You Better Not Mess with Jimmy Henchmen!

Former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter Chuck Philips has spent the last 10 plus years of his life dissecting and investigating the circumstances surrounding the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Philips has particularly concerned himself with the 1994 shooting of Tupac, which ultimately started the East Coast/West Coast rap beefs.

STORY: Confessions! Jimmy Henchman Says He Set Up The Tupac Shooting!


Phillips points to the 1994 shooting at New York's Quad Recording Studios as the beginning of the East Coast/West Coast beef that ultimately ended with the murders of both Biggie and Tupac.

Implicated in the 1994 shooting was music mogul and drug lord James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, who has denied accusations of his involvement in the ambush - until now.

GlobalGrind sat down with Philips, who broke the story last week that Rosemond admitted to setting up Tupac in 1994, while telling us what really happened the night Tupac was shot.

Phillips says that Rosemond admitted to the government about the Tupac shooting in hopes that the information given won't be used to prosecute him and that his confession would serve as catalyst that would eventually lead to a reduced sentence.

Philips also shared with us the cohorts and players that helped Rosemond pull off the 1994 shooting.

Check out the exclusive interview below.

GlobalGrind: In 2008, you wrote that Jimmy Henchman set up Tupac in the 1994 Quad studio shooting and now he confessed. How does it feel to be vindicated? 

Chuck Phillips: A lot has happened since then, but it feels good to get the truth out there. I was in the courtroom for Jimmy’s trial but was kicked out only after 10 minutes.

Basically someone told me I should be there and that’s when I learned that Jimmy gave a statement to the government about the shooting. But I’m glad I went, it was worth it just for that 10 minutes.

How long have you been following the Tupac case; from the Quad Studio shooting to his murder in Las Vegas?


At first I didn’t pay much attention to the Quad Studio shooting. I primarily was following the music business in 1994 when I worked for the LA Times. I really started paying attention to the Quad shooting in 2000 as I started investigating Tupac’s murder.

I had written stories about Biggie’s murder, but I didn’t really know what was going on because the police had no idea. And when I decided to launch my own investigation in early 2000, by then it started to make sense.

I didn’t really believe the whole East Coast/West Coast thing back then. But then I started to meet the people who knew about it. They informed me and I followed it seriously for 12, 13 years, something like that.

What was Jimmy’s motive for setting up Tupac, was it jealousy?


He was definitely jealous of Tupac. Tupac, if you ever met him, was quite a character; he was a star. Everybody loved him, all the girls loved him; he was one of those guys.

So at the time, he was making that basketball movie Above the Rim and he was hanging out with Haitian Jack and Jimmy Henchman; they were good friends back then.  

Around '92-'94 is where it all started; all that corporate money started coming into the rap business, Death Row Records got money from Time Warner and other guys got money to start their own labels.

And so, Jimmy and a lot of the Brooklyn gangsters were watching this go down, and they were saying, more money is coming into rap then you could get through drugs.

And they all were dealing drugs back then. And so he (Jimmy) wanted to get into that field. And then he and Haitian Jack, they started a management company and they said they were going to represent an artist for labels, and Puffy wanted Tupac on Bad Boy.

This is when Bad Boy just started and they told Puffy, they couldn’t get him (Tupac) to go to Bad Boy, but Tupac turned Puffy down.

He was under contract at Interscope and they couldn’t get him out of the contract. Then after that, Jimmy Henchman promised him; we’ll get him - no problem, we’ll get him for you.

So they wined and dined Tupac for a long time. Tupac then met all the major gangsters through Jack and through Jimmy, so he started wearing the Rolexes and they started doing all that stuff that Jack did.

In fact, some people say Tupac’s first movie, Juice, was based on Haitian Jack.

Jimmy became a bit jealous, because people didn’t think Jimmy was as important as Jack. Because Jack was flashy, you know; Madonna liked Jack, all the girls liked him.

Jimmy was not dressing in suits back then, he was dressed down, and he was dealing drugs, robbing people. And so he was deterred that Tupac paid more attention to Jack.

Eventually Tupac turned both of them down, as he would not sign with Bad Boy.

Did Haitian Jack know that Jimmy was going to set up Tupac?


No, they were just trying to sign him as an artist. They were hustlers, he was just one more hustle; and he didn’t pay off.

So now Jimmy was pissed off. And another thing happened. During that period, when Tupac was dealing with the rape trial at a club in New York, a reporter asked him about his case and Tupac responded, ‘I didn’t have anything to do with that, they’re a bunch of hanger-ons.’

He’d called Jack and Jimmy hanger-ons. And ultimately this is what pissed off Jimmy.

In a VIBE magazine interview, Jimmy admits he set it up. He had a conversation with Tupac telling him to stop telling everybody that he was involved, that Puff was involved, that Biggie was involved; nobody came there to kill you that night, you’re talking all this sh*t and you don’t know what you’re talking about, we came there to discipline you.

As for the night of the shooting, Jimmy tells Dexter Isaac, (the man who confessed to carrying out the order): ‘I want you to come down to do this thing at the Quad for me.’

