Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls used to hang out all the time, and according to Snoop Dogg, the Brooklyn rapper was one of Shakur’s best industry friends. In fact, the two artists were very close until 2Pac signed with Death Row Records.
Before becoming a Death Row artist, Pac was already an established artist signed to Interscope and was one of the most prevalent up-and-coming MCs on the west coast. Until late 1994, there was no feud between the pair, and when they met in 1993, there was no hostility.
The two musicians first met at the LA wrap party for Poetic Justice in 1993, and in a 1996 interview with VIBE magazine, Biggie (real name Christopher Wallace) recalled how Shakur had his song ‘Party And Bullshit’ on repeat. The Brooklyn lyricist also disclosed how Shakur invited him to an afterparty with the Outlawz and Janet Jackson at his house.
The stories concerning Shakur’s afterparty have always been consistent, and in an interview for Ben Westhoff’s 2016 book, Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap, former Uptown Records intern Dan Smalls revealed that during the function, 2Pac gave Wallace an extremely expensive gift.
Setting the scene, Smalls explained, “Pac walks into the kitchen and starts cooking for us. He’s in the kitchen cooking some steaks. We were drinking and smoking, and all of a sudden, Pac was like, ‘Yo, come get it.’ And we go into the kitchen, and he had steaks, and French fries, and bread, and Kool‑Aid, and we [were] just sittin’ there eating and drinking and laughing… that’s truly where Big and Pac’s friendship started.”
Wallace had brought a bottle of Hennessy to the party for Shakur and, as someone who respected and admired Biggie, 2Pac decided to gift Wallace what would be his first Rolex. Shakur loved the Swiss luxury brand of watches, and according to Smalls, “it was the same gold watch Pac wore at the VMAs.”
2Pac showed Biggie a lot of love in the early-90s and was filmed happily performing alongside him and freestyling with him. However, following the Quad studios shooting, things were never the same between the two. You can see 2Pac sporting his Rolex at the VMAs in the video below.
The feud between Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls:
The fatal rivalry between Biggie Smalls and Tupac remains one of music’s biggest tragedies. Both men lost their lives while they were at the top of the game, and the whole sorry scenario was avoidable. Their murders both remain unsolved, but what is indisputable is the connection between the cases. They managed to turn the east coast and west coast against each other, ultimately leading to both men losing their lives.
Snoop Dogg later revealed how Biggie responded to his former friend’s murder, and surprisingly said, “He [B.I.G. ] looked me in my eyes, and he say something that, you know what I’m saying, he’s sad that Tupac is dead, but I can look in his eyes, and I could see that he hurt. He didn’t even have to say it, I could see that he hurt behind Tupac being dead.
“This is not a man that’s happy or glamorised. This is his friend that’s dead, they had a misunderstanding and he could never get no justice for his emotions, but he’s showing me his emotions. And he explained to me how much he loved Tupac.”
Behind closed doors, perhaps, Biggie was willing to be more open with his emotions than in public. When he appeared on Rap City in 1997, he remained somewhat guarded on that front, although the gravitas and unavoidable nature of the incident was also not lost on him.
“I kind of realised how powerful Tupac and I was,” Biggie explained. “We as two individual people raised a coastal beef. One man against one man made the whole west coast hate the east coast and vice versa. That really bugged me out. It was like, you don’t like me, so this whole coast don’t like me, so my whole coast don’t like him.
“It let me know how much strength I had for what I’m trying to do now. I’ve gotta be the one to be able to flip it and bring my power because he can’t be there. He can’t be the one to squash it because he’s gone, so I’ve got to take the weight from both sides.”