2Pac’s biological father Billy Garland has shared his thoughts on Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis, who was arrested earlier this year in connection with the murder of the iconic rapper in 1996.
In an interview with The Art of Dialogue, Garland was asked directly how he feels about Keffe D’s arrest for the murder of his son. “That’s a tough one, but it’s very clear he’s just a tool,” he replied. “He’s always been a tool, and there’s just time that they used him for what they wanted to use him. Because if you couldn’t see if it was the government, the justice department, the LAPD, the Las Vegas Police Department, and several other entities… Anytime a Black man gets strong that has the potential to lead other Black people, he’s not gonna survive.”
He continued, “They name a street after you, they give you a star on the street, but you’re gone and your desire to do what you wanted to do is gone with it.” Garland called his son “a leader” who wanted to put an end to “all that silly stuff,” referring to the infamous East Coast-West Coast feud of the ’90s. “He was going to get back to the basics of educating people, not just Black people, all people about the contradictions in society,” he added.
Keffe D was arrested on Sept. 29 and has since pleaded not guilty in the murder of 2Pac, who was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996. The arrest came 27 years after the murder, which has prompted questions as to why authorities are arresting him now. Prosecutors have accused Keffe D of implicating himself in various interviews and a 2019 memoir.
“Let’s be very honest, he’s not a very intelligent individual,” Garland said. “When you go on air and say you participated in a high-scale assassination, eventually it’s going to come back on you. I’m surprised he went that far that long without them arresting him. He was in the car. That’s aiding and abetting in the murder. But he was doing his part, with the rest of the people who were talking about Orlando Anderson. He was fulfilling that glitch. He was adding to their truth, which we all know wasn’t true.”
Prosecutors have argued that 2Pac’s murder was a violent act of retaliation over a fight the rapper got in with Keffe D’s nephew Orlando Anderson. In his 2019 memoir, Keffe D claimed he handed over a firearm to Anderson in the back of the Cadillac from which the shots at 2Pac were fired. Anderson was killed in a shooting in 1998 but denied involvement before his death.
As for how he feels about the charges against Keffe D, Garland said the situation does “absolutely nothing” to help him deal with his son’s murder. “I’m just as empty by the loss of my son as the rest of the world is,” he said. “Everybody can see through this thin veil of deceit. It’s ridiculous. They didn’t believe him when he was on YouTube and Vlad every week talking that stupid stuff. … I don’t feel bad that he got arrested, but I don’t think it’s closure.”
While he argued that it’s still “open to debate,” he said it’s unlikely we’ll ever know who was truly responsible. “I don’t think we’ll ever find out who really did the shooting,” he said. But we know it wasn’t no one individual.” He described Keffe D as “a pawn,” potentially by the government or even Death Row Records, 2Pac’s record label.
If convicted, Keffe D could face life in prison but is expected to avoid the death penalty.
2Pac didn’t have the best relationship with his father, who wasn’t in his life until at least 1994. On his seminal track “Dear Mama,” 2Pac rapped, “No love for my daddy, ’cause the coward wasn’t there / He passed away and I didn’t cry / ‘Cause my anger wouldn’t let me feel for a stranger.” Garland addressed the song earlier this year and said he was “upset” about it at first before he realized that Pac believed his biological father was dead at the time.
“I knew there that someone had lied to him from that point,” he said back in June. “So later on when I found out that someone did lie to him, that song made perfectly good sense. I understood it totally.”