A bizarre case involving slain Trill Fam artist Lil Phat has added an alarming new development. Police in Atlanta say they have three of four suspects wanted in the murder of the rapper. One of the accused is a former Russian mobster who prosecutors say ordered a hit on the rapper, a past Webbie and Lil Boosie collaborator, in order to silence him. ABC affiliate WSB-TV Channel 2 covered the story after originally exposing Mani Chulpayev, the mobster who was the center of a Channel 2 investigation of a car business he owned back in January. Because of that special report, police reopened the Lil Phat case and tied together past evidence which showed that the rapper was one of Chulpayev’s past customers. District Attorney Paul Howard said that Lil Phat, born Melvin Vernell III, was assassinated.
“I termed it an assassination,” said Howard to WSB-TV. The shooting happened June 7, 2012 inside the parking structure of Northside Hospital in Atlanta. Lil Phat was waiting on the birth of his child inside a parked Audi A7 on a parking ramp when he was gunned down by two men who fled the scene on foot, according to witnesses. Howard says the rapper purchased the Audi from Chulpayev and he was located by way of a GPS tracking system. Howard’s office is accusing the mobster of ordering a contract killing with the aid of two paid gunmen from Alabama. “He was stalked by these two men, it was planned,” added Howard.
Two days before he was killed, Lil Phat alerted police that a leased BMW he got from Chulpayev was stolen. Last April, Lil Phat was pulled over for speeding and charged with receiving a stolen car. Howard contends that Lil Phat was killed to keep the rapper from unveiling Chulpayev’s shady business dealings. Chulpayev was arrested by a SWAT team in Florida on April 12, and his attorney says that his client “grieved” after heating news of Lil Phat’s death last year. Chulpayev will be transported soon to Atlanta to hear the formal charges.
Even though he was found not guilty of first-degree murder in May 2012, Lil Boosie is still serving out a sentence for drug possession while behind bars. Now, in an exclusive interview with Spin, Boosie speaks on his time in jail and his plans after his release from prison. Boosie discussed the trials of jail, saying that the love of his family and fans has helped him cope with his sentence. He also added that he feels his mission in life is yet to be completed, and that his time in jail has driven him to reinvent himself as both an artist and a person. ”I’ve coped by knowing in my heart that I’m someone special who many people love. If you lose hope in yourself, you’ll make your time hard,” he said. “I always felt that my mission wasn’t complete. I feel I haven’t reached the star power that was destined for me. That makes me keep writing and thinking of ways to better myself as a man and artist…this situation forced me to look at things differently. I had to suffer to learn things about myself, those surrounding me, and God. He put me through this pain for me to come back stronger.”
Boosie also spoke on his post-prison plans, saying that he’s written close to 500 songs that he believes to be some of the best of his career. He also discussed his plans to pen a memoir, titled The Truth, No Lies. ”I have about 500 songs at the moment,” he said. “I feel that I’m making the best music I’ve ever made. The more I go through in life the better my music gets and it’s been crazy the last three years. I keep my music heartfelt and stick to making real music. I wouldn’t even say it’s Hip Hop music. My music is ‘reality rap.’ Hip Hop music can make you dance and bob your head, but it can’t make you cry or touch your heart like reality rap.”
Of his memoir, he added, “I just felt the world needed to hear my life story so those who don’t understand certain things that I rap about, like the struggle, will understand that it’s the struggle that made me who I am today. I want people to know that it’s bigger than rap with me. I have a good heart. I want people who never took the time out to listen to me, to give me a chance.” As previously mentioned, Boosie is currently serving an eight-year sentence for attempting to smuggle codeine, ecstasy and marijuana into jail. It is unknown when the Baton Rouge rapper will be let out of prison, although his attorneys estimate he could be released this summer.