One of the few witnesses to Tupac Shakur’s struggle to survive for several days following the drive-by shooting that would eventually claim the now iconic actor/rapper’s life at the young age of 25 is contradicting a long-maintained claim by the former head of Death Row Records, Marion “Suge” Knight, that the then Row CEO was also struck by a bullet in that attack, which is somehow still lodged in his head.
In the trailer to 7 Dayz, the forthcoming documentary from onetime Tupac videographer, Gobi M. Rahimi, the man ‘Pac agreed to let film what would be the final months of his life recalls in the immediate aftermath of that September 7, 1996 shooting, says he witnessed a nurse at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada inform Suge Knight’s mother that her son “is fine,” as he was just cut by either flying glass or a piece of shrapnel and would require only stitches for his injuries.
“A little quick ultrasound would show whether he’s got a bullet or not in his skull,” Gobi told HipHopDX on Monday (February 11th) in response to Knight’s more dubious recollection of that event. “I just remember what I heard. So, unless they went in afterwards and they found a bullet … I’m just repeating what I heard her say.”
Some have theorized that Knight lied in interviews following the shooting regarding the extent of the injuries he sustained during the attack on Tupac to cover up his involvement in the murder of Death Row’s then marquee artist.
Speaking to HipHopDX via phone while spending time with family in the South of France, the director of some of Tupac’s final music videos (“2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” “Made Niggaz”) documented in detail the trauma-filled nights he spent alongside Gobi’s then girlfriend/production partner Tracy Robinson, ‘Pac’s aunt and assistant Yaasmyn Fula, mother Afeni Shakur, longtime friend Molly Monjauze and proteges The Outlawz as the small but dedicated collective held vigil over the mortally wounded star in the waiting room of UMC’s emergency room.
“I was there for six of the seven nights, from 12 to 8 in the morning,” recalled Gobi. “Me and Noble [of the Outlawz] did the graveyard shift pretty much every night.”
Tupac’s videographer and one of his teenage pupils found themselves in the ill-equipped position of having to help guard, unarmed, their beloved leader due to death threats coming in to Death Row Records warning that the perpetrators of the shooting were planning to come to the hospital to “finish him off,” combined with the apparent ineptitude on the part of Death Row’s security arm, WrightWay.
“Frank Alexander... Couldn’t find him for a few days,” revealed Gobi. “Getting Kevin Hackie out there was difficult. He got stopped by Vegas P.D."
“After the first day they had a guy sitting outside [Tupac’s] door,” he added. “But, you know, being from [Suge’s] team – I guess he didn’t trust anyone. So, Yaasmyn Fula, Black Panther, the way she kinda was in the whole situation is that she wanted to make sure he was secure with people she trusted. And I think on the fifth or sixth night, the Fruit of Islam finally showed up and that’s kind of when I left. It was a day and a dollar too late. But, thankfully they got there. And it was almost like they were people she trusted. So, it seemed like it was finally secure, after five or six days of not knowing who we could trust.”
The paramilitary arm of the Nation of Islam previously provided security to Tupac in 1994 following his shooting at the Quad Recording Studios in New York City.
Prior to the F.O.I.’s arrival, Gobi personally phoned the Las Vegas Metro Police Department to attend to the threats still being made on Tupac as he lie unconscious in the hospital, but was met with surprising indifference towards protecting the life of one of the most popular recording artists in the world.
“I think the third or fourth night is when the marketing guy [from Death Row] came up to me and was like, ‘They just called, the guys who shot him, they’re loading their guns, they’re gonna come and finish him off,’” recounted Gobi. “And I called Vegas P.D. I’m like, ‘Yo, they’re about to come take him out.’ And they were like, ‘Well, sir, there’s a foot patrolman in the hospital, if something should go down you can just get a hold of him.’”
The only hospital security seen by the man Tupac fondly dubbed “The Crazy Iranian” was one older Caucasian gentleman stationed in the corner of the ER waiting room.
“And when he heard me get off of that call,” remembered Gobi, “he was like, ‘I gotta tell you, that’s crazy. Last year, there was a rodeo star that broke his leg and they gave him four Winnebago’s for his family and he had like five or six policemen around the clock to guard him.’”
Luckily for the defenseless Gobi, the threats made against Tupac while he lay fighting for his life were never actually acted on. Unfortunately, the bullet lodged in ‘Pac’s right chest cavity was tragically taking care of the rapper for his then unidentified attackers, causing him to hemorrhage blood and forcing doctors to put him into a medically induced coma to take pressure off of his ravaged body.
Unlike onetime Tupac love interest and fellow artist Yo-Yo, who has previously claimed that she witnessed ‘Pac regain consciousness at one point after being stabilized by life support machines, Gobi revealed to DX that he never personally saw Tupac open his eyes.
“I only saw him on the fifth night, ‘cause I, for whatever reason, didn’t go in to see him,” he explained. “And then the nurse finally on the fifth night she was like, ‘Listen, you’ve been here all these nights, do you wanna go see him?’ And, he was out. He was cold. He was out.”
Gobi also did not personally see the valiant struggle Tupac waged against his own body to survive.
“I never witnessed it; the nurse came out and told me,” he explained. “She came out and she was like, ‘That ‘Pac of yours is a fighter, man. We almost lost him. We just got him back. I just gave him 500 cc’s of adrenaline.’”
“I personally didn’t think he would make it after hearing that he’d been shot,” continued Gobi, “only because twice through the same thing just seemed incomprehensible to me, for anyone to survive that. But, having said that, after three, four, five, six days, I was like, ‘Wow, maybe he is gonna survive.’ So I was shocked when I found out he passed.”
Gobi Recalls Tupac Having A Hard Time Getting Money From Death Row
Gobi initially arrived in Las Vegas to celebrate Tracy Robinson’s September 7th birthday with Tupac, their partner in the then newly formed 24-7 Productions, and was waiting for ‘Pac to arrive for a post-fight performance at Suge Knight’s club, 662, when he got news of the shooting.
But while no footage was filmed by Gobi of Tupac while he was in Vegas, the current head of Static Free Films is in possession of plenty of film, photos and memories of the months leading up to ‘Pac’s passing, including recollections of the long-rumored battles the star waged with his notorious recording home.