They say that the love of a mother towards her child is incomparable to any other and when it comes to the tale of the life and death of Yaki Kadafi, we simply cannot argue with this statement. Despite the fact that it happened 26 years ago, the trauma and the sadness have never abandoned the soul of Kadafi’s mother – Yaasmyn Fula.
Kadafi was born in Bronx, New York, in 1977, to parents Sekou Odinga and Yaasmyn Fula. The future rapper had it tough nearly from the start of his life, however, since his father was arrested and imprisoned when he was aged 4. That meant that the young Yafeu Akiyele Fula had to be raised only by his mother. He would soon afterward adopt her name. The reason behind Odinga’s imprisonment seems relatively clear when we mention that both he and Fula were part of the Black Panther Party – an organization, which almost single-handedly was fighting the battle for the rights of black people.
Despite being left without a true father figure during his life, as a result, Yafeu Fula had a reason to be thrilled about his parent’s involvement in the organization. Yaasmyn and Afeni Shakur, the mother of the great Tupac Shakur, were close friends from their BPP days, which meant that Yaki and Pac were actually Godbrothers. Eventually, they became friends and formed one of the greatest hip-hop groups in history – “The Outlawz”. Of course, part of the group was also Napoleon, who has a special role in this tale.
Crucially, Yaki Kadafi was one of Pac’s closest people and it was probably no surprise that he managed to witness the death of the late rap legend. Fula was in the car, which was traveling behind the one Shakur was in on the fatal date – the 7th of September 1996, Las Vegas. Yafeu managed to escape unscathed and vowed to reveal the entire truth surrounding Shakur’s death – most importantly the man who fatally shot the rapper. Kadafi said that he had seen exactly who it was. You can imagine that comment put a bulls-eye on Yaki’s head from the moment he made it. The murderers of Shakur knew that they’d be imprisoned, had Kadafi received the opportunity to tell his truth to the media and most importantly – to the police.
It never happened, sadly. Kadafi was shot and killed about two months later in Orange, New Jersey, aged only 19 years of age.
Fula, who lived in Montclair, N.J., was shot once in the head and was found slumped in the third-floor hallway of an apartment building at 325 Mechanic St. early morning on 10th of November 1996. Officers found Fula at 3:48 a.m. after receiving a report of a shooting.
His killer was the cousin of Mutah Beale (Napoleon) – Roddy Beale. This is where we come to the role of Napoleon. He was the one who introduced the pair, who turned out to be good friends and spent lots of time together. The last time they were together was precisely on the 10th of November 1996. Napoleon recalls that they had a common addiction to drugs and had probably once again been on some substances that night. The 16-year old Roddy shot Yaki in the head, who died on the spot.
Napoleon wasn’t in town during the shooting and was distraught upon hearing the news. He flew over instantly to Jersey and found his cousin in tears, claiming that it was an accident. The rapper told him to turn himself over to the police, which is actually what happened. Roddy would eventually serve 7 or 8 years, whilst Napoleon would state that despite being extremely sad about Yaki’s death, he still believed it was accidental.
Naturally, there was one person, who wasn’t buying it and who still hasn’t forgotten about the tragic incident – Yaasmyn Fula, Kadafi’s mother. She never believed in the alibi of the shooting being incidental and has even declared “war” on Napoleon, who had continuously voiced support for his cousin. This is when the penny dropped. Evidently, the wound is still fresh in Yaasmyn’s heart and towards the end of 2021 she came out with a detailed breakdown of the entire crime, presenting documents, police reports, etc, in order to prove that the murder was far from a fluke – it was actually quite well planed.
Losing your son is something a mother can never truly get over, especially when knowing the truth. In her Instagram post, Fula claimed that Roddy only ever served 4 years of his prison sentence since he was 16 when convicted. Additionally, she went on to explain that Beale aimed to kill Kadafi, stating that the latter had become too cocky since he was close to Pac. Yaki’s mother explained that the murderer was also not alone at the scene of the crime. According to the police reports Roddy admitted that he knew Kadafi had a bullet-proof vest on. The murderer had also called upon the services of Nadir Way, who would hold the much bigger in size Fula, whilst Beale would aim for his, blowing his brains out with one shot.
Fula added that she had never blamed Napoleon for his cousin’s brutality, but his numerous attempts to defend the deed, running away from the truth, clearly awakened her instincts of a deeply disappointed mother. No wrath is greater than one of a mother, who has to live her entire life, knowing that her son was taken away from her in such a cruel way. In the end, Yaasmyn probably received a small reprieve, since Roddy was sentenced a few years back to a staggering 35 years in prison. He was convicted of murder and is serving his prison time in Virginia.
Napoleon, on the other hand, refused to allow Fula’s comments to get to him, as he was noticed replying on a comment on Instagram, that he doesn’t care what people on the platform say, referring to his belief that Allah will give everyone what they deserve.
”because I don’t care what people say on ig we asking people to make dua for him, Allah is in control and dua can change the situation of anyone as we muslims believe. Most people on ig who speak negatively are unhappy with their own lives, and these comments wont effect him at all. We real men over here we don’t get bothered by comments, who ever let internet people get to them needs to log off”, said Napoleon
It’s clear that despite Napoleon and Kadafi being quite close during their Outlawz days, things between Beale and the Fula family will never be the same. What’s also true is that regardless of how much time passes by – 26 years or 260 years, a mother in Yaasmyn’s position would never forgive Napoleon for defending her son’s murderer.