A man who claims to have robbed and shot Tupac Shakur is being investigated.

New York Police have launched an inquiry after Dexter Issac posted a message on the internet alleging to have committed such a crime against the late rapper - who would have turned 40 this year - two years before he was killed in September 1996 after being shot four times.

In the note, he claims James Rosemond paid him $2,500 to rob the 'California Love' hip-hop star in Manhattan in 1994 - and Dexter directs a lot of his post towards James, as well as briefly mentioning American rapper Biggie Smalls, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1997.

He wrote on website AllHipHop.com: "Now I would like to clear up a few things, because the statute of limitations is over, and no one can be charged, and I'm just plain tired of listening to your lies.

"I still have as proof the chain we took in the robbery.

"Now I'm not going to talk about my friend Biggie's death or 2Pac's death, but I would like to give their mothers some closure. It's about time that someone did, and I will do so at a different time."

Police spokesman Paul Browne said if the message is legitimate then the authorities will seek to interview Dexter.