Too often in hip-hop, rivalries can descend into a death sentence, but Tupac and Nas showed it was possible to settle thins a different way without involving violence.
The animosity between the pair began when Tupac became under the impression that Nas dissed him on ‘The Message’ on Makaveli. When the two finally crossed paths at an after-party following the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, Nas was keen to make sure that everything between the two of them was cool, but it almost turned hostile.
One of the people there that night was Napoleon, a founding member of The Outlaws and somebody who was firmly in Shakur’s inner circle. “Nas was there with his homies and they started walking towards Tupac. They was deep,” he told The Art Of Dialogue. “This is an incident that should be more highlighted in the hip-hop world in general. It shows how two individuals diffuse something that could have been bloodshed.”
Adding: “It was so loud I don’t know what they were saying, it was so loud from the music. We mean mugging they homies they mean mugging us, in the next thing I know we just seen Pac and Nas embrace and hug. They walk their way we walked our way.”
In 2012, Nas sat down with Steve Stoute and recalled what Tupac told him during that conversation. “‘Me and you are never supposed to go at it. It was just that things got misconstrued’,” the Illmatic rapper remembered Shakur saying to him.
“‘Me and you are brothers. Me and you are never supposed to go at it, but I heard you was dissing me on mixtapes.’ I’m like, ‘I heard you was dissing me on this [upcoming] Makaveli album.'”
Nas then explained his side of the story to Shakur, and they hugged it out like men. The pair settled their differences peacefully and showed there was another way to end wars of this nature. Tragically just nine days after the incident, Tupac would be killed, and this was the last conversation he ever had with Nas.