"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 9 June 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.

On December 27, 1999, Puff Daddy found out that amidst less-than-anticipated album sales, artist defections, and various other signs that he had definitely entered Act IV of the Behind The Music teleplay into which his career will eventually be shrunk-fit, he could nonetheless still get arrested.

Alas, Puffy's scrape with the law did little to arrest the decline of his public profile. With his trial set to resume in just a few days, most people seem to have forgotten that he's even in trouble in the first place. If you fall into that camp yourself, here's a recap of his troubles: after his protégé Shyne allegedly opened fire in a Times Square nightclub and wounded three people, Puffy, his girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, and several others fled the scene in a Lincoln Navigator. When police eventually managed to stop them and search the car, they found a loaded 9 mm handgun, which turned out to be stolen. In addition, witnesses claimed that someone inside the Navigator tossed another handgun from its window before police stopped the vehicle. And to complicate matters further, Puffy supposedly offered the driver of the Navigator $50,000 to explain that the handgun found inside the car belonged to him. The various charges that Puffy faces as a result of these actions could earn him up to 15 years in prison.

Frankly, in a town where cops have been known to issue the death penalty for the crime of using a cell phone while being black, we can understand why Puffy wasn't too eager to stop for the police. And as far as having to serve up to 15 years for throwing a gun out his car window? If he were white, he'd probably get fined for littering. Still, we're looking forward to Puffy's trial, if only for the respite it might offer from all the manufactured reality glutting the mediascape these days. Sixteen rat-eating survivalists battling it out for $1 million on a desert island? Big deal. Ten less adventurous exhibitionists broadcasting their secret bathroom rituals from a state-of-the-art people-zoo in LA? Where's the remote? Puffy's fighting for his freedom, for his right to continue designing mink jeans and releasing posthumous Biggie records, and that is real drama. And if his case doesn't quite pack the blood-spattered, interracial sensationalism of celebrity trials past? Well, we'll take what we can get. This is, after all, the age of the remix.

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Next: The alibi remains the same.