It seemed inevitable that their worlds would converge. They were two of the most talented hip-hop rappers in the industry. Both of them were committed to revealing the realities of the hardships of living on the streets and the racial division and social injustice that existed in the world. However, the most significant distinction between Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls was that the two artists represented opposite coasts.
Both musicians passed away at a time in their careers when they were on the cusp of great success, ending possibly the most bitter musical rivalry in history. Biggie, also known as the Notorious B.I.G., was murdered on March 9, 1997, exactly six months after Tupac, also known as 2Pac, was shot and killed on September 7, 1996. Tupac, also known as 2Pac, passed away six days after being shot.
Both of these murders have never been explained. However, one fact cannot be disputed, and that is the fact that they began their relationship as friends.
Tupac entered the music scene two years before Biggie
Tupac, whose birth name was Lesane Parish Crooks and raised by a single mother, was born in the Harlem section of New York City. His mother moved the family frequently to get away from dangerous neighborhoods. They began their journey in Baltimore, then continued to Marin City in California. It was there that Tupac discovered his passion for poetry as well as his skill for writing it. Ultimately, he successfully broke into the music industry, initially working as a roadie and dancer for the band Digital Underground. Eventually, in 1991, he took the microphone, and the same year saw the publication of his debut album, titled 2Pacalypse Now.
Christopher “Biggie” Wallace, who grew up in Brooklyn and attended prestigious high schools in New York City (where English was a strong subject), dealt drugs on the streets and rapped for fun while he was a teenager. In the meantime, back in New York City, Christopher “Biggie” Wallace was murdered. According to his biography on the Arista Records website, he once commented, “It was fun just hearing myself on tape over beats.”
However, a sample that he had recorded made its way to Source magazine, which featured the young talent, and soon after that, he was represented by Sean “Diddy” Combs, also known as “Puffy Daddy.” In 1993, he released his debut single, which was titled “Party and Bulls**t.”
Biggie asked Tupac to be his manager
According to an excerpt that Vice published from the book Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Tupac Shakur and the Birth of West Coast Rap written by Ben Westhoff, Biggie asked a drug dealer to introduce him to Tupac at a party in Los Angeles. At the time, Tupac had already become a platinum-selling artist.
“Pac walks into the kitchen and immediately begins preparing food for all of us. An intern named Dan Smalls who worked with Biggie and remembered the meeting recalled that the rapper was cooking some steaks in the kitchen at the time. “We were in the middle of drinking and smoking when all of a sudden 2Pac yelled out, ‘Yo, come get it.'” We went into the kitchen, where he had steaks, French fries, bread, and Kool-Aid, and we sat there eating, drinking, and laughing. That was the beginning of Big and Pac’s friendship.”
Both of them and their respective buddy circles held a healthy level of regard for one another. According to the portion published in Vice, Biggie’s friend EDI Mean stated, “We all believed he was a fantastic rapper.” According to the narrative, Tupac bestowed upon Biggie the present of a bottle of Hennessy. When Biggie was in California, he would sleep on Tupac’s couch; when Tupac was in New York, he would always stop by Biggie’s neighborhood. When Biggie was in California, Tupac would always stop by Biggie’s area. They were the same as any other group of pals.
In addition, it was clear that the sum of their strengths might produce something truly remarkable. They freestyled together at the Budweiser Superfest in 1993, which took place at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. Biggie sought guidance from Tupac frequently regarding the music industry and even asked him to manage his career at one point. However, Tupac never let his personal and professional relationships become mixed: “Nah, remain with Puff. He will make you into a celebrity.
Tupac believed Biggie had a hand in his 1994 gun down
Tupac and Biggie had been involved in some skirmishes in the past, but the first major falling out between them occurred when they were supposed to collaborate on a project for another rapper named Little Shawn.
On November 30, 1994, after arriving at the Quad Recording Studios in Times Square, Tupac was getting ready to travel upstairs to meet Biggie and Combs, who was already there. According to the New York Times, however, Tupac was gunned down in the lobby of the building and shot five times before he died.
Even though they could get upstairs to check on them shortly after the attack, he still believed that Biggie was responsible for the attack, despite the fact that they had already seen them. According to Vice’s paragraph, “Tupac added that the crew appeared astonished and guilty, but Puffy said that they showed him nothing but love and compassion.”
When Tupac joined Death Row Records, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry was cemented
When Tupac was serving time for another offense, he realized that Biggie was aware of the attack before it occurred. The rapper from the west coast reached out to Suge Knight, who invited him to join the roster of artists signed to Death Row Records. As a result of Tupac’s acceptance, the competition between Knight’s label and Combs’ Bad Boy Records became even more intense. “Any artist out there that wants to be an artist, stay a star, and won’t have to worry about the executive producer trying to be all in the videos, all on the records, dancing—come to Death Row!” is an invitation to “any artist out there that wants to be an artist, stay a star.” Knight made this announcement at the Source Awards event in 1995.
There was no evidence to suggest that Biggie or Combs knew what had happened. But a few months later, Biggie released a tune on the B-side of his single titled “Who Shot Ya?”, which prompted Tupac to respond with the song “Hit ‘Em Up.” Tupac made the allegation that he had a sexual encounter with Biggie’s wife, Faith Evans, in the document. Evans refuted the claim by adding, “That ain’t how I conduct business.” Vibe reported that Evans made this statement.
Throughout their brief lives, each side blamed the other for the deaths of the others while continuing to throw fists at each other (while other theorists believe they may still be alive).
But following Tupac’s passing, Biggie wanted to end the fighting that was taking on from coast to coast. “We two individuals started a quarrel between the two coasts…one man’s actions against another’s caused the entire West Coast to despise the entire East Coast. And vice versa. “And that truly irritated me,” he added in a later published statement. “Pac can’t be the one to try to squash it because he’s gone, so I’ll have to be the one to try to flip it,” I said. “I have to be the one to try to flip it.”
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