The FBI War on Rap

The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders

John Potash (2008)


In the video below, author John Potash uses a slideshow format to discuss his 2008 book The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders. The book is a compilation of years of research (based on court documents, news reports, archival photos and FOIA documents) into the FBI role in the assassination and false imprisonment of black political leaders and rock stars.

This presentation mainly focuses on the FBI assassination of Tupak Shakur in 1996, though Potash also briefly covers the FBI murder of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton, Huey Newton, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley and the CIA murder of Robert F Kennedy.

As background, Bishop also outlines the key strategies of Cointelpro the FBI war against the Black Panther Party.  In addition to assassinating their leaders, the FBI collaborated with police intelligence units to imprison multiple Panther leaders on false charges, as well as extensive infiltrating their groups.

The Panther 21 Trial

Both Tupac’s Black Panther parents were framed on fictitious charges in the infamous Panther 21 trial in 1971. Tupac’s mother Afeni, who handled their defense pro se, got all of them acquitted. Tupac, who had numerous Panther mentors growing up, would become president of the New African Panther Organization (NAPO) in 1989,

In 1992, he helped broker a truce between the Bloods and Crips, encouraging them to focus their anger on the white power structure. In part due to his growing fame, the FBI responded with repeated attempts to assassinate him, as well as numerous arrests on fictitious charges.

By 1995, his financial resources depleted by multiple arrests and frivolous lawsuits, Tupac was eventually framed by an FBI informant on a phony sexual assault charge. Although he was acquitted on a rape charge, he would be sentenced to four years in prison (on a $5 million bond) for “touching a woman’s buttocks without her permission.”

Death Row Records

What horrified me most about this presentation was learning about Death Row Records, a recording company run by three undercover cops from the LAPD intelligence unit. The latter used their position in the recording industry to traffic drugs (the president of Death Row was an affiliate of Freeway Ricky Ross who distributed cocaine imported to the US by the CIA Contras) and guns and to murder performers who attempted to politicize rap music.

Death Row Records was also instrumental in ending the Bloods/Crips truce by instigating a fictitious East Coast/West Coast rap war and collaborating with police “rap squads” in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere to frame truce leaders on phony charges carrying long prison sentences. They were also instrumental in breaking up Niggas wit Attitudes (N.W.A.)

Tupac was released from prison within days of signing with Death Row, which closely censored the political content of his recordings and performances. The FBI and the undercover cops at Death Row also instigated the phony feud between Tupac and rap star Biggie Small.

After Tupac left Death Row to start his own record company, the FBI organized his assassination and planted rumors in the press that Biggie Small had ordered the drive by shooting. They subsequently murdered Biggie Small to cover up the FBI role in Tupac’s murder.

5 thoughts on “The FBI War on Rap

  1. Unbelievable! I have been involved with the music industry most of my adult life, so I am not really that surprised at these revelations. But I had no idea Shakur was in the Black Panthers. Nor that Death Row Records was an inside job. I had read an article a few months back that Shakur had been assassinated by the government, but I didn’t pay much attention at the time.

    I despise rap, just like I despise most other commercial music, but this puts a whole new spin on the entire subject!

    This goes hand in hand with the CIA infiltration of the late ’60s and ’70s rock and roll stars and the hippie movement. I have posted at least one article on this subject. Many of these rock stars’ parents were high ups in the military, CIA and FBI. Stephen Stills may have even served as an adviser in Vietnam before the US fully committed to going to war. Frank Zappa, David Crosby and host of others all had parents in the government’s service.

    What a screwed up (I’m being nice here) country this is and always has been. Some days I feel like clicking my heels together three times while exclaiming There’s no place like home!


  2. After watching this slideshow, I suddenly understood the origin of all the misogyny and violence in rap music. It looks to me like the only genuine rap happened on the streets of New York and Los Angeles – as soon as it went commercial it seems the government (in concert with Time Warner) played a big hand in shaping the lyrics that went out into the ethos.

    As if it weren’t bad enough flooding black communities with drugs and guns – they had to impose this shit on impressionable young minds.

    One thing I’ve learned over the year about cops – they hate women even more than African Americans.


  3. Pingback: How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left | The Most Revolutionary Act

  4. Pingback: How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left | The Most Revolutionary Act

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