Chuck Philips

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Chuck Philips
Chuck philips 2012b.jpg
Philips in 2012
Born Charles Alan Philips
(1952-10-15) October 15, 1952 (age 64)
Citizenship US
Occupation Journalist and writer
Awards Pulitzer Prize
George Polk Award
National Association of Black Journalists Award
Los Angeles Press Club award

Charles Alan "Chuck" Philips (born October 15, 1952) is an American writer and investigative journalist.[2] He won a Pulitzer for investigating corruption in the music business.


Philips wrote for the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, Village Voice, The Washington Post, AllHipHop, the San Francisco Chronicle and Source magazine.[3]

Philips chronicled the music industry[4] as well as the entertainment industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s.[5]

Richard D. Barnet and Larry L. Burriss credited Philips' continued reporting on sexual harassment in the music industry prompting other media outlets to cover the issue and "bringing sexual harassment in the music industry to a national forum."[6] Philips also covered art and crime, corporate and government corruption, and medical malfeasance.

Philips stated that he saw a failure of the police and others to solve the crimes against black figures such as Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.[7][8][9]

Ticketmaster congressional hearings[edit]

In the early 1990s, Philips wrote a series of stories about Ticketmaster, reporting in 1994 that the rock band Pearl Jam had complained to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice that Ticketmaster used monopolistic practices and refused to lower service fees for the band's tickets. At the time, Pearl Jam wanted to keep ticket prices under $20 for their fans, with service charges no greater than $1.80. The company had exclusive contracts with large US venues and threatened to take legal action if those contracts were broken.[10]

Rap crime[edit]

Philips reported on the East-West rap feud, including the unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.. His 2002 article for the LA Times claimed that Shakur was killed in September 1996 by members of the Crips gang, hired by Wallace. Philips and fellow LA Times reporters wrote articles supporting the theory that Wallace was also killed by the Crips, six months later.[11]

In March 2008, Philips wrote another LA Times article claiming that James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, a hip-hop CEO, as an organizer of the attack on Tupac in 1994 at Quad Studios in New York. The story alleged that Smalls and others knew about the attack a week in advance, relying heavily on anonymous sources and internal FBI documents obtained by Philips. Soon after the article was published, The Smoking Gun revealed that Philips' FBI documents were fake. In April 2008, the LA Times printed a full retraction of the Quad Studios article and released Philips shortly thereafter during a wave of layoffs.[12] Philips blames the Times editors for forcing him to rely heavily on the fake FBI documents, and stands by the facts presented in his story as told to him by his unnamed sources. Philips stated that the retraction ruined his reputation and career.[11][12][13] June 2011, New York inmate Dexter Isaac, whom Phillips states was one of his anonymous sources, stated that Isaac had participated in the Quad Studios attack.[12] Philips told LA Weekly that he demanded a "front-page retraction" in the LA Times to clear his name.[12] The LA Times did not run any retraction.

On September 13, 2012, the anniversary of Shakur's death, Philips announced he would do a "Twitter experiment," tweeting a 1,200-word article, 40 characters at a time, concurrently with the launch of his website, the[14] The article was about Harlem drug dealer Eric “Von Zip” Martin and his alleged connection to Sean "Diddy" Combs.[15]


In 1999, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting[16] with Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times for a year-long series that exposed corruption in the music business.[17][18]

Philips won the George Polk Award for investigative reporting about black art and culture in America in 1996[2][19] and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for his coverage of the rap music business in 1997.[2]

In 1990, he won a Los Angeles Press Club award for stories about censorship.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Philips grew up in the Detroit area and moved to Los Angeles at 19.[1]


  1. ^ a b Philips, Philips (June 6, 2012). "Vengeance in the verdict". Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The 1999 Pulitzer prize winners biography". Pulitzer. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Ortega, Tony. "Foreword to: Tupac Shakur, the LA Times and Why I'm still unemployed". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ Eithne Quinn (13 August 2013). Nuthin' but a "G" Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap. Columbia University Press. pp. 179–. ISBN 978-0-231-51810-9. 
  5. ^ Laursen, Patti (May 3, 1993). "Women in Music". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Richard D. Barnet; Larry L. Burriss (2001). Controversies of the Music Industry. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 112–4. ISBN 978-0-313-31094-2. 
  7. ^ Hogan, Richard Hogan (September 25, 2012). "Chuck Philips on life after the Los Angeles Times". Fishbowl LA/ Mediabistro. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ Makarechi, Kia (June 26, 2012). "James Rosemond, Tupac Shooting: Mogul Reportedly Admits Involvement In 1994 Attack". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  9. ^ Garcia-Ajofrin, Isabel (September 25, 2012). "Entrevisa a Chuck Philips: "Ademas de lo de Tupac, Jimmy Henchman orderno disparar al trailer de Snoop Dogg"". Swagga. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ Budnick, Dean; Baron, Josh (24 April 2012). Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped. Penguin Group US. ISBN 978-1-101-58055-4. 
  11. ^ a b Wilson, Simone (June 22, 2011). "Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. Murders and ex-LA Times Reporter Chuck Philips: A Timeline". LA Weekly. 
  12. ^ a b c d Wilson, Simone; Romero, Dennis (June 22, 2011). "Chuck Philips demands L.A. Times apology on Tupac Shakur". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ Reid, Shaheem (March 17, 2008). "Biggie, Diddy Knew Tupac Would Be Ambushed In 1994, Alleges Los Angeles Times Reporter". MTV News. 
  14. ^ Starbury, Allen (September 12, 2012). "Writer Chuck Philips To Tweet Article Connecting Diddy To Late Harlem Kingpin 'Von Zip'". Baller Status. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ biz, m (September 18, 2012). "New Tupac Documents; Website Slated to Hit the Internet, Twitter in Honor of Rapper's Death". hiphopnewssource. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  16. ^ "1999 Pulitzer Prize winners for beat reporting". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  17. ^ Shaw, David (April 13, 1999). "2 Times Staffers Share Pulitzer for Beat Reporting". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  18. ^ Trounson, Rebecca (February 22, 2012). "Mark Saylor dies at 58; former Times editor oversaw Pulitzer-winning series". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Times Wins Polk Awards for Music Industry, Fund-Raising Stories". Los Angeles Times. March 7, 1997. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 

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