We're now waist-deep in awards season, and the Grantland staff would like to take this opportunity to remind all the Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Collar nominees out there that should they have to step up to that podium and take that mic on national television, they owe it to themselves to study up beforehand and see how the pros handle it. Here are our favorite awards show acceptance (and unacceptance) speeches from all corners of the entertainment world.
Almost exactly one year ago, Dexter Isaac, an inmate serving a life sentence on a murder-for-hire conviction, went public with his involvement in the 1994 robbing and shooting of Tupac Shakur at Quad Studios in Manhattan. This was the incident that sparked the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop feud: Tupac was at Quad that night to meet Biggie Smalls and Sean "Diddy" (then Puff Daddy) Combs, and believed they were behind the assault. Within three years, both he and Biggie would be dead. And according to Isaac, who says he pulled the trigger that night at the recording studios, the whole thing was called in by James Rosemond, a.k.a. Jimmy Henchman, a rap music manager/hanger-on with a long list of criminal allegations to his name. Now Henchman's got one more notch on his rap sheet, and this one's a bit more concrete. The New York Times reports that on Tuesday a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Jim of running a multi-million-dollar drug trafficking operation. Says U.S. attorney Loretta E. Lynch, who is apparently as awesome at convicting criminals as she is with providing punchy wrap-up quotes about said convictions: "Rosemond built and ran this drug trafficking organization in order to personally enrich himself and his associates. And profit he did. [Insert whatever dramatic pause noise you'd like.] The paydays are over for Jimmy Henchman.”
The sprawling, endless investigations of the murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac have now seen one more twist. According to Murder Rap, a new book by ex-LAPD detective Greg Kading, it was Sean Combs who hired a hitman to kill Tupac, presumably as an extension of the East Coast-West Coast beef. In this scenario Biggie was killed in direct retaliation to Tupac’s murder by a hitman hired by Suge Knight. L.A. Weekly reached Combs for comment, and he replied, “This story is pure fiction and completely ridiculous.” Knight did not respond. So, how believable does this sound?