There are few words left to describe the beef between Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Ultimately, the one that seems to fit best of all for the ugly and devastating tragedies that occurred is heartbreaking. As one-time prospective business partners, the former friends soon devolved into petty squabbling and dangerous innuendo. So much so, that many believe their individual issues with one another led to their respective murders.
One such way that the duo fought it out was on record. Using diss tracks and subtly coded messaging on songs, Big and Pac were able to take shots at each other across the airwaves from the safety of their respective coastlines. However, it has always been on their tracks that the rivalry rose to a new level. Following the shooting of Tupac, one which the rapper survived, the ‘California Love’ artist took aim at the man he deemed to be behind the attack, The Notorious B.I.G., with his song ‘Hit ‘Em Up’.
Here, we’re diving into the acapella isolated vocal track f the song to get a reminder of the anger and visceral creativity behind ‘Hit ‘Em Up’.
Perhaps the most brutal Pac song there is. Attacking several East Coast rappers whilst aiming the brunt of his fury at Bad Boy Record’s Notorious B.I.G and Puff Daddy, who Shakur believed were behind the robbery and shooting in Quad Studios (Puffy and Big were present upstairs at the studio during the incident and most rap historians seem to align with Pac’s version of events.)
In the opening seconds, he claims to have slept with Biggie’s estranged wife: Faith Evans then proceeds to rip the label and its associates apart. Pac was joined by the Outlawz, who each chipped in with the verbal bashing of foes. The accompanying music video featured caricatures of Puff, Big and Lil Kim, and was as brutal as the venomous lyrics.
In a further smack in the mouth for Bad Boy, the Johnny J produced track used samples of Junior M.A.F.I.A’s ‘Get Money’, here changed to ‘Take Money,’ and allegedly featured Faith Evans on some of the vocals. No stranger to controversy himself, Public Enemy’s Chuck D later went on to say Tupac had gone too far with the song.
Listen below to the isolated vocal track for Tupac Shakur‘s song ‘Hit ‘Em Up’.