The purported rivalry between hip-hop camps on the East and West coasts came to a tragic end when hip-hop icons Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. were killed at the height of the hype. To fans and the media, ‘Pac and Big were figureheads of the hip-hop movements on their respective coasts and fierce adversaries.
However, ‘Pac’s close friend and Naughty By Nature MC Treach maintains that both rappers were just homies caught up in some drama and that, given some time, they would have hashed it out.
“It only needed some time before ‘Pac and Big would have sat down, period, ’cause they was boys before that,” Treach told MTV News‘ Sway the day before what would have been Tupac’s 39th birthday. “They would have sat down.”
Treach said the friction between the two stars stemmed from Tupac’s 1994 shooting in New York. Although ‘Pac didn’t think Biggie was behind the attack, the rapper did think the Brooklyn hip-hop heavyweight should have looked out for him.
“He really thought when he got shot the first time, that … not Big set it up or anything, just Big didn’t tell him who did it,” Treach told MTV News. “In his heart, he was like, ‘The homie know who did it.’ ”
Treach said B.I.G. simply tried to avoid the drama and wasn’t aiming to undermine his friend. “Biggie might have wanted to just stay out of it, like, ‘I don’t know nothing.’ [Tupac] was like, ‘Yo, man, just put your ear to the street. Let me know who hit me up.’ ”
Treach also said Tupac had an idea who engineered the assault but was upset that people he felt were in his corner didn’t hook him up with any info. ” ‘Pac already was knowing. He was like, ‘I know who got me. I want to see who I can trust now,’ ” Treach said, adding that ‘Pac lost faith in a lot of people, not just Biggie. “Now he was on non-trust mode with [everybody], except a chosen few. He was like, ‘I don’t trust nobody.’ ”
While ‘Pac was definitely riled by the shooting and what he perceived as betrayal by many of his peers, Treach said the heat from the East Coast/ West Coast rivalry didn’t actually phase the Cali star.
“Naughty by Nature and Bad Boy was on tour together. I’m on the [phone] with ‘Pac regularly, talking to Suge [Knight] regularly. Puff and them, they wasn’t leaving the hotel, they wasn’t going to parties, it was secret service,” Treach said. While the Bad Boy stars were shaken up, Treach said Tupac wasn’t worried about the East Coast/ West Coast hype. “[‘Pac and Suge] was laughing, like, ‘We ain’t come looking for them. We damn sure wouldn’t come out there and mess y’all money up. They on tour with y’all.’ [They] wasn’t mad at me, like, ‘Oh, you on tour with them.’ None of what the media was portraying was true.”
Treach said he feels the supposed feud didn’t originate with any actual hip-hop beef, but instead was a product of media sensationalism. “I knew it was gonna be some real serious consequences when I saw the Vibemagazine cover, and it was Puffy and Biggie on it, and the title on it was ‘East vs. West.’ I said, ‘Somebody gonna die.’ That murdered the game right there. Just that cover being out there and that sh– put on the stands. Because now you got n—as in the ‘hood, like, ‘Oh, it’s on?’ They don’t got sh– to live for. They bang for a living. ‘Oh, let me see one of them n—as out here. It’s on.’ ”
Do you think Tupac and Biggie would have mended fences by now if they were both alive? Let us know in the comments.
- Did Rap Superstar Tupac Shakur Fake His Own Death To Avoid FBI Targeting and Prison Time? (intellihub.com)
- Tupac’s Career on Death Row(Was he scared of Suge Knight?) by Vic Da Ruler (thegridhiphop.com)
- Naughty By Nature’s Treach Is Confused By New Marijuana Names (VIDEO) (allhiphop.com)
- Kendrick Lamar = Tupac’s Successor? (experimentalhits.wordpress.com)
- Why Competition Is Good For Hip-Hop – And Business (forbes.com)
- Suge Knight — I’m NOT CONVINCED 2Pac is Dead (tmz.com)
- 20 Vibe Magazine Covers That Perfectly Define The ’90s (buzzfeed.com)