I called the answering machine of disgraced journalist and reporter, Chuck Philips, several times during the last two months. I left messages asking him to go on the record about his pursuit to defame James Rosemond by contacting associates of Rosemond and asking them to attest to any criminal activities he may have done.
At one time, Philips was a well-respected journalist, writing for the LA Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, and the Washington Post. At his peak, he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for “beat reporting” with Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times. They collaborated on a year-long series that exposed corruption inside the music business.
In 2002, Philip’s foray into the belly of Hip-Hop came when he wrote an article for the LA Times about the investigation of the murder of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas. The article started a firestorm of controversy when Philips alleged that Christopher Wallace, a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G., hired a Southside Crip gang members who conveniently had just had an altercation with Tupac and Suge Knight at the MGM Grand. In the article, Philips imagined a scene that took place inside a hotel room, where Southside Crip members negotiated a one-million-dollar fee paid by Wallace, with one caveat. Philips wrote that Wallace placed his .40 caliber handgun on the table and asked that his bullet should be the one that will kill Shakur. Why didn’t the editors of the LA Times fire Philips right on the spot? Philips had never corroborated any of the information that was in the article. The same night of the Shakur’s murder, Wallace was at a studio in New York City, and he had receipts in his pocket to prove it. Additionally, no one recalled seeing Notorious B. I. G., one of the most popular, hip-hop heavyweights or his deep entourage in Vegas.