They did it for that reason, to teach him a lesson. Jimmy wants to say: 

“You think Haitian Jack is the real gangster? Well he’s not the real gangster, I’m the real gangster.”

And what happened at the Quad changed history; he changed history with what he did.

Hours before the shooting, Tupac was arguing on the phone with Jimmy right there, telling him ‘you know you’ve got to pay me in cash, you’ve got too much money,' etc.

All of this is happening as Jimmy’s men are on their way to the studio. When Tupac was interviewed by VIBE while he was in jail he describes it saying, “they didn’t go after Stretch and he was the biggest guy in the group, they came after me.”

They wanted to send him a message.

And here’s the thing about Jimmy, he was very smart and cunning, he wanted everyone to think that Tut (a notable New York gangster at the time) was the one responsible for the Quad Studio ambush.

But the truth is, Tut had nothing to do with it and he was not there.

There have always been rumors that Jimmy was an informant, what do you know about that?


Jimmy was an informant for a long time. He was an informant on the night Tupac was at the studio; in fact Jimmy booked that studio, but was never interviewed by the police.

The ripple effects of what Jimmy did made everyone in the music industry take notice, that if a guy like Tupac can get touched, so can anyone else.

And so it was a message to Tupac, and everybody he would deal with. At that time he hadn’t joined up with the West Coast. But it was a message like, you think you’re big, you’re not big; I just f**king kicked your ass.

The message was clear, you better not mess with Jimmy Henchman, or this is what’s gonna happen to you; he got to Tupac and he’s a star and I just did this to him.

What are some unanswered questions revolving around the Tupac and Biggie saga that still need to be answered?


No one’s ever been charged in either murder. I know who killed both of them. I wrote a story about who killed Tupac, I also know who shot Biggie; and it will be written eventually, and the thing is, this is a war that didn't need to happen.

Views: 12180

Comment by Euphanasia on June 26, 2012 at 7:51pm
Dam.... This is real deep
Comment by Don H on June 26, 2012 at 8:21pm

Man, some people will do some stupid things to get what they want, I guess Henchman didn't care what Everyone thought about him, just what Some people thought about him.  Now, he will spend the rest of his life dealing with what Everyone knows, thinks and feels about him, including his own self.

Comment by John Potash on June 26, 2012 at 9:14pm

Award-winning Las Vegas Sun crime reporter Cathy Scott talked to a security guard at the Quad studio where Tupac was shot. He said he offered a videotape of the gunmen who shot Tupac to the police. They turned it down and closed the case. That, even without the loads of other evidence I have, speaks volumes. Phillips continues the East vs. West coverup, similar to how the FBI had manufactured the East vs West Panther war. For more info, The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders. 

Comment by poetic pizaar on June 27, 2012 at 12:44am

hope he rots in jail for not seeing his own reflection as a brother and a is full of bull n shit....and 'jimmy' is shit.

Comment by gbo on June 27, 2012 at 8:07am


Comment by Greg Kading on June 27, 2012 at 9:17am

GBO, think logically for a moment bro. If the Feds had put jimmy in charge of taking Tupac out, the Feds would be covering up for Jimmy, not trying to stick him in a prison cell for life. Jimmy, who was very crafty, would have kept evidence of his conspiracy with the Feds and used it to keep himself out of jail.  

There is absolutely nothing to support an idea like that and that kind of speculation is a cancer in the search for truth. If you ever truly want to "see the light" study about how to distinguish facts from opinion and the importance and value of "demonstrable evidence" versus hearsay and assumption. One love brother. 

Comment by Euphanasia on June 27, 2012 at 9:48am
I have to agree with Greg on this one.
Comment by Don H on June 27, 2012 at 11:13am

If Jimmy was a Federal Informant, what does that mean?  We know that Haitian Jack was an informant as well.  Does that mean that Henchman was treated differently for a given period of time by the authorities?  If he Jimmy working for the authorities before the Quad shooting of 2pac, as I have read somewhere, and as John Potash just mentioned above that the police refused essential evidence regarding the incident, is it logical Greg, to bring these incidents to a closer proximity? To examine them together, and their relation to one another?   Since it seems odd the police would reject evidence like that.

Also, I don't know anything about the 1994 shooting.  What came out of the investigation, the end result?

Lastly, if Jimmy is an informant, what does that mean? Why is he in prison now?  Did he break their rules? Deceive the Feds about his illicit operations etc.???  As you said Greg, Jimmy is smart enough to know how to use anything that will help him defend himself, so his relationship with the Feds must have been one that Jimmy genuinely destroyed on his own, which is why he wouldn't bring it up...correct?

Comment by Greg Kading on June 27, 2012 at 2:41pm

Don, you ask a great question, that does not have a simple answer. I will do my best to explain this "can of worms" It's complicated to say the least, but here goes:

Technically, an "informant" is someone who has a "signed agreement" with a law enforcement agency that allows to assist on criminal investigations in exchange for compensation. Sometimes informants are compensated in cash, sometimes they get compensated by having charges against them reduced or dropped, and sometimes they do it just to have a relationship with the cops in the event they ever find themselves in trouble. The important thing is "they have a signed agreement". 

Now, within that agreement, there are very specific rules. If you violate these rules, you endanger having your agreement voided/nullified.

The term "informant" has been generalized and bastardized so much, it now means different things to different people. These days, anybody who is cooperating with the police is referred to as an informant. For instance, let's say a guy get's busted with a bag of dope. he's scared and doesn't want to go to jail. The police say, "where'd you get the dope?" The crook says, "I got it from Johnny. He sells it out of his house at 1234 Main Street. The cops go get a search warrant based on his information (and other requirements to corroborate his story). The cops go to the address, serve the warrant, and arrest Johnny, who is sitting in the house taking a bong hit and counting his money. Is the first guy and informant? No

Now, same scenario except instead of just taking the info and getting a warrant, they tell the first crook, "ok, we are going to have you start buying dope from Johnny. We will give you the money, set up surveillance, and we'll send you in and you get us the dope, because we are gonna build a case and want to see where Johnny is getting the dope from. In exchange, we will hold off on filling charges against you. Maybe we will even drop them altogether. Agree? Good! now sign these papers indicating you understand all that".

The cops then go to the District Attorney or US Attorney (depending on whether the cops are locals or Feds) and explain their plan, and if the DA agrees, everyone moves forward. As soon as crook signs the agreement and is put into action. he is an "informant".

Now, say three weeks later the crook has bought dope from Johnny a total of five times using the cops money and given the drugs to the police in their case against Johnny.

On week four, the crook gets caught doing an armed robbery. The DA says, "too hell with this idiot. Put him in jail. I'm not going to risk having an armed robber out there just so we can buy dope. The dope cops then close out his informant package and he is no longer an informant. So, yes he was an informant, and now, no he isn't an informant. 

Now, back to Henchmen. If someone can produce the signed agreement between Henchmen and the Feds that existed back in 1994, that is strong evidence he was and informant. He clearly wasn't an informant the last few years while the Feds were making their dope case against him.

Next, on to a separate issue that has nothing to do with "informants", and that is Jimmy's proffer agreements. It is a simple agreement between Henchmen, his attorney, and the United States Attorneys office in which Henchmen agrees to answer any and every question about criminal activity. He signs an agreement saying if he lies about anything, the agreement is voided. In exchange for answering questions, the government won't use any admissions of guilt about any criminal activity against Henchmen. Also, depending on how valuable the information is that Henchmen can provide, the government will take that into consideration during his sentencing. The more you know-the less time you get kinda thing. Think about criminal investigations like fishing - the cops always want the big fish. You use the bait to get the minnows. the minnows to get the medium-sized fish, and the medium fish to get the whopper. Henchmen was a big fish. They used the the smaller fish to get him. Now, as far as the drug investigation, the feds would want Henchmen to identify his supplier....the fish above him. 

The whole situation blows up in Henchmens face, when he is caught in his cell with and unauthorized cellphone. It gets even worse when it is discovered he is using the phone to secretly contact his Mexican drug suppliers that he is not giving them up. This stupid move causes the proffer agreement to be violated and know the government can use all the information he provided in the interviews against him.

At this point in the game, since Jimmy is cooked, if he had any evidence against the government about anything, he would be trying to use it in an appeal. Trust me- he doesn't have shit and he will be forgotten about in a few years. That is if those mexicans that he unwittingly exposed dont have him killed in prison. He may not have ratted them out, but the information on the cell phone is traceable and would have given the feds all they needed to identify his source.

Lastly, as I noted in the prior post...separating fact from hearsay is extremely important. This is hearsay: John Potash said that Cathy Scott said that some guy said he tried to give the cops a video after Tupac was shot. Now, I am not questioning the integrity of John or Cathy, or even the mysterious security guard. I am just saying, take that stuff with a grain of salt. Here's why: Cathy Scott is a conscientious and responsible journalist, but guess what people have lied to her  in her profession. I am a conscientious and responsible criminal investigator, but guess what, people have lied to me in my profession. Therefore, we cannot, just based on hearsay claims, determine whether the security guard was lying to Cathy Scott. We would have to test his claims. "Where's the tape?",  "What's the name of the cop you tried to give it too?" , "Does the tape (if it exists) actually contain any evidentiary value?", "If so, how do we conclude it was a government cover-up/operation as oppossed to complacent police work which happens all the time?". You see, all those questions and a lot of others must be asked and answered before we can begin to draw conclusions. 

In the Biggie Smalls murder a person called into America's Most Wanted and confessed to killing Big. Does that make it true? Of course not. We have to go through the same scrutiny of corroboration and substantiation before we can call something a fact.

With that said......."Hey security guard, step the fuck up and back up what you said....with all due respect of course". 

Comment by Greg Kading on June 27, 2012 at 2:47pm

Damn, why didnt the system let me edit my spelling and grammar, lol.  


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