Soulja Slim
Hip-Hop News: Soulja Slim's Future Cut Short By Jealousy
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
11/28/2003 8:09:28 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Master P and C-Murder.

James Tapp would not ignore the truth, so his lyrics told of the jealousy.

Jealousy had fueled so much rage and spilled so much blood during his childhood in New Orleans' Magnolia public housing complex that Tapp could not set it aside when he stepped on stage at the House of Blues or Tipitina's Uptown or some hole-in-the-wall club jammed with fans.

They called him Soulja Slim, and some believed that at 25, Tapp was poised to capture the rap scene from coast to coast, to finally get a music video on MTV, to make it as big as -- or bigger than -- his childhood friends, Master P and C-Murder.

But Tapp's stepfather said Thursday that it may have been envy of his son's swift rise that cost Tapp his life Wednesday.

"When you're a rapper, you have a few jealousies," said the stepfather, who asked that his name not be used. "He was an open fellow. He would open his house to anyone. If he had any enemies . . . I don't know."

Judging from his wounds -- at least three in his face and one in his chest -- the bullets were undoubtedly meant for Tapp, said Q93 disc jockey Wild Wayne, who first met Tapp a decade ago when he started performing locally, using the name of Magnolia Slim.

"Those kind of shots usually indicate some kind of anger toward a person," the DJ said. "It's not just a random violence kind of thing."

Police said an unknown gunman shot Tapp around 5:45 p.m. on the front lawn of a two-story duplex at 4618 Lafaye St., the Gentilly home Tapp bought for his mother five years ago when his career started picking up.

Witnesses said they saw a man wearing dark clothes running toward the lake on Lafaye Street moments after the shooting, but police had no suspects in custody Thursday night, Sgt. Paul Accardo said.

The crime seemed to eerily echo the violence of Tapp's profanity-laced songs, which tell tales of gangs, drugs and drive-by shootings. The album cover on his first CD, released in 1998, shows Tapp in camouflage surrounded by fiery explosions and a tank.

His stepfather said the themes were not intended to incite violence, only to expose the chaos of "ghetto life" so it might be cured. He said Tapp had broken no laws after he ended a four-year prison stint in 2001 for parole violation.

In 1995, Tapp was sent to jail for a separate armed robbery charge. It was unclear how long he served then.

Master P appeared on several tracks of Tapp's first album, "Give it 2 'Em Raw." Tapp's second, "The Streets Made Me," was released by Master P's No Limit Records. Tapp left No Limit in 2002 and released "Years Later" on the Cut Throat Committy label.

This summer, he joined heavy hitter Koch Records and recorded "Years Later . . . A Few Months After."

The rapper had grown popular as he performed in cities from New York to Detroit to New Orleans. "But he was ready to hit the big time," his stepfather said. "He was on his way."

This month, Tapp recorded a music video in Uptown mansions and at Tipitina's Uptown that Wild Wayne said probably would have landed on MTV and BET.

Tapp was watching the video at the Lafaye Street house when his stepfather and mother left to run errands Wednesday about 4:45 p.m.

His stepfather said Tapp must have left the house in his gray Cadillac Escalade shortly after they departed and returned around 5:45 p.m. Minutes later, when police found Tapp bleeding on the lawn, his SUV's door was open.

Tapp's death likely means an abrupt halt to the careers of some rising rap stars whom Tapp was coaxing into the industry through his label, Cut Throat Committy, Wayne said.

"He was extremely influential. Some people called him the Tupac of the South," the disc jockey said. "I think he was about to shine a new light on New Orleans in terms of his music. It's just a tragic loss."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crimestoppers

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