nature's "Mourn You 'Til I Join
You" video on "Yo!" Thursdays at 10 p.m.
One final note: Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, has finally
reached a legal settlement with her late son's label, Death
Row Records. The settlement gives her control of Tupac's
unreleased works, which she thinks can be used for some sort
of educational purpose in colleges and high schools. To this
end, she's starting her own label, Amaru Records. She named
her son "Tupac Amaru" after the murderous, Marxist
Peruvian guerrilla band of that name -- which has since been
effectively decimated by the Peruvian government. Tupac
Shakur's lyrics are already being taught in a new course at
the University of California at Berkeley this semester. And
finally, there's a new book just out called "The Killing
of Tupac Shakur," by Las Vegas "Sun" crime
reporter Kathy Scott, which includes a grisly autopsy photo
that should end all speculation as to whether the late rapper
might still be alive.