Soulja Slim lost his life last year to a hitman in an apparent record label rivalry. Now, the slain New Orleans rapper has been posthumously named as a prime suspect in another gruesome murder.
While investigating the murder of James ‘Soulja Slim’ Tapp, who died by an assailants gunfire on his mother’s lawn on November 26, 2003, detectives found an ominous link that implicated the rapper in a murder of Robert Lee Paige Jr. that took place in September 2003. The thirty year old New Orleans man was shot and tossed into a City Park lagoon — his body weighted down with cinder blocks. And apparently, Slim is being looked into as a possible suspect in other shootings.
“We had a known credible witness who came in and gave us circumstances of the murder which substantiated information that, through our investigation, only we had,” Scott said. “There would be no other reason for a person to come in and name Soulja Slim as a perpetrator after the fact. There would be nothing for that person to gain,” said Third District Capt. James Scott.
Slim’s family and friends are outraged by the accusation, saying Tapp was on the verge of stardom and was in the process of promoting his album.
“That’s just their way of closing their books,” said Tapp’s manager, Anthony “Antman” Murray. “Nothin’ on the street was serious enough for him to bother with like that. Nothing that crucial…He wasn’t on that type of time. He was on artist-type time.”
Meanwhile, they also have to contend with another blow. The DA’s office has concluded that it would not charge the suspected hit man, Garelle Smith, in the murder of Slim because “the evidence was insufficient to prove the crime.”
When police arrested a man in the ambush slaying of local rap star Soulja Slim, it didn’t solve the mystery of his violent death, it deepened it. Detectives said suspect Garelle Smith was a hit man who was paid $10,000 and the killing “had something to do with the record industry and a rival record label.”
Shrouded in a fog of questions about who may have ordered the execution, the case seemed to be inching through the slow pipeline of the court system until last month, when Slim’s family was blindsided by two developments: First, the charge against Smith, 22, was refused by prosecutors because “the evidence was insufficient to prove the crime,” district attorney’s spokeswoman Melanie Roussell said.
Speculation is still swirling as to who could have been behind the murder of Slim, some naming Master P and No Limit as the culprits.
“It could have been jealousy, it could have been a lot of things,” he said. “You hear so much, you don’t know what to believe. But the streets talk, and with the following that Slim had, the truth is going to come out,” remarks Slim’s producer, KLC.