Confessions of a Gangsta Rapper

Murder, Robbery, Police Brutality, Hip Hop, and Other Tales From a Pioneer of the Crips Gang in New York

The Killa Gangsta Crips claimed most of Brownsville and parts of Flatbush as their territory, on which no Bloods ventured. Pagett, who says he has a nose for Bloods, smelled one in a youngster who called himself Bishop after the serial killer character played by Tupac Shakur in the movie Juice. "He thought he was Tupac," says Pagett. "He looked like Tupac, rhyme like Tupac when he rappin'. Everything he write sounds like Tupac. I found out he used to come through our 'hood on some Juice shit." In late December 1998, Bishop rolled into the Vandeveer housing development, a Crips-controlled zone, wearing red, his gang color. Pagett wasn't, as he put it, "feelin' " this intrusion and confronted Bishop. "What up? What's going on?" he asked the stranger. "You Blood. I'm Crip. What up? You can't be Blood. This ma 'hood. You can't be all that."

"Nah, I ain't," Bishop said, hurriedly, adding that he had left the Bloods and was now "a God-body." According to Pagett, "I let him slide 'cause he denied his colors." As they talked, Bishop told Pagett he had just gotten out of jail and knew Pagett's cousin Loco, a Killa Gangsta Crip. "Him and ma cousin was into robbin'," Pagett claims. Pagett broke his Crips oath about associating with Bloods and hooked up with Bishop. Since Pagett "had the block" he would "hit Bishop off with a little product so he could get some money." But Bishop, Pagett claims, began to blow his own cocaine, and one day the two gangstas argued: It was "this nigga talkin' Crip', and this nigga talkin' Blood'."

In July 1999, Bishop brought the serial-killer character into reality. "He just stepped out on some Tupac shit, just like in the movie, and just killed ma cousin and went down the next block and killed the next dude. Two people in one night. Twenty minutes apart. He imitated Tupac. The Tupac thing, tryin' to make a statement." After the shooting and his arrest, Bishop in an alleged confession, told police, "Yo, man, Biz wanna kill me. That's why I did it."

During one of his courtroom appearances for a hearing on the robbery outside of the Trinity nightclub, Pagett saw Bishop as he was led in handcuffs before the same judge. "I was about to lose it in there," Pagett recalls. "Now, he sending messages to me saying ma cuz was his boy. He didn't mean to do it."

Larry Pagett sat up and declared that if only Loco had his attitude about assuming responsibility for one's criminal behavior, perhaps he would be alive today. He had told his cousin that if an old-school rapper like Slick Rick could do time in prison, then come out and turn his life around, so could he. According to Pagett, Loco, who "owed the system three years" on a gun conviction, planned to jump bail and return to his native Belize. "He said he was going to leave 'cause he didn't have nothin' to look forward to," Pagett says. "He wasn't gonna turn himself in like me."

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