But that was Fat Tone: always the storyteller, always the exaggerator, always the braggart. He wasn't going to kill you with one bullet. He was going to cut you in half with a hail of gunfire. He didn't drink the cheap stuff. Only cognac would do. He was large, but he lived large. And it was hard to tell how much of his boasting was based on truth and how much was pure bullshit.
At least the stories were generally consistent -- the Kansas City rapper was rolling in dough in Las Vegas.
"He went out balling like a boss," says Priceless, whose cherubic looks belie her to-the-point attitude. She called herself Tone's "boss bitch," and she had planned to fly to Vegas to join him on his May excursion.
Tone told Priceless he was staying at the MGM Grand, the hotel where his idol Tupac Shakur had attended a boxing match the night he was shot in 1996. And Tone had taken with him a pretty young thing who was supposed to be turning tricks. Even if it was small-time, Fat Tone had started pimpin'.
He was up -- way up -- at the craps table, the only gambling he ever did, just like Tupac. Tone told Priceless he'd taken $17,000 off the craps table in one session, and then, later, another $3,000.
He told his mother a different amount: $7,000. "He was very happy, very happy," Wright says.
Spencer, his girlfriend, heard another figure. Tone told her he'd turned the $4,000 he took with him into $13,000. "He said he was going to wire me some money, but he never did," she says.
He also told her he was hoping to meet rappers Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent. To his mother, he said he'd actually be opening for Snoop's Vegas concert.
But Spencer says the boasting and balling were only cover for a more serious quest that had taken Fat Tone to Nevada.
"Half of it was related to music, because this guy Mac Minister was supposedly hooking him up with a lot of different rappers," she says.
The other half of the real mission?
"I can't really be specific," she says. "All I know is, he went out and he was going to handle some business out in Vegas."
But he was having second thoughts, she remembers. Sometime after 2 a.m. on Monday, May 23 -- after midnight in Las Vegas -- he called her.
"He told me he wasn't going to do the particular thing he went down there for. 'I'm not going through with it. I'm going to come home,'" Spencer recalls. "I was still kind of asleep. He was like, 'I'm sitting here waiting on this guy. I'm going to call you as soon as I get to the hotel.'"
Shortly after the call, Fat Tone and a Kansas City companion, 22-year-old Jermaine Akins, were shot multiple times and killed. Tone's body was found inside a car by a security guard who noticed that the car's lights were on. The car was parked in a deserted housing subdivision still under construction. Akins' body was on the ground a few feet away.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Tone's escort was asleep in the doorway outside his room, apparently finished with her night's work.
Las Vegas police soon announced that they wanted to speak to three people in connection with the crime but stressed that none of them were suspects. Police also were on the lookout for a 2000 Pontiac Sunbird convertible